The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has demanded a public commitment to restructuring of Nigeria’s governance structure from the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).
The demand was made in Abeokuta on Thursday by the Group’s National Chairman, Olawale Oshun, at the public lecture organised by the Ogun State Chapter of the group led by Olusegun Odegbami (MON).
The lecture was delivered by the former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
In his brief remark titled “The Change We Demand”, Oshun said there are “clear and strong indications that there is need for change” and Yoruba people are insisting that “the change that must occur must include some assurances that never again should the issue of equity amongst Nigerian nationalities be blatantly sacrificed as Federal Government has done in recent times”.
“The change that we demand include an assurance to restructure the country in such a way that power will devolve to the most efficient federating unit. The Yoruba people have witnessed how over-centralisation of power has been instrumental to the abuses of power and the institution of ingrained corruption that is destroying our country today,” he said, adding that restructuring must be made a national electioneering agenda.
“ARG uses this opportunity to demand these assurances from the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) This should not be an assurance given in private anymore; let it be an assurance given in public.
In his lecture titled, “Before Nigeria’s oil runs dry: options for development in the Southwest of Nigeria”, Fayemi argued that if the political activism for restructuring of Nigeria’s polity had been ignored as an ethnic agenda, its economic reality, which can no longer be ignored, makes the case of urgent devolution of power.
According to him, the mantra to diversify the economy in Nigeria would continue to fail without appropriate steps to devolve power and entrench fiscal federalism.
“The need to diversify our economy and the necessity of decentralizing the governance are coterminous imperatives.
“Indeed, one cannot occur without the other. We cannot diversify the economy without decentralizing governance.
“Here are four core areas that embody the immense economic potential of the Southwest waiting to be unlocked through diversification and decentralization. These are agriculture, mineral resources, telephony and internet, as well as Nollywood and domestic tourism development.”
Participants at the event also called for “aggressive education”.