11th November, 2021
Chief Ayo Adebanjo said Nigeria is evidently dying but Afenifere does not believe in secession and disintegration.
The leader of the Pan-Yoruba socio-political group stated this while addressing the press at the Wheat Baker Hotel in the Ikoyi area of Lagos State.
He noted that the group will lead the Yoruba nation to demand substantial restructuring before the 2023 elections in order to save the country from total collapse.
Pa Adebanjo said: “We are not anarchists; we are not secessionists. We recognize that there is a democratically-elected government.
“However, it is the considered position of Afenifere that the president urgently constitutes a Government of National Unity solely to undertake the restructuring of Nigeria, in consultation with the Nigerian peoples.
“The issue of restructuring is about our freedom. We are democrats. I don’t want violence. I don’t want the country to break.’’
Adebanjo noted that most states of the federation were unviable entities.
He decried the level of insecurity across the country, which he said a restructured Nigeria would resolve.
The Yoruba leader also called for a sovereign national conference on restructuring and said that the country must be returned to the 1960 Independence Constitution before the 2023 general elections.
“The Nigeria that was agreed is one that was deliberately federal in structure. The Nigeria that was agreed was by design, based on a parliamentary system of government.
“The Nigeria that was agreed was one that recognized the rights of the federating regions to nationhood within the ambit of the federation that was birthed.
“It was the position of Afenifere and the National Democratic Coalition that there existed an urgent need for a sovereign national conference of ethnic nationalities that have become known as Nigerians.
“We remain convinced that the need for a sovereign national conference is imperative. The basis of the Nigerian state must be clearly negotiated,’’ he stressed.
Adebanjo said that there could not be peace in the absence of equality, justice, and truth guaranteed by substantial restructuring and true federalism.
He added that he had spent more than 70 years of his life relentlessly struggling for a united, civilized, and prosperous Nigeria.
According to him, the Afenifere will support any person who has a clear-cut understanding of a restructured Nigeria and sincerely committed to true federalism.
On the ongoing National Assembly’s Constitutional amendment, Adebanjo said that he did not believe in any amendments to the 1999 Constitution because Nigerians were not part of its drafting.
He said: “I owe it to posterity, to speak unalloyed truth to unconscionable powers, and to clarify the position of my people, the Yoruba of the Nigerian state, so that whenever I might be recalled home, it shall be said of me, that I not only did my bit, I indeed said my bit, and the position of the Yoruba people and Afenifere, were clearly and succinctly enunciated.
“Let it be heard loud and clear; Afenifere shall be leading the Yoruba people to demand substantial restructuring before any fraudulent elections might be held in 2023, and the response of the Buhari regime to these equitable demands for restructuring the country along federalist lines, in order to restore it to its roots and original agreements, shall go a long way in shaping the position of the Yoruba people in the future, but let it be heard loud and clear; Nigeria is not only negotiable, it is evidently dying.”