Chief Ayo Adebanjo, renowned lawyer and political associate of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo has said that the decision by Nigerians to elect President Muammadu Buhari is a bunch of error the residents of the country would regret for a very long time. Chief Ayo Adebanjo while speaking with our Correspondent at his country home at Ijebu-Ogbo in Odogbolu local government area of Ogun State, disclosed that if President Buhari had meant well he would have allowed for the restructuring of the country.
The over 95 year old Yoruba leader insisted that except Nigeria is restructured, the country won’t move an inch better. Adebanjo said if Buhari is serious about keeping the country as one and committed to the betterment of the country, he should without further delay set up machinery in motion to examine reports of 2014 Sovereign National Conference set up by President Goodluck Jonathan. The elder stateman explained that “I’ve said it, this country cannot move an inch better until Buhari restructures and go back to true federalism. Maybe I should give you the background to Sovereign National Conference. We want to change the constitution that the military gave us but we don’t want violence. So, we say let’s see down and agree on what conditions if we are to live together.
“There is the need for a Sovereign National Conference and that is what Jonathan did in 2014 although he didn’t do it early enough because he too didn’t appreciate its importance, if Buhari is serious about keeping this country together, if he is sincere about Nigeria being one, he should implement recommendation of 2014 Sovereign National Conference now. “I take people back to 2007 when Afenifere supported Buhari. I have said it severally and I have never refuted it. He said there will be restructuring. We are all here in this country when Tunde Bakare ran with him on the principle that there’s going to be restructuring. Now restructuring is top on their agenda in 2023 and you want me to believe that. “I have said my own. I’m nearing my grave. Even if you do restructuring today am I going to be governor or President? That is why at 95, I am still vehement. It’s not a pleasure but makes me weep when the people of the country are suffering for no just cause, when people are enslaving us and our people who are close to President Buhari because of the crumbs they are picking on the table cannot face him. “Look at the insult they gave us on Amotekun which I want to be believe is just a scratch. How can you rationalize a government who has not got control over security. If Buhari is serious, he should give full autonomy to the governors as Chief Security Officers of their respective States. Adebanjo disclosed further that “I have to confess, I am a very embittered Nigerian, I am an embittered old man, why I’m embittered is that there are the problems that I have foretold and Buhari refused to listen to, when the result is happening as it is now you are not magnanimous to give credit and take steps to correct the past. I have openly challenged President Buhari asking why is he opposed to restructuring, it was the principle of restructuring that Awolowo, Balewa and Azikiwe agreed on at independence before we came together until the military changed it.
“Again I ask you to go back to the basics, those who put Buhari in government should assess him, I said he shouldn’t be there and that is where I stand, I didn’t say it out of arrogance. I’m only telling you that I warned you that this man is not competent to be in government and I refer you to my interview with the Vanguard before he was elected where I said the greatest mistake Nigerians will make is to elect this man, and he has not disappointed, he is the Buhari that I know”. The Yoruba leader also came hard on journalists accusing them of allowing pecuniary gains to take over their constitutional roles of putting leaders on their toes so that the people can get the best from the democratic government.
He said “I have to be hard on you journalists, you have not done your job as the fourth estate of the realm, you know the truth but either because the government will not give you advert or you want to take envelope, you don’t strike the nail. I challenged him openly, I challenged Femi Adesina and Garba Sheu that they should reply me on that accusation because there is nothing strange, restructuring is not a political philosophy, it is a way of getting true federal system working. “Unfortunately, the people who are following President Buhari, the military under Babangida has monetized politics, they have impoverished the people.
Tinubu is so successful to have enslaved us to Buhari. That is why they are doing all things possible to acquire wealth while in office and impoverish the people. People now don’t want to starve on election day, they collect money to vote forgetting that they will starve for the next four years.