A chieftain of the pan Yoruba socio – cultural group, Afenifere Senator Femi Okunronmu, has insisted that Southwest Presidency was not the priority of the Yoruba, but rather restructuring.
The former federal lawmaker, who represented, Ogun Central Senatorial district at the Senate between 1999 and 2003, said Nigerians should go for restructuring rather than the 2023 elections “because what is the point if we do not restructure and go for elections?
We shall elect a President who will go and be running the same 1999 Constitution that does not help anybody.”
Okunronmu stated this yesterday, in an exclusive interview with Sunday Telegraph in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. He maintained that, the Afenifere has not endorsed the presidential ambition of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and neither has the group declared support for anyone because according to him, president of a Yoruba extraction or any other would not solve the problems of Nigeria but rather compound them.
Okunronmu, a delegate to the 2014 Constitutional Conference renewed his call for true Federalism and amendment of the constitution, saying “There is not point going for elections, until we change the constitution, until we go back to a Federal constitution. So our priority is changing the constitution. “In fact, I believe that restructuring is so important, that if it’s a choice between restructuring and elections, I will go for restructuring.
If I have a choice, if we have a choice in between which was to come first, then restructuring should come first. “We (Afenifere) have clear reasons why we are not supporting anybody, not just Tinubu. We are not supporting anybody’s Presidential ambition for 2023.
Presidency for 2023 is not the priority of Nigeria. “Presidency that will go and be operating the same 1999 constitution is just going to be just as oppressive as the present one. It will not be of any benefit to us. In his view, if Nigeria goes election without restructuring,
“We shall elect a President who will still be under the control of the Fulani whether he is from Yorubaland or Igboland. He will still be under the control of the Fulani because whoever the Fulanis do not support cannot become President. “We know that since 2015, in spite of all what the Yoruba, including Tinubu did, to help Buhari to get power, the Yoruba have been suffering under his regime.
Even Tinubu himself cannot say that he has been benefiting or he has been enjoying or he has been treated the way he expected by Buhari under his regime. This is when Tinubu, in fact, almost single handedly persuaded the Yoruba to vote for him.
“So, of what benefit will it be to the Yoruba to be supporting a candidate for presidency in 2023, to be a president where we are going to be slaves. We cannot be President under a constitution that makes us slaves in Nigeria, that makes us second class citizens, that makes us subordinates to other groups of people. “Having a man as president even if he is a Yoruba man does not benefit us in any way.
“If we have what we are looking for, if we have restructuring and every zone of the country is more or less substantially in charge of its own affairs, it will not matter to me, who is the President.
“A Yoruba was not the President when the Western region was making progress it was making and we were first in Africa in everything, Yoruba man was not Nigeria’s Prime Minister.
“Once we have restructuring and we are in control of our own affairs, it will not matter to me whether a Yoruba man is President or not”, Okunronmu insisted.