The Pan Yoruba Socio- political group, Afenifere yesterday tackled the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan over the call on the Southern Governors Forum to restructure their states before talking of restructuring at the National level.
The mainstream Yoruba group said the Senate President was jittery over the decision of the governors in the South to unite over the insecurity in the country, as he had never expressed misgivings over similar meeting by the Northern governors.
The Secretary General of the group, Chief Sola Ebiseeni, in a statement yesterday, said a similar meeting of the Northern governors was attended by the Secretary to Government of the Federation(SGF), Service Chiefs and Inspector General of Police.
Ebiseeni said the position of the Senate President that governors should first ensure restructuring in their states: “Is a display of unpardonable ignorance by the head of the National Assembly, who ought to know that restructuring is not at the act, omission or pleasure of any government or individual state actor, but a holistic overhaul of the structure and character of the state, enshrined in the constitution and binding nilly-willy.”
He said the scepticism of the people on the incapacity of the National Assembly to bring about any meaningful restructuring is justified by this expressed mind-set of Senator Lawan. Afenifere, however, commended the Southern Governors Forum for taking far reaching decisions on the security situation in the country at the Asaba, Delta State meeting.
Ebiseeni said the southern ethnic nationalities are more agreeable among themselves as religious crisis is completely non-existent, neither are there interethnic territorial contests or the fear of territorial ambition by any ethnic nationality to possess the land and dominate any other group.
According to him, the South is completely united in the quest for restructuring of the federation, devolution of powers to the constituent states of the federation.
He said all the states in the South suffer from insecurity imposed on their people by ethnic Fulani terrorists herdsmen and related kidnapping and armed banditry.
The statement reads in part: “It is so embarrassing and most unfortunate that under General Muhammadu Buhari, armed ethnic militias in the guise of herding animals would attack, sack and occupy communities while the people are relocated to IDP camps.
“The Southern Governors Forum is the logical response to the need for a common platform for unity of purpose for development and fight against insecurity and all forms of criminality.
“The same powers exercisable by some northern states banning trading in alcohol and destroying such wares in hundreds of millions of naira, belong- ing mainly to southerners, is not different from same by Southern or any state regulating the business of animal husbandry necessitating the ban of open grazing and transporting animals by foot.”
The group said the resolutions contained in the communique are national and most patriotic in their concept and applicability as panacea for peaceful coexistence and development of Nigeria.
It added that every raised in the meeting are indices of a true federal state, which include state police, devolution of powers to the federating states, review of the revenue formula, reflection of the Federal character in appointments including at the commanding heights of the economy and national security.