President Muhammadu Buhari would not be supported by the South-West geo-political zone in his quest to secure a second term in office in 2019, unless he starts taking concrete steps on the issue of restructuring of the country now, the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), has declared.
Making the declaration in an interview with Saturday Sun, the Secretary-General, of the group, Dr. Kunle Olajide said, Yoruba would not vote for President Buhari in 2019, unless he starts taking immediate action on restructuring of the country.
“In the Southwest, on restructuring we stand. Restructuring of Nigeria is long overdue. Myriads of woes confronting Nigeria today would have been resolved if restructuring has been carried out.
“At Yoruba Summit held at Adamasingba, Ibadan, last September, over 100 different Yoruba groups collectively agreed with other ethnic nationalities that are clamouring for restructuring of the country. Not only that, it was also resolved that Yoruba will not vote for any candidate that is opposed to restructuring in 2019.
“Unless we restructure, there won’t be peace in Nigeria. Today, a lot of things are wrong with our nation. Do we have peace required to move our nation forward? No. There are lots of grievances, bottled emotion, injustices, and other ills, which can only be addressed through restructuring.
“Today, we are at a standstill, and the only way to move forward is by restructuring,” Olajide declared. While advising President Buhari to take the YCE warning seriously, he said, “ it is the constitutional right of Buhari to seek a second term in office, and it is also the prerogative of his party APC to nominate him as its candidate, but if Buhari wishes to have South-West support by means of votes, he should start taking concrete measures on restructuring of the country now. That is the only way he can get Yoruba votes and support. Without that, he should take his campaign elsewhere. For us in the Southwest, on restructuring we stand’’.
On whether the time between now and 2019 when presidential election would come up is not too short for President Buhari to take any action on restructuring, the YCE scribe said, “time is not in anyway a barrier for Buhari to take action.
If Buhari is serious about restructuring, he doesn’t need donkey years to do that. He can start now by sending executive bills on restructuring to the National Assembly, then other actions will follow.
“But don’t forget that President Buhari has told us before that he doesn’t believe in restructuring of Nigeria. Whether he has changed his mind now or not, we don’t know. But for us in the Southwest, without restructuring, Buhari should forget Yoruba land; we will not give him our votes. Buhari must also put it in black and white about his commitment to restructuring before he can have any hope of support from us in Yoruba land for his second term ambition. This is the collective decision of Yoruba.’’
While insisting that there is no alternative to restructuring, Olajide lamented that Nigeria is careering dangerously on the edge of the slope, adding that Nigeria must return to a proper federation, as obtained in the 1960 and 1963 constitutions.