Why restructuring is key to unity-Akinrinade

Nigerians must come together to deliberate on the terms and conditions of living together as a nation, Gen. Alani Akinrinade s

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Nigerians must come together to deliberate on the terms and conditions of living together as a nation, Gen. Alani Akinrinade said yesterday, even as he expressed support for the unity of the country.

In the view of the former National Democratic Coalition (NADECO leader, for Nigeria to have an organised nation, the laws made by the military that “we are still running is not at peace with anybody, It cannot lift us all up, let alone one part at the expense of the other.”

Gen. Akinrinade bared his mind yesterday at the inauguration of a new office building for the Yoruba Academy, at Agodi Government Reservation Area (GRA), Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

The Yoruba Academy, which is committed to promoting modern democratic life of Yoruba race, acquired the office building on a N14 million lease agreement from Oyo State government for 25 years.

Gen. Akinrinade, who facilitated the lease agreement with Governor Abiola Ajimobi, admitted that there were a lot of cheating and irritations in the law bequeathed to the nation by the military.

He declared: “We must have to sit together and reorganise; we need to restructure and if we don’t, we will continue to dilly-dally and that is what the Yoruba are saying and it’s been a while they have been saying it.”

On regionalism, Gen. Akinrinade said it would bring a lot of development, should Nigeria returns to regional government.

His words: “Yes, it is possible. Just that it might be difficult. But whatever is not difficult might not need anybody to sit together and address.

“In due course, all our eyes will be opened and we will all see that, there is no way we can make progress with our current structure and there are lots of cheating of some people at the expense of others.

“Why won’t there be cheating, when we started, Lagos and Kano had 20 local governments each, but later, from Kano they cut out Jigawa and they have 71 local government areas in all.

“The matter won’t have been seen as a cheating or get anybody angry if it was that the money each of the state spend is the ones generated on their own, but the money spent are from the same purse.

“The revenues that made from the products some states refused to allow their sales are been shared and expended by such states. Recently, there was the story of a state governor in one of the Sharia states who obstructed a vehicle conveying beer and asked that all the products be destroyed, yet, the money generated from states where same products are been sold are been shared to all the states. How won’t that be seen as cheating. So, it is good that all the states run their separate lives.

“When some states said they wanted to do Sharia, what is my business with that? I cannot ask you not to do Sharia but don’t just bring it to my state. If that is what their people want, let them go ahead and anyone of us from here who wants to go there would also know that, that was what they are doing there, and you must be ready to abide by their laws. But let it be clear that it is not the same laws that bind all of us together.

“Back in those days, the Arewa states have their own laws. The laws they apply to arresting thieves is called penal code. And we have ordinary something similar to British code. It is very different. They have been using Sharia that endorses cutting of arms for a long time, just that we didn’t hear about it. If that’s what they want, it’s fine by everyone.

“Because of such things, let us sit down, whatever we can do together, let us do it together and whatever we cannot do together, let us separate them.”

In a lecture titled: “The imperative for the Yoruba Academy”, Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission Director-General Oluseye Oyeleye, described the academy as an institution charged with the task of bringing together everyone committed to engaging in, encouraging and funding research and systematic reflections on the history, culture, position and future of the Yoruba in the context of Nigeria and in a globalised world.

According to him, the academy is an institutional framework for the totality of learning and development of Yoruba as a people.

At the inauguration were: Afenifere Renewal Group , Chairman Olawale Oshun; Prof Ladipo Adamolekun; football legend Segun Odegbami; Ayo Afolabi, Princess Shola Alara; Femi Odere; Femi Egbedeyi; Dr. Adepeju Adigun and Dr. Iyabo Bashir; among others.


The Nation