Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has come under intense criticism from a prominent Yoruba group and an Igbo leader for opposing the restructuring of the country.
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo
We reported it here yesterday that while delivering the second foundation lecture at the Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State over the weekend, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo shrugged off calls to restructure Nigeria, saying it is not helpful and will not make any difference.
The Afenifere, a Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, on Monday, fired back at the vice-president for his criticisms of the calls for the restructuring of the nation, saying the country's number two citizen, missed the point.
According to Punch, the group who said the VP 'may have been under pressure' from the Presidency to support'upholders of the status quo', regretted that the latest comment against restructuring came from Osinbajo who is from the South-West, which had always made a strong point for the restructuring of Nigeria.
The statement read in part, “The Vice-President in the faux pas also argued that if states were given half of the resources of the Federal Government, it would not make any difference and that all we need is to diversify into agriculture.
“While we understand that the learned professor, who is from the zone that has been loudest in this call, may have come under pressure to lend his voice to the upholders of the status quo that has brought Nigeria to this sorry pass, we would like to respectfully admonish him to be sure-footed on the subject before he speaks next time.
“He misses the entire debate by engaging in the reductionist argument, narrowing the whole issue to taking more money from the Federal Government to the states. Yes, fiscal federalism is part of the argument but the issue goes beyond the monthly Federal Allocation Committee.”
Odumakin said the central plan of restructuring was for Nigeria to go back to true practice of federalism wherein, mineral resources that abound in all states would be freed from the exclusive list so that states would move into prosperity, adding that this would free the states from “reporting at Osinbajo’s office for bailout from a centre that only corners what belongs to the states.”
Furthermore, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, a former Governor of the old Anambra State, believed Osinbajo lacked a proper understanding of the problems besetting the country.
“I am not sure the Vice-President was heard rightly. But if he actually said that, he cannot be right. Does he want to join President (Muhammadu) Buhari against the whole country?
“Restructuring is what will keep us together in view of the prevailing economic challenges. It will reduce the cost of governance. It makes our diversity to be positive. It is either we return to the six(three) regional structures or 12 regional units.
“There have been agitations from the North, the South and even the Middle Belt are all clamouring for restructuring.
"Restructuring is an idea in which Nigerians have agreed is the solution to the problems posed by our dysfunctional federalism. All are clamouring for restructuring; so Osinbajo cannot be right.”