By Olufemi Ajasa

Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko on Tuesday urged the federal government to implement the 2014 Confab report while stressing the potency of the report to curb forces threatening Nigeria’s existence.

Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, delivering his speech at the 2nd edition of Yoruba summit.

Mimiko who made the statement at the second edition of Yoruba Summit, tagged, “Economic Downturn and Unemployment in Yorubaland.” which held in Akure, Ondo State’s Capital.

The governor maintained that recent events in Nigeria have shown that the centrifugal forces that had continually threatened Nigeria’s national unity and cohesion are not fatigued.

He furthers,“Multiculturalism, which the rest of the world has turned to strength, remains a major challenge to Nigeria. Diversity has become a bitter pill, which the country is constantly forced to swallow when the rest of the world has used same as a launch pad into greatness.

“Today, almost everything keeps separating us. Language has divided us, religion has torn us apart and culture has alienated us. Yet, these could be sources of strength and cohesion.

“Unfortunately, we may remain in this miasma for as long as we deny the need for us to redesign the federation such that we would be able to create multiple centres of development in the true spirit of competitive federalism.

“A great piece of document remains on the table if the present Federal Government will find the courage to implement it. I have in mind here the report of the 2014 National Conference.

“That Conference, Nigerians had an uncommon opportunity to discuss their collective future.

“The 492 Delegates, through consensus, passed over 600 resolutions. The resolutions touched most, if not all, the critical issues that had served as impediments to Nigeria’s rapid development and the attainment of nationhood. The overarching recommendation was the need for political restructuring.

“This is to retain a Federal system of government with States as the federating units, with all the powers and resources thereto. It would allow States that wish to merge do so in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), a possibility that is no longer too far-fetched given the financial crises in which most States of the Federation have now found themselves.

“The restructuring would also accommodate the establishment of State Police to enhance national security. In the economic domain, exploitation of solid minerals would be taken from the Exclusive Legislative List, such that states would be able to harness the solid minerals in their jurisdictions, thus creating employment, generating more revenue and developing at their own pace.

“It is evident that implementation of the 2014 Confab Report has the potential to liberate every part of Nigeria and ultimately, open up the political space. It is only such a courageous move that would extirpate centrifugal forces burgeoning and threatening to tear Africa’s largest nation apart. The latest is the resurgence of the demand for an independent Biafra.

“I use this opportunity to call on the Federal Government to exercise utmost restrain in managing this renewed agitation, which the implementation of the Confab Report would have made otiose.

“The 2014 National Conference Report must, therefore, not be allowed to be confined to the dustbin of history, as it possesses inherent capacities to replace the centrifugal forces threatening the existence of Nigeria with centripetal forces that could build a nation.

“I implore this august body to keep the demand for restructuring and indeed, the implementation of the 2014 National Conference in the front burner of national discourse.”

Meanwhile some leaders of the Yoruba at the occasion stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war would do little in solving Nigeria’s challenges, unless the federation is restructured.

They called for the immediate implementation of the 2014 National Conference, which they said was the only instrument that can bring peace and progress to the nation.

In the communique, the elders said there was urgent need for a federation structure.

They noted that the unrest in some parts of the country, particularly the ongoing agitation of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) could only be resolved if the Buhari’s administration is ready to implement the 2014 Confab report.

While saying that they stand for the unity of Nigeria, the elders insisted that the federal government must look critically into the causes of separatist feelings and initiate constitutional reforms to give a sense of belonging to all constituent units of the country.

They called for a meeting of Yoruba states Governors to fashion out an agenda for cooperation that would leverage on the economic strength of each state to create a conducive atmosphere for entrepreneurs that would empower Yoruba people to float businesses and also create jobs for the unemployed youth.

 

Yoruba leaders in attendance included Afenifere leader, Pa. Reuben Fasoranti, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Olu Falae, Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi (rtd), Ambassador Yemi Farohunbi, Otunba Gani Adams, and Sehinde Arogbofa.

Others were Gen. Raji Rasaki (Rtd) Olanihun Ajayi, Yinka Odumakin, representative of Yoruba Council of Elders, Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo, Yinka Odumakin, Kunle Olajide and Chief Adegboye Onigbinde.

The leaders shortly after the summit, came up with a communique and it was signed by chairmen of Yoruba Unity Forum, (YUF), Gbonigi, Afenifere, Fasoranti, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Adams and Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) Adebayo.

 

 

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