APC playing games with restructuring, says Mimiko

Olusegun Mimiko

Immediate past governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko has dismissed the report of the All Progressives Congress (APC) committee on restructuring as another ploy to win election.

He hinged his pessimism on the position of President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Year speech, which Mimiko said was against restructuring of the country.

The former governor who said the ruling party was playing games with Nigerians on the issue of restructuring stated this in a paper he presented at the 2018 Yoruba Youth Assembly Lecture with the theme: “National Development, Restructuring and the Yoruba”, held in Ibadan, last week.

He quoted Busari to have said that “Rather than waste useful time tinkering with process, the appropriate thing to do is a wholesale review of the nature of the structure, such that it is reconfigured to be able to deliver on its mandate.”

He said the coming out of the APC to attempt a reformulation of the President’s proposition is needless, as it is doubtful if the party is in a position to veto the president of the nation.

“That President Buhari made this statement in spite of the bold and unequivocal commitment of the APC manifesto to restructuring is also indicative of the questionable pattern in which the party swept its way into office some three years ago. APC can, in the circumstances, safely be accused of promising what it never intended to do,” Mimiko added.

The former governor advised the APC and the President to put their house in order to stop echoing different positions on restructuring, send the bill of its position on restructuring to the National Assembly and use its influence and dominance of the legislative arm at the Federal and State levels, to ensure the swift passage of the bill within the next 2 and 3 months.

According to him, “With its control of the legislative house at the federal and state levels, the APC has capacity to actualize its restructuring agenda before the next election. Then and only then, to my mind, can the nation believe that the born again restructuring mantra is not another vote-catching gimmick.”

Mimiko also noted that while it is noteworthy that the report seemingly endorsed Resource Control Principle, it has brought back the sensitive and controversial onshore/offshore dichotomy issue.

He said, “While I agree that the fears of all part of the country must be allayed as regards resource control, it is important to note that every part of our land is well resource endowed. With the recent advances in power storage technology in batteries, and progressively reducing cost of renewables, we must be constantly reminded that fossil fuel will soon become truly fossil.”

Mimiko, who lamented that the military-imposed unitary constitution has retarded the growth of the Yoruba nation said, “the Yoruba Nation would by now be proud of modern infrastructure, tri-model transportation system – rail, roads and ports, near 100 percent broadband penetration, industrial parks and 24/7 power supply! World class educational and Health facilities would have been built. Democratization of access to education would have been deepened.”

He averred that the country may not move beyond its extant mediocre performance level in development and nation-building as long as it continues to sustain its present structure that is defective and iniquitous. The critical ingredient that has made it impossible for the country’s rise to the fullness of its potentials, according to him, is the warped structure upon which it is predicated.

Moving forward, he posited that an arrangement that allows the Yoruba to use their initiative in the development enterprise, within the context of a federal Nigeria, promises to serve the nation quite well.

According to him, “We would be able to return to our culture, which is premised on social development, and bring back such values that made for social harmony in the past. The good thing about all of these is that, as it is with the Yoruba, so it is with all other ethnic-nations in the regions, those not as homogenous as the Yoruba inclusive.”

He affirmed his conviction that if Nigeria is restructured along this pattern, it would serve as an immediate catalyst for national development and resumption of the development enterprise in Yoruba land.

Mimiko further said that the agitation for restructuring would make no sense if it does not provide the unimpeachable basis for deployment of governance structures for the betterment of the lives of the people. This, according to him is the critical element that provides justification for the restructuring advocacy.

He said, “The advocacies for restructuring, greater democratization, a cleaner electoral process, etc., would amount to nothing if they do not translate into observable good life for our people, and strengthen national unity across our country.”

Other speakers including Dr Kunle Olajide, Secretary General Yoruba Council of Elders, Professor Akin Onigbinde and Akogun Tola Adeniyi in their remarks, corroborated Mimiko’s position and urged the youths to take necessary steps in reorganizing the systems and stop lamenting

Adeniyi who was the chairman of the event in his opening remarks lauded Mimiko for his consistency and commitment to the agitation for a better Nigeria, which according to him, was demonstrated while he was in office as governor.

President of Yoruba Youth Assembly, Olarinde Thomas in his welcome address said the event was in furtherance of the clamour for restructuring.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the parley, the assembly insisted that all structure of administration of the Nigeria judicial system must be reviewed to serve the country better.

They also maintained that the body will collaborate with all well meaning Nigerians and institutions  to resist any attempt  to undermine and or take away the rights of Nigerians to freely express themselves without fear or favour.

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