Leader of the Pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, has advised Nigerians not to fall for the restructuring campaign by the northern states, saying that the Fulanis do not understand what restructuring is.
Adebanjo said this at the Lying-In-State programme of the late Spokesman of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin held at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos.
Adebanjo added that to restructure the country was not to divide the country, saying President Muhammadu Buhari is not in the best position to tell him that united Nigeria is better than divided Nigeria.
“The Fulani don’t understand what restructuring is. They think to restructure Nigeria is to divide Nigeria. Buhari is not the one to come to teach me on united Nigeria when I have been preaching it when he was in primary school.
“The northeast where there is Boko Haram now, I spent one year there, when Pa Awolowo sent me to campaign in 1979 for the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). If I don’t believe in One Nigeria, why would I go there,” he said.
Adebanjo said that he has invested more in a united Nigeria than Buhari, adding that to restructure Nigeria was to bring back the constitution agreed to by the founding fathers of the country at independence before Nigeria can stay together.
Adebanjo added that the restructuring Afenifere was preaching is the one that goes in line with federalism, saying that Nigeria cannot be restructured under the current 1999 constitution.
He stated that Buhari was encouraging succession, saying that it was Afenifere that wants Nigeria to stay united.
“They mention Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho. Igboho represents the youths. And if the country is not restructured, we will have more Nnamdi Kanus and Igbohos.
“Yinka served Nigeria and Yoruba nation. He is fearless, courageous. Many young activists who started like Yinka have fallen by the way side. As a human being, it will be difficult to replace him. We have not found a young man like him who believes in a cause and fight it selflessly.
“God replace Yinka quickly for us . As for you the activists present here, if you believe in him, continue the spirit he committed himself, continue in his fearless, courage. Once you believe in a cause, you purse it.
” Yinka was away when some rebels in Afenifere formed Afenifere Renewal Group but immediately he discovered the evil in those rebels, he moved back to us to champion the real cause. We did not attract him with any money as we were not in power. He joined us in the fight for justice. The time he came back to us, we felt his presence.
“Since he had been with me, I have not met a man of his character. If he disagreed with you, he has a reason. He was a man who believed in argument and submit to superior argument. It is not his age we are gathered for but what he stands for,” said Adebanjo.
Also in his speech, the Aare Ona kankafo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, said that Odumakin was a trusted comrade whom he can vouch for in the days of struggle.
Adams said that the death of Odumakin has created vacuum which would be hard to fill, adding that he was a true apostle of true federalism.
The former governor of Anambra state, Dr Peter Obi, in his comments, said that the greatest problem of Nigeria are the politicians, urging them to work and serve the country for the sake of late Odumakin.
Former governor of Ondo state, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, said late Odumakin was a true activist who stood for restructuring till his death.
Mimiko said restructuring is an idea that has come to stay and that politicians should recommit themselves to the Nigeria of Odumakin’s dream.