RESTRUCTURING: YORUBA LEADERS INSIST NIGERIA RETURN TO 1960, 1963 CONSTITUTIONS

Prominent Yoruba leaders that include governors, former governors, former ministers, royal fathers, elder statesmen and academicians from the six South West states, Kwara and Kogi states, on Thursday converged on Ibadan for a Yoruba summit titled, "Yoruba Standpoint on Restructuring", insisting that the country must return to a proper federation as obtained in 1960 and 1963 constitutions.

In a 16-point communique signed by Chairman of the event, Mr Afe Babalola and Chairman of the Planning Committee, Mr Kunle Olajide, the summit said this had been the position of the Yoruba nation since 1950 Ibadan conference, stating that developments in the country over the last 50 years reinforced this conviction.

Present at the event were the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, representatives of the Alaafin of Oyo; Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, representatives of governors of Oyo, Ondo, Ogun and Osun states; former governor of Ondo State, Mr Olusegun Mimiko, Afenifere leaders, Mr Reuben Fasoranti, Mr Ayo Adebanjo and Mr Olu Falae.

Others include former Governor of Ogun State, Mr Gbenga Daniel; Mr Iyiola Omisore, Mr. Jelili Adesiyan, Mr. Yinka Odumakin; Mrs Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu; Mr Femi Fani Kayode, Prof. Ebun Sonaiya, Mr Idowu Sofola, Mr Gani Adams, Mr Deji Osibogun, Mr Doyin Okupe, Mr Femi Ojudu, and Mr Niyi Akintola.

President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Mr John Nwodo led a delegation from the South East that include Mr Ike Nwachukwu, Mr Walter Ofonagoro and Balogun Ndigbo of Ibadanland and Oyo State, Mr Alloy Obi while Mr Albert Horsfall led the delegation from the South-South.

The communique read in part, "That Yoruba are clear that restructuring does not mean different things to different people other than that a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria can only know real peace and 

development if it is run ONLY along federal lines.

"That the greatest imperatives of restructuring Nigeria is to move from a rent-seeking and 

money sharing anti-development economy to productivity by ensuring that the federating 

units are free to own and develop their resources. They should pay agreed sums to the federation purse to implement central services.

"That the federating units- whether states, zones or regions must themselves be governed by written constitution to curb impurity at all levels.

"Nigeria shall be a federation comprised of six regions and the federal capital Territory, 

Abuja.

"The Federal Government shall make laws and only have powers in relation to items specified on the legislative list contained in the constitution of the Federation.

"The Regions shall in turn be composed as states.

"Each Region shall have its own constitution containing enumerated exclusive and 

concurrent legislative lists regarding matters upon which the regions and the states may act or legislate.

"Contiguous territories, ethnic nationalities or settlement shall be at liberty through a

plebiscite, to elect to be part of any contiguous region other than the region in which the 

current geo-political zone or state boundaries places them.

"States as presently comprised in the geo-political zones into which they fall, which shall 

become regions, shall continue to exercise the executive, legislative and judicial functions currently exercised at that level of government.

"The States with a region shall determine the items on the legislative lists in the Regional 

constitution for the purpose of good government and the administration and provision of common inter-state social, economic and infrastructural requirements. Residual powers shall be vested in the states.

"The power to create states shall be within the exclusive powers of the region which shall be obliged to create a state provided a plebiscite is conducted, following a request by an agreed percentage of the residents of the ethnic nationality within a state. The procedure for conducting a plebiscite and the percentage of any ethnic nationality shall be out in the regional constitution.

"The power to create local governments and assign functions to them shall be vested in the states.

"States shall be entitled to manage all resources found within their boundaries and the revenue accruing therefrom. The issue of the entitlement of littoral states to offshore 

resources and the extension of such rights from the continental shelf and rights accuring to the federal government shall be determined by the national assembly.

"The sharing ration of all revenues raised by means of taxation shall be 50% to the states, 35% to the regional government and 15% to the government of the federation.

"For a period of 10 years from the commencement of the operation of the new constitution (or such other agreed period to be enshrined in the federal constitution) there shall be a special fund for the development of all minerals in the country.

The Government of the federation shall raise this sum by way of additional taxation on resources at a rate to be agreed by the National Assembly.

The National Assembly shall set up a body to manage the funds with equal representation of nominees from each of the Regional governments

and shall also set out and out and specify the guidelines for the administration of the funds exclusively for this purpose. The president of the Federation shall appoint a chairperson 

for the entity so formed.

That these agreed positions of the Yoruba taken today shall form the basis of negotiations."

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