By Ndubuisi Orji
The pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, has faulted Vice President Yemi Osinbajo over his statement that restructuring the country would not make any difference.
In a statement issued yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin, the group said Osinbajo missed the restructuring debate by reducing it to an issue of making more money available to the states.
It said beyond resources, the country is bogged down by bloated bureaucracies that leaves little or nothing for development while the central police force has proved incapable of tackling crime in the country.
“The country is reeling under crime today and the single police we currently maintain has proved incapable of dealing with the situation. When you listen to commissioners of police lamenting at the scenes of crime these days you will think they are part of passers-by terrified by the horror of crime. It is clear we need multi-level policing to combat crime and have effective policing .
“From the federal down to states and local governments today, we are bogged down with overbloated bureaucracies that consume as much as 90 per cent of available resources and with little or nothing left for development.
“We must address how long we want to travel with this culture of waste and to see if we cannot develop better governance with a manageable architecture,” it stated.
“According to Afenifere, the central plank of restructuring is for Nigeria to go back to the 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 and not be reporting at Prof Osinbajo’s office for bailout from a centre that only corners what belongs to the states.They would also have enough to contribute to sustain the occupiers of Abuja and the functions that are allowed to them.
“The question of diversification is a point that advocates of restructuring have canvassed as it makes no sense for a country as vast in resources like Nigeria to depend on a mono-product economy. It is part of restructuring we are talking about.
“The restructuring package has a whole wide range of issues that have to do with justice administration, electoral system and its cost implications, conflicts arising from clash of cultures and how to deal with them to ensure peaceful co-existence.
“Yes there is a minority that is insisting that we must continue the way we are the way the minders of some empires that have disappeared from the wired map did.The Vice President is free to cast his lot with this group even when silence could have been golden but he should at least try to acquaint himself with the issues so people are not wondering what are we talking and what is he saying,” the statement noted.