Immediate past governor of Ondo State, Mr Olusegun Mimiko, has said the report of All Progressives Congress committee on restructuring will reignite already settled controversial onshore/offshore dichotomy in oil production revenue.
He said although the report seemingly endorsed the Resource Control Principle, it brought back the sensitive and controversial onshore/offshore dichotomy issue.
The APC committee submitted its report last week, renewing hope that the federal government will at last heed the clamour for the review of the structure of the country.
The committee headed by the Kaduna State Governor, Mr Nasir El-Rufai, while submitting its report, noted that it was clear during its research that Nigerians wanted the structure for the country changed.
Some of the key recommendations are resource control, making local government run by states, constitutional amendment to allow merger of states, state police, state court of appeal and independent candidacy.
Mimiko, along with leaders of Afenifere, pan-yoruba socio-political group, had been clamouring for the implementation of the 2014 national conference report, which made restructuring of the country its focus.
The former governor spoke while delivering a lecture on Thursday at the 2018 Yoruba Youth Assembly Lecture with the theme: “National Development, Restructuring and the Yoruba,” in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
“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,” said Mimiko.
“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.”
He expressed his lack of confidence in APC’s commitment to restructuring with President Muhammadu Buhari’s stand in his New Year message that it was the process of governance in Nigeria rather than the structure that required some tinkering.
“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 recommended.
“That the President’s political party, APC, came out very quickly 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 Mr Buhari made his statement in spite of the bold and unequivocal commitment of 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 advised APC and the president to put their house in order and stop echoing different positions on restructuring, and “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 two and three months.”
“With its control of the legislative house at the Federal and State level, APC has capacity to actualize its restructuring agenda before the next (2019) election. Then and only then, to my mind, can the nation believe that the born again restructuring mantra is not another vote catching gimmick,” he added.
Mimiko also recalled how the military imposed unitary constitution, which had retarded the growth of the Yoruba nation, noting that “the Yoruba Nation would have 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.”
The former governor feared that the country might not move beyond its extant mediocre performance level in development and nation-building as long as it continued 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, is the warped structure upon which it is predicated,” he asserted.
Mimiko further recommended that an arrangement that allows Yoruba to use their initiative in the development enterprise, within the context of a federal Nigeria, would serve the nation well.
“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,” he said.
“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 was restructured, 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.
“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,” Mimiko posited.
Other speakers; former Secretary of the Yoruba Council of Elders, Mr Kunle Olajide, scholars such as Mr Akin Onigbinde and Mr Tola Adeniyi in their respective remarks strengthened the position of Mimiko on restructuring and urged the youths to take necessary steps in reorganizing the systems and stop lamenting.
Adeniyi, who chaired the occasion, also lauded Mimiko for his consistency and commitment to the agitation for a better Nigeria, which he demonstrated while in office as Ondo State governor.
President of Yoruba Youth Assembly, Mr Olarinde Thomas, in his welcome address said the event was in furtherance of the clamour for restructuring .
Dignitaries at the events include former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, Mr Yemi Farounmbi, and a governorship aspirant of PDP in Oyo state, Mr Seyi Makinde, among others.