A renowned Yoruba Intelligentsia Group, Voice of Reason (VOR) yesterday advised President Muhammadu Buhari to book his place in history by taking actions that strengthen the unity of Nigeria.
The group made up of egg heads of professionals in a state of the nation address in Lagos said the President must support the restructuring of Nigeria’s political, economic and social structures.
They said a more federal structure “will see more resources, power and responsibilities transferred to the federating units and engender healthy competition amongst the federating units as we saw in the First Republic.”
Chairman of the group, Dr. Olufemi Adegoke who addressed the press conference attended by over 50 Yoruba professionals called on President Buhari to take over governance of the country and purge his administration of “many unelected characters currently ruling the country by proxy.”
The group decried what he called the “executive lawlessness” in the government of President Buhari making allusion to the invasion of the National Assembly in 2018 and the recent case of Omoyele Sowore, the convener of the Revolution Now movement.
Adegoke said the group wouldn’t want to believe it was the President who has been “directing all these excesses of his appointed officials.”
“He however needs to rise up to the oath of his office and protect our hard-worn democracy. Today, he represents our hopes for its sustenance by virtue of the office he occupies and we call on him to uphold the banner. He must be able in four years hand over the banner without stain,” he said.
They urged the President to stop the perception that only court decisions that favour the Government are acceptable and deserving of being enforced.
According to the group, there have been too many cases in which court decisions are flouted by, in particular, the DSS.
The group added, “As keen observers of the goings-on in the polity, we state without any equivocation that the President needs to act urgently not only to restore his integrity and align his lofty rhetoric with his actions but to regenerate in Nigerians faith that it is possible to have leaders that can serve all without discrimination.
“The “born again democrat” garb lent to the President on the eve of 2015 election needs a lot of stitches to hang well on the wearer. Democracy does not end with multi-party elections. It includes the fairness, transparency and integrity of the electoral process; absolute respect for the rule of law; protection of the independence of the institutions of democracy (Parliament and the Judiciary).
“We urge the President to borrow a leaf from General Gowon and do that which will strengthen the unity of Nigeria by leading the fight to restructure Nigeria, renew the citizens’ commitment to Nigeria, galvanise everybody’s energy to build a nation where no one is oppressed, show by example the need to reduce cost of governance, restore the rule of law, rededicate himself to defending democracy, protect all citizens’ human rights and deepen the fight against corruption by introducing reforms in Government processes that still allow for the kind of innovative consultancy that hands over collection Government revenue to cronies of those in Government.
“President Buhari needs deep reflection and his genuine friends need to help him focus on leaving an enviable legacy. It is not too late. He has three years to go. We pray for the sake of Nigeria and his place in history he takes our admonition in good faith and act.”