Sunday, June 10, 2018

Buhari announces modality, names dignitaries for conferment of national honours on Abiola, others

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has just released the statement below to announce modalities for the conferment of national honours on late multibillionaire businessman cum politician, Moshood Abiola; late prominent lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi and politician, Babagana Kingibe. Read full statement below. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HONOURS JUNE 12 PRO-DEMOCRACY HEROES Following the historic designation of June 12 as DEMOCRACY DAY and NATIONAL HOLIDAY, Muhammadu Buhari, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, will confer Post-Humous national honours on Chief M.K.O. Abiola as Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR), Chief Gani Fawehinmi as the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON). He will also decorate Ambassador Babagana Kingibe with the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), at an investiture scheduled to take place as follows:- DATE: Tuesday, June 12 2018 VENUE: Conference Hall, State House, Aso Rock Villa, Abuja TIME: 10.00 am 2. Accordingly, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe , the family of the late Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola and that of Chief Gani Fawehinmi , along with the underlisted key players of June 12 struggle are cordially invited: · Members of the National Executive Committee of the SDP including States Chairmen and Secretaries at the time of June 12, 1993 · Governors elected under SDP platform · Former Senate Presidents – Iyorchia Ayu and Ameh Ebute and Speaker Agunwa Anekwe along with Principal Officers of the National Assembly elected under SDP platform · Speakers of the States Assembly elected under SDP platform · All Chairmen of the States Traditional Councils from the six South-Western States · Prof. Wole Soyinka · Mr. Femi Falana, SAN · Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu · Chief Bisi Akande · Ms. Ayo Obe · Bayo Onanuga – The News · Kunle Ajibade – Tempo · Nosa Igiebor – Tell · Kayode Komolafe – Media Hope 93 · Senator Janathan Zwingina – DG Hope 93 · Comrade Frank Ovie Kokori · Prof. Humphrey Nwosu 3. Also invited are Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker Yakubu Dogora, Principal Officers of the National Assembly, Members of the Federal Executive Council and all State Governors. 4. Accommodation has been reserved for all invitees at the NICON Luxury Hotel, Tafawa Balewa Way, area 11, Garki, Abuja from Monday, 11th June 2018. For further inquiries please contact William Alo, Permanent Secretary, Special Duties Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation 5. Invitation letters have been despatched. However, should the invitation arrive late, this publication serves as a formal invitation.


Inside Stuff With MARTINS OLOJA “The Guardian”Sunday JUNE 10, 2018, P.13 Our leaders and the power elite know how to develop and execute political strategy for enlightened self-interest. But they do not know how to develop politics for nation building. And that is why we are a prominent but not a significant nation. We, the people, too always doze off after telling some social media tales, which are full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. And so, our do-nothing leaders know us quite well. They know we like exciting political stories. They haul a lot of them on the front pages and prime time every day for us to debate. Instead of chasing significant issues such as killers in the Middle Belt and North East zones, they chase the prominent but insignificant suspects in the senate. They know how to engage our attention all the time. Give it to them. Our leaders appear to have taken some anointing from Charles Dickens character, Jack Dawkins known as the “Artful Dodger” in the classic, “Oliver Twist”. They are Artful Dodgers indeed. They dodge questions on policy issues and their manifestoes. They dodge questions on their stewardships. They evade questions on their running costs. They don’t want to answer any questions on their security votes. They parry questions on their responsibilities to the people on welfare and security. They don’t want any questions on their assaults on the rule of law and disobedience to court orders. Our leaders are very clever. They always give us opium, which appeases the ‘gods of the belly’. Yes, they have given us another one, a 25-year-old opium called June 12 – a justice once delayed and denied – to the acclaimed ‘most sophisticated’ nation, the Yoruba in Nigeria. Now we are debating. We are wailing and hailing. We had thought that the lanky General of Fulani extraction was not artful, not sophisticated enough to run our affairs. But he has artfully put in our mouths a messy opium garnished with honey that we cannot swallow immediately, nor can we spew out. Behold, the magic of June 12 nurturing the majesty of the law and democracy simultaneously. Before our very eyes, the poor and unknown footballer of yesterday has become today’s soccer maestro, a Lionel Messi, a Christiano Ronaldo even in the media, the iconic Odia Ofeimun once called the ‘Ngbati press’. But who can deny the mastery of the art of politics in this game someone has called scoring of an unexpected ‘hat trick’. A friend of mine (in a long letter to me) noted that in the June 12 Ring, ‘It is a June 12 masterstroke and they are sulking…a single uppercut has left a multitude of knockouts. Ouch!...’ That is the new spirit in town. The lanky, taciturn leader from Daura has indeed stolen some thunder – from Minna, though Otueke to Abeokuta. Yes, the June 12 music might have ended at the Eagle Square on May 29, 1999. But at the moment, a diplomat with a baritone voice inside the powerhouse is saying, the melody is not yet over. We are gathered again at the Abiola’s graveside where we can once again dance the Yoruba’s organic ‘owambe’. There, they can remember the chorus from Lanny Wolfe’s classic, ‘Dancing on the Grave of My Enemies’. “Now I'm dancing on the graves of my enemies; Dancing on the trouble that's been troubling me; I did not know what else to do; But J*.C*, He brought me through” I've come through the fire; I've come through the flood It's nothing else but the blood...; And if you're wondering what I'm dancing about Hallelujah! He brought me out…” Of all the groundswell of views I have read, I have found the one credited to my brother at the “TVC Journalists’ Hangout,” Kolade Babajide Otitoju’s very significant. For whatever it is worth, the June 12 resurrection story is indeed a masterstroke that cannot be denied at this moment. Babajide says, ‘PMB knows how to use his office very well…”That says it all. I would like to add that no one can fault his (President Buhari’s) loan from “the Children of Issachar who the word of God tells me, “had understanding of the times and knew what Israel ought to do”. The declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day and National Honour for M.K.O Abiola does not automatically lead to swinging of so many votes from the Yoruba to the General as being touted. There are still so many rivers to cross in Western Nigeria before this can be an added advantage. First, he has to show federal government projects that can be commissioned anytime soon. The two viable Ports located at Apapa are in Lagos, the commercial capital of Western Nigeria. PMB has to show commitments that General Murtala Mohammed promised the people in a national broadcast to the nation on February 3, 1976 when he proclaimed Abuja as the nation’s new capital. In his broadcast to the nation on February 3, 1976, Murtala had promised that Lagos would not only be designated a “Special Area”, it would be Nigeria’s commercial capital and the deal would be incorporated into the 1979 Constitution then in the works. His words: “…Lagos will, in the foreseeable future, remain the nation’s commercial capital and one of its nerve centres. But in terms of servicing the present infrastructure alone, the committed amount of money and effort required will be such that Lagos State will not be ready to cope. It will even be unfair to expect the state to bear this heavy burden on its own. It is, therefore, necessary for the federal government to continue to sustain the substantial investment in the area. The port facilities and other economic activities in the Lagos area have to be expanded. There is need in the circumstance for the federal government to maintain a special defence and security arrangement in Lagos, which will henceforth be designated a SPECIAL AREA. These arrangements will be carefully worked out and written into the constitution. Kaduna and Port-Harcourt are to be accorded similar status and designated special areas under the constitution...” This promise has to be fulfilled now. There are other weightier matters of infrastructure too in the area. The people would like to celebrate special attention to the Lagos-Ibadan, Shagamu- Ore-Benin Expressway, which is part of the Apapa- related commercial routes. June 12 is politics settled. But the people shall not live by politics alone. Governance after politics will create values for the people. Good road infrastructure will improve security and welfare of the people, the primary purpose of government. It is indeed some leprosy on the people that nineteen years of democracy or civil rule has not affected Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and other critical roads in Western Nigeria. What is more, the President’s commitment to “restructuring of the federation” should also make some way for him in the hearts of the people of Western Nigeria. Don’t believe a report that they are “sophisticated morons” as a political journalist called them on this June 12 revival story at the weekend. They are not. President Buhari should have noted how one good action can be a masterstroke, a big issue that you don’t need to push in the mainstream media. Your good deeds can make a way for you. The June 12 ‘wonder goal’ has been one of such actions. But that is not all. It is risky to dance on the grave of M.K.O Abiola without connecting with the right tunes from the sophisticated orchestra from Western Nigeria. President Buhari should not lose the momentum. He should solidify this with an uncommon commitment to restructuring. There is a little that can be achieved in economic management at this time. The president’s war on corruption has been controversial and meretricious. Even the anti-corruption agencies need restructuring of some sort. The document the Nasir el-Rufai Committee has submitted on this serious thing called restructuring, has been widely hailed. Another ‘hat trick’ can be scored from this, if the president can renew his mind about federalism this week. This is not just for the purpose of re-election. It is about nation building. The 2019 election can be won and the nation can be lost in the process. What then will it profit a president if he wins an election and loses his nation? The foundation of Nigeria has to be revisited for nation building to be meaningful at the moment. It is not about the Western Nigeria. It is about the fate of the most populous black nation on earth. The other thing needful while the symphony is being managed on the grave of Abiola is overhaul of the public service appointments. The President needs to retouch appointments of his security and intelligence chiefs. They have been largely parochial and lopsided. You can’t re-build a fractured nation with this lopsidedness. The president needs to be audacious as he has been with this June 12 redemption song on the grave of Abiola. Whenever people are gathered on this June 12 revival story, event managers in Abuja should pay tributes to heroes of democracy, especially civil society activists and journalists who worked hard with others to deliver this democracy in 1999. People may have forgotten about numerous guerilla journalists who lost their freedom and even lives. Bagauda Kaltho and others paid the supreme sacrifice. “Tell”, “The News”, “The African Guardian” “Tempo”, “Abuja Newsday”, etc suffered in the hand of state terrorists at the time. Some never survived. It is true that Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo(1999-2007) Umaru Musa Yar’Adua (2007-2010) and Goodluck Jonathan (2010-2015) failed to remember the political backgrounds, yes June 12 that set the tone for this democracy they have enjoyed. Most of the beneficiaries and political office holders who have failed to remember this aspect of our political history deserve to be enrolled in a Hall of Shame for “Pissing on the Grave of Abiola” before President Buhari seized the moment. Verily, verily we can say this: Former President Obasanjo should not be disturbed by security agencies at this time. He should be allowed to receive his ‘Medal of Shame’ for ‘Pissing on the Grave of Abiola’. The Prince of the Niger, General IBB who annulled the June 12 1993 election result that would have deepened our nation building and democracy in the country should be given a monument in a good corner of the Eagle Square, Abuja for “Digging the Grave of the President-elect” then. And for failing to go beyond rejection of the naming of the University of Lagos after Abiola, former President Jonathan should also receive his ‘Medal of Shame’ for ‘Dancing Sluggishly on the Grave of Abiola’. That is why PMB should be enrolled in a “Hall of Fame” on June 12. ***There are other nominees for the enrollment into the “Hall of Shame” next week.

Buhari’s award of GCFR to M.K.O Abiola illegal.......Ex-CJN- Belgore

The award of N igeria’s highest national honour on late Moshood Abiola is illegal, a former Chief Justice of Nigeria has told this to newsmen. President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday evening named Mr Abiola, winner of 1993 presidential election that was annulled by former dictator Ibrahim Babangida, a holder of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, GCFR, 20 years after his death in 1998. Alfa Belgore, CJN from 2006-2007, said the national honours cannot be awarded posthumously, much less the GCFR, which is the highest honour in the land. “It is not done,” Mr Belgore said. “It is for people living.” “The only thing they could do is to name a place after him, but national honours award, no,” he added. Mr Belgore, chairman of the 2016 national honours committee, also said he “was not consulted” by the Buhari administration before the decision was taken. Mr Belgore said under the 1963 National Honours Act, only soldiers or other servicemen could be awarded posthumous medals for their bravery. The president also declared that Democracy Day would be celebrated on June 12 to further honour the memory of Mr Abiola. The move has received mixed feelings, with supporters of the government seeing it as a welcomed move while critics dismissed it as a desperate political calculation ahead of 2019 elections in which Mr Buhari has declared he would run for second term.


History remains unkind to those who do NOT learn from History!!!! Posterity too waits in the wings to deal a decisive Judgment on our undiscerning and uncircimspect Present and ask what we did while Nigeria was on fire and our Heritage wrenched from us (God forbid)!!!! Thanks, But No Thanks. In ancient China, Duke Wu of Cheng, felt it was time to take over the powerful kingdom of Hu. Careful not to tell anyone of his devious plan, he married off his daughter to the powerful ruler of Hu. Thereafter he called his cabinet and asked which kingdom should be invaded. Expectedly a member of his cabinet suggested the kingdom of Hu. Duke Wu in a fitting show of anger retorted “the kingdom of Hu is a sister state now. Why do you suggest invading a sister state”? As if to demonstrate his seriousness he had the minister executed for his “unguarded and unreasonable” remarks. The ruler of Hu heard about this and similar friendly gestures of Duke of Wu, including the marriage of his daughter felt unthreatened and took no precautions to defend himself from Cheng. Several weeks later Cheng forces invaded Wu, meeting no resistance took over the kingdom, never to relinquish it. If Buhari likes let him declare the whole month of June as holiday to commemorate June 12 elections considered the freest and fairest elections in the political history of Nigeria. In addition, he can declare the seat of government MKO House, it does not bother me. How does that bring back the winner of the election whose mandate was denied simply because he was a Yoruba man? How does that bring back thousands of our youth who were brutally and mercilessly killed by the Abacha regime for demonstrating for the actualization of the mandate freely given? This was Abacha, the same Buhari served under as PTF Chairman and even proclaimed he was not corrupt despite evidence to the contrary. How does that address thousands of acres of our farmlands destroyed and people killed, including women and children under the present administration, while Buhari maintain his criminal silence. How does that address the forceful take-over of our land and destruction of our local subsistence economy? How does that address thousands of Yoruba youths whose lives have become nasty brutish and short on account of the incompetence of this ruler? As I type this message, my 65-year old brother-in-law has left his family to struggle it out in the Western world, at a time when he should be enjoying his retirement and watching his grandkids. Please tell me how the declaration of June 12 addresses thousands of our youths crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in search of better life because their jobs have been taken over by the less qualified Hausa-Fulani. In almost 15 years of my sojourn in the US, I have never met a Northerner struggling it out here. Yet they say there is unemployment in Nigeria. Or is it that the Yorubas have all of sudden become unemployable? It is time to set our priorities right as a people and a nation and reject any Greek gift. Yes, MKO deserves all the accolades he can get for putting his life on the line for even the semblance of democracy we enjoy, but the gift cannot come from the hands that killed him. *As Dwight Eisenhower said "a people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both".* Our cause is greater than the symbolic representation of a holiday declared. At the appropriate time, when we have achieved our desire and goal, MKO will be immortalized, after all, despite the denial of the federal government over several years, June 12 is still celebrated as a holiday in most of the Western states. What else is new? Except to focus on the big picture: Restructure or split it up. There cannot be any other solution other than that. On this occasion; let’s tell the government “Thanks, But No Thanks”. OLANIYI AYODELE, a voice of reasoning quoted the story of the Duke of Wu from the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene.


They will kill me; they will kill the President Elect, Chief MKO Abiola if I went ahead with the election and announced the winner of the elections which we all know to be Bashorun, Chief MKO Abiola. I know so; I am not daft. He won; he tried. I feel bad about the whole matter. Professor, I do not see how they will spare you because they know you are my principal confidant. You think they do not know you? They know; they know you are with me now. They saw you coming in and they know you are with me now I cannot kill myself for the sake of what the country wants. I am sorry, he lamented. It was astonishing to hear a General state that he could not lay down his life for his country. It was clear that General Babangida was in a fix as of June 21st 1993. I then proceeded to deal with the questions of who were these “they” and for what reasons would they want to kill the President and the President Elect if the June 12 election were allowed to go forward. He named them in military and in ethnic categories: Sani (meaning General Sani Abacha) is opposed to a return to civilian rule. Sani cannot stand the idea of Chief Abiola, a Yoruba becoming his Commander- in- Chief; Sani seems to have the ears of the Norhern leaders that no Southerner especially from the South West should become the President of the country. Sani seems to rally the Northern elders to confront me on the matter. He is winning; the Sultan and the Northern leaders are of this frame of mind. Where do I go from here? They do not trust me. Without Sani, I will not be alive today; without the North, I would not have become an officer in the Nigerian Army and now the President of Nigeria I don’t want to appear ungrateful to Sani; he may not be bright upstairs but he knows how to overthrow governments and overpower coup plotters. He saw to my coming to office in 1985 and to my protection in the many coups I faced in the past, especially the Orkar coup of 1990 where he saved me and my family including my infant daughter.” Sani risked his life to get me into office in 1983 and 1985; if he says he does not want Chief Abiola, I will not force Chief Abiola on him. He also named Lt General Dongoyaro and Brigadier General David Mark as those who were against Chief Abiola. In fact, he quoted David Mark as saying: I’d shoot Chief Abiola the day NEC( National Electoral Commission) pronounces him the elected President! Hmmmm!!! Same David Mark went to Senate and became Senate President in a democracy that MKO Abiola died for. SOURCE:THE TALE OF JUNE 12: THE BETRAYAL OF THE DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS OF NIGERIANS BY PROFESSOR OMO OMORUYI.


by Otedo News Update The Abuja Declaration The Abuja Declaration is the name frequently given to the communiqué issued after the Islam in Africa conference held in Abuja , Nigeria between 24 and 28 November 1989 . The conference was organised by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (at that time called the Organisation of Islamic Conference ) and it agreed to set up the Islam in Africa Organisation (IAO ) . Declaration The declaration was to the effect that Muslims should unite throughout Africa, the curricula at "various educational establishments " should conform to Muslim ideas , the education of women should be attended to, the teaching of Arabic should be encouraged , and Muslims should support economic relations with Islamic areas worldwide . It noted that Muslims in Africa had been deprived of rights to be governed under sharia law and they should strengthen their struggle to reinstate it . The Islam in Africa Organisation ( nl) was formally established in July 1991, also in Abuja and it has stated its objectives. Commentary John Chesworth (director of Islam and Christian - Muslim relations at St Paul ' s United Theological College, Limuru, Kenya ) and John Azumah (senior research fellow , Akrofi -Christaller Memorial Centre, Ghana ) have reviewed the proceedings at the conference . On the decision to set up the IAO, Heather Deegan (senior lecturer in Comparative Politics, Middlesex University ) has commented "More recently Islam has adopted a liberating posture , presenting itself as a religion which will rest countries from their neocolonial dependencies and ignoring the fact that it too was a conquering and colonising force in Africa over the longue durée ." The East African Centre for Law and Justice reports the declaration verbatim but goes on to quote two other objectives which it says were omitted from the IAO website. It also severely criticises what it regards as the real objectives of the IAO. Raphael O Duru (Project Director , Voice Your Vote Nigeria , Nigeria ) Alternative declaration In 1990 another declaration was promulgated purporting to be from the 1989 conference and which Frans Wijsen ( professor of World Christianity and Interreligious Relations at Radboud University Nijmegen ) regards as a forgery because it does not correspond with declarations made at the conference . Regarding Africa, it said , amongst other things , that only Muslims should be appointed to strategic posts, non - Muslim religions should be eradicated, Nigeria should become a Federal Islamic Sultanate , and western law should be replaced with sharia . Wijsen regards this as indicating a more militant aspect of Islam in Africa and comments that some aspects directly conflict with official Islamic teaching. Source : Wikipedia , Share widely until those who always shout..... IT'S NOT POSSIBLE TO ISLAMIZE NIGERIA.. see this declaration. Other religions are in trouble in One Nigeria .

All is quiet on the western front

BEFORE WE LOSE SIGHT OF WHAT IS IMPORTANT By Dare Babarinsa, THE GUARDIAN Let me start with a confession. I have not read the manifesto of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. However, I had expected that one of the new grounds the party would cultivate is the abandon forest of constitutional reforms. So far, it has shied away from this. Indeed, some of the pronouncements of its red-cap chiefs suggest that it is militantly opposed to any form of constitutional amendment. We may recall that President Muhammadu Buhari, before he was halted by illness, had said on national television that he would have nothing to do with the reports of the Constitutional Conference brokered by his pliant predecessor, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. It is not out of point to regard the APC as the successor-political estate of Chief M.K.O Abiola, the great man whose sacrifice formed the cornerstone of our struggle against military rule. Indeed when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was sworn-in as the elected successor to General Abdulsalami Abubakar, many of the leaders of the struggle regarded him as an undeserving beneficiary of Abiola’s great struggle. It is a fact of history nonetheless that Obasanjo had suffered as much as, if not more, than most of the leadership of the opposition. It was not surprising therefore that Obasanjo paid scant attention to the call for the restructuring of the Federation. As President, he played his game as an advocate of a strong Federal Government. He and members of the military class, especially those who spent their youths fighting in the Civil War, are suspicious of the call for constitutional reforms. They fear it might spiral out of control. I disagree. Therefore, when the APC was swept into power over the debris of Jonathan’s House of Commotion, we believed change has come. It is true that the new President is a born-again military dictator. He was surrounded during the campaign by our leaders who had been with us for many years in the call for the restructuring of Nigeria. They eventually brought him to power. Since then, we have been waiting for him to kick start the process of constitutional reforms that would usher in a new era of change for Nigeria. The change is necessary for without it, the future of the republic would be uncertain. The structure of Nigeria has been a matter of contention right from colonial times. Indeed, shortly after the amalgamation of 1914, some of the top colonial officers have argued that the Northern and Southern Protectorates should share the Niger and Benue rivers as the natural boundaries. But this was opposed by Lugard who regarded the North as his own territory. Indeed for sometime, he was both Governor-General of Nigeria and Governor of the Northern Protectorates. However, when the Western and Eastern Protectorates were created, the River Niger at Asaba was used as their common boundary. At the last Constitutional Conference in London before independence, our leaders and the colonial officers could not agree on the creation of additional regions as demanded by the minority ethnic groups. In the end, they set up the Willink Commission to look for way to “allay the fears of the minorities.” By the time of the first coup in 1966, many parts of Nigeria were in ferment over agitations for new regions. The Tiv revolt was raging and Chief Joseph Tarka and many of his leading lieutenants were often in detention or in prisons. In the South-South, the Izons (Ijaw) under the leadership of Isaac Adaka Boro, were in open revolt. Attempts to talk things over failed when the Leaders of Thoughts Conference, called by Colonel Yakubu Gowon, collapsed in 1966 as a fatal prelude to the Civil War. It was in the attempt to solve the problem that General Yakubu Gowon created the 12 states federal structure in 1967. Today, Nigeria has 36 states and the Abuja Federal Capital Territory. By the time Abiola was running for the Presidency in 1993, it was clear that the federation was no longer working. There were simply too many states, too many governors, too many commissioners, too many government agencies and extra-ministerial bodies. Then General Sani Abacha seized power in 1993 and the following year, Abiola was thrown into detention. The resolutions of all the Afenifere leadership at all its meetings in Owo, Ondo State, under the leadership of Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin, from 1994 onward was that Abiola must be released from detention unconditionally and he must be allowed to exercise his mandate by forming a Government of National Unity. The duty of the Government of National Unity would be three: to restructure Nigeria so that the federating units would be between six and eight regions, to revert to parliamentary system and to practise fiscal federalism. But Abiola died suddenly in July 1998 one month after the death of Abacha. The death of Abiola, however, did not change the political focus. The leadership of Afenifere now led by Senator Abraham Aderibigbe Adesanya had waged the struggle with many powerful allies including opposition National Democratic Coalition led by Chief Anthony Enahoro, the Eastern Mandate Union led by Chief Arthur Nwankwo and the Middle-Belt Congress led by Chief Solomon Lar among others. All the leaders were agreed that Nigeria was ripe for a restructuring. Which way to go was the problem. The attention by 1998 was focused on who would be the President and carry out the desired restructuring of the federation. Chief Anthony Enahoro, who was in exile in Maryland, USA, declined to run for the Presidency because he would not agree to the transition programme of the military without restructuring preceding it. Indeed, he regarded Afenifere participation in the transition programme as an act of cowardice if not outright betrayal. In the end, both Chief Bola Ige and Chief Olu Falae made a go for it with Falae wining the presidential ticket of the Alliance for Democracy, AD, alliance with the All Peoples Party, APP. Falae’s running mate was Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi of the APP. The Afenifere leadership also attempted to sell the restructuring idea to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Obasanjo. Attempt to hold a meeting at the Ore-Close, Surulere, residence of Otunba Solanke Onasanya ended in a fiasco as Obasanjo insisted on coming to the meeting with a large entourage which included the late Chief Sunday Afolabi and Donald Duke, then the governorship candidate of the PDP for Cross River State. When he came to power, Obasanjo tried reluctantly to play the card when he appointed a Constitution Review Committee under the leadership of veteran Awoist, Chief Ayo Adebanjo. As soon as it was set up, the committee virtually became an orphan. Now the people of the South-West regard the current ruling party as their own child. Its leading lights have appropriated the leadership of the Yoruba people and it is expected that they would champion the cause of their people in the ruling party. So why are most of them silent now and why are they shy about discussing The Yoruba Agenda which has been documented in a pamphlet of the same title? In 1996 also, The Family Handbook of Idile Oodua, a pan-Yoruba organization, also declares: “We re-affirm the determination of the Yoruba people to live under one government of an autonomous region within the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We believe that the formation of such an autonomous region is the inalienable right and duty of the Yoruba people.” Now the APC is in power and there is silence on the Western Front. This must be due to the complicity or the compliance of the Yoruba leaders within the APC for they cannot claim ignorance about what the Yoruba want. They know the quest for regionalism and parliamentary democracy is not to weaken Nigeria, but to strengthen it. If the regions are strong, then our federation would be strong and it would not be constantly harassed by Boko Haram and similar evil brigades. Why should our people in Ado-Ekiti wait for the Federal Government to construct a rail line from Ado to Lagos when this can be done by our regional government? The silence on the Western Front gives one the tingling feeling that there is not much difference between the old power brigade and the new one. Indeed, the APC is like the PDP minus the PDP. In truth, not every part of our great country would welcome the idea of regionalism and parliamentary democracy. But that should not make the political elite of the South-West to pretend that they are unaware of the Yoruba Agenda or The Family Handbook, both of which enunciated why Yorubaland should have a single government within the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This was also the position at the controversial Jonathan National Conference. In 1995, before he fled into exile, Chief Enahoro, a natural-born patrician, addressed the meeting of Afenifere in Owo, at the country home of Chief Ajasin. Chief Enahoro declared at that meeting held at the height of Abacha dictatorship: “If other people are willing to go into slavery, I am not obliged to follow them.”