There has been so much hue and cry about the outcome of the meeting of the Southern Governors held in Asaba, Delta State on Tuesday May 11, 2021.
The well attended meeting which has been dubbed “Asaba Declaration” has become the major talking point for commentators of socio-political developments in the country.
Sadly, rather than examine the issues raised by the governors on its merit, some unpatriotic elements have been feasting on the matter with contempt and bias. To them, the southern governors shouldn’t have committed themselves to what is not favorable to a section of the country.
Leading the pack of the anti-Asaba forces are the Senate President himself, Dr Ahmad Lawan, who faulted the Southern Governors call for the restructuring of the country, saying it was wrong for elected officials to lead such agitation.
Lawan had said: “I believe that, as leaders, especially those of us who are elected into office, should not be at the forefront of calling for this kind of thing. Because, even if you are a governor, you are supposed to be working hard in your state to ensure that this restructuring you are calling for at the federal level, you have done it in your state as well.
“What you may accuse the Federal Government of, whatever it is, you may also be accused of the same thing in your state. So, we are supposed to ensure that we have a complete and total way of ensuring that our systems at the federal, state and even local government levels work for the people”.
Lawan is entitled to his opinion but to kick against holding a national dialogue and restructuring of the country is irrational, ridiculous and unpatriotic. Just like the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Kunle Oluomo, said, Lawan’s comment has exposed his “premeditated position” against the Asaba Declaration.
The Senate President and his likes should know that restructuring is the only thing that is capable of guaranteeing the unity of the country. If we must halt the insistence on the disintegration of the country, then it has to be done by restructuring. There is no other way out.
So, rather than villify the governors, they should be commended for rising up to speak in consensus and beyond political party and ethnic lines. The stands of the governors were beyond regionalism as Lawan will want the world to believe.
Lawan himself knows that on paper, the governors are the Chief Security Officers of their states but in operational sense, they are not because of the flawed and lopsided federal system, yet he wants them to start addressing their agitations from their states, simply because “charity begins at home”.
Lawan should know that most people do not believe in the National Assembly because by common knowledge it is a product of the existing fraudulent constitution and so their attempt to amend the constitution is also suspicious, immoral and illogical. It is therefore laughable that a product of fraud wants to amend the fraud itself.
If Lawan’s comment on the Asaba meeting was repulsive, the remarks by Usman Yusuf, former NHIS Executive Secretary is repugnant, vexatious and a huge insult on the leaders and people of the southern region.
Usman Yusuf, who is a strong supporter and confidant of President Mohammadu Buhari had said: “Southern governors must provide land for Fulani to graze cattle if they want to ban open grazing. Gathering in one hotel and giving a blanket ban is irresponsible”.
He even went further to say that the governors should have consulted with the respective Fulani leaders before pronouncing a ban on open grazing. What else can convince us if not this that some people feel that Nigeria belongs to them?
But we urge President Buhari not to listen to purveyors of confusion and those beating the drums of war. They are not only mischievous but out with a mission that, if allowed, will consume the country. We equally urge the President to stop accusing advocates of restructuring as secessionists and separatists.
It is important for the President to carefully study the 12–point communique by the governors and take steps to address each one of them, as they are all germane. But as a matter of urgency he should address the nation on the state of insecurity in the country and by that restore the confidence of most Nigerians, who’s are already in a distraught state.