The spokesperson of the Afenifere Group, Yinka Odumakin has expressed displeasure over insinuations that an Igbo man can not be president. According to him, with this situation, Nigeria can not be referred to as a country nor a nation yet.
In an exclusive interview with everyeveryng, Odumakin strongly opined that if there are fears about a South-Eastern person becoming president of Nigeria when a section still feels superior to the other, then, development is impossible.
“Nigeria is not a country when you have a section of a country you are treating like a conquered people who can not access power in their lifetime. In a country where there is equality, that should not be so. If you do not want them to lead, why did you fight for three years to bring them back to Nigeria? If they are in a country of their own, will you go and force Nigeria on them?”
Odumakin added that power is concentrating in a particular region, especially institutions that deal with Money and Security, which makes it uneasy to bear for the other marginalized sections. He condemned the way politics is being played in Nigeria and made another call for restructuring.
“Take a look at the Service Chiefs; we have 17 of them, 15 are from a particular region. Check out the leadership of the FRSC, AMCON, Port Authority, NIMASSA and even the Ministry of Finance. They are all from a section which is why we talk about restructuring because we want to go back to the actual Federal System of government”.
The Afenifere spokesperson also condemned the way the northerners suffered their people as statistics show that 87% of poverty in the country comes from the region, thereby calling on the government to create opportunities to enrich these people and leverage on the vast landmass in the area.
“87% of poverty is in the North. Niger State alone is bigger than the country called Netherland, and they are the 4th exporter of Agriculture worldwide”.
Odumakin also condemned the continuous request and approval of loans by the FG and Senate, urging them to bank on the lands and solid mineral resources in the country to generate revenue order than borrow loans always.
“Just yesterday, the Senate approved another loan request, we keep borrowing even though we have lands and solid mineral resources, that is why we need to go back and restructure the whole system.”
Furthermore, Odumakin alleged that the section requesting for federal character is quite incompetent, and they called for it to participate knowing fully well that in terms of competence, they are below par.
“We have run Nigeria in a way that, instead of taking the rest to join the best, e are encouraging the best to join the rest. The section that asked for Federal Character did that because they had few competent people to fill up positions, and till now, they still don’t have even though we have most of them in power”.
Odumakin also suggested the way forward In terms of electioneering in Nigeria, especially as we all anticipate a free and fair election soon in the country.
“Until we stop practicing the politics of favouritism when in power, then we can’t have a free and fair election. Winning at all cost becomes the order of the day, and with that, we can’t have a free and fair election in the country”.
Also, Odumakin reiterated that no new mechanism would propel a free and fair election until the political lords decide to take things the way it should.
“Bring more than Electronic Election; once there is no will on the part of the politicians, there is no free and fair election; the only free and fair election in Nigeria was in 1993”.
Odumakin then called on delegation of powers at the central, which he believes will end a situation where people from other parts of Nigeria are left to feel inferior.
“Until we change the structure, dispatching powers, and not just in Abuja. Access to the treasury and security are the ingredients used to win elections. When you are in power, then you win elections regardless of the party system in the country”.