Afe Babalola urges restructuring, asks Ooni of Ife to lead campaign
A foremost legal luminary and founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), has urged the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, to use his vantage position to rally round other traditional rulers in the country to support restructuring as the only solution to separatist agitation in Nigeria.
Babalola, who spoke during a courtesy visit to the Ooni in his palace at Ile-Ife, said: “I want to plead with your imperial majesty to use your vantage position to galvanise other Yoruba Obas and Leaders of Thought to join other counterparts in other parts of the country to actualise the restructuring of the country. That is sure end to agitation of separation.
He, however, blamed the agitation on the “quassi unitary constitution foisted on us by the military government.” The founder of ABUAD, who was accompanied by his wife, Yeye Aare Modupe; the Ogunsua of Modakeke, Oba Francis Adedoyin; his chiefs and senior management members of staff of ABUAD led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Michael Ajisafe, said he specifically visited the palace in the company of Oba Ogunsua and a retinue of Modakeke chiefs to celebrate the peace that is existing in the town after the crisis that saw many killed and property razed.
“All we have to do to make Nigeria one is to address the issue of over-concentration of power and resources at the centre, rework the constitution and restructure the country to enable each component part develop its culture, tradition and resources under a loose Federal Government at the centre,” he added.
Meanwhile, a group, South-South Patriots (SSP), has disassociated the people of South-South from Biafra agitation, saying what the country needs now is total restructuring.
At a one-day executive meeting in Calabar yesterday, the group said: “The territories of South-South are not part of Igbo agitation and self-determination of a country called Biafra.”
In a 12 point communique signed by the leader of the group, Mr. Kingsley Ndedu; the Secretary, Mr. Joseph Udoh; Chief Mobilisation Officer, Mr. Aigberemhon Moses and three others said: “It is on the record that in 1966, the Igbo derailed the first democratically-elected government through a coup led by Chukwuma Kaduna Ezeogwu in an attempt to suppress Nigeria and Nigerians. The Igbo domineering tendencies they attempted on Nigeria in 1966 that could not be achieved is now tilted towards the South-South geo-political zone, which is totally not acceptable.
“Self-determination can actually be achieved in two ways mainly; peaceful means, through referendum and war, which is the most painful with loss of lives. Eritrea achieved theirs through war.
In the case of Southern Sudan, the country has seen no peace after the peaceful separation from North, as the country is now in civil war.