By Erasmus Ikhide
ON Thursday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo reinstated President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to exterminate in large scale — particularly the Eastern Region’s Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) — for daring to strive for referendum and the quest to be self-governed.
Prof Osinbajo reaffirmed the draconian, barbaric position of the Federal Government’s opposition to the separatist agitation in the country, making emphatic and uncanny remarks about the government’s capacity to grand agitators to the dust on Thursday 9th September, 2021.
“We must be able to say no to the young men and women who for instance say that secession is the only way or that we should break into little nations and that that is the only way. We must be able to say to them that that is the way to extinction.”
History is replete with power-gone-awry-blusters like Prof Osinbajo who debased humanity by amplifying criminal slaughtering of those who opposed injustices in their countries.
The people of Melos were slaughtered after refusing to surrender to the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War. The massacre of Cathari during the Albigensian Crusade in the 13th century occurred as a result of oppressive and muffled voices of the people who legitimately asked for their rights and survival.
Most recently, twentieth-century events of acts of genocide include the 1915 Armenian massacre by the Turkish-led Ottoman Empire, the nearly complete extermination of European Jews, Roma (Gypsies), and other groups by Nazi Germany during World War II, and the killing of Tutsi by Hutu in Rwanda in the 1990s.
From the very beginning of President Buhari’s government in 2015, Prof Osinbajo’s designated position has been that of grave digger and funeral-hearse-bearer in-chief each time Nigerians are slaughtered by President Buhari’s ethnic militia brothers and Fulani terrorists.
Osinbajo has been calling Fulani terrorists’ invasion into peace-loving farmers’ farmlands as a “clash between farmers and herders.” Clash! Osinbajo’s aberrant position on Fulani expansionism, rading and raping, manacle and massacre and Buhari’s pogrom on the ethic minorities across the country smacks of a desperately gruelling politician likened to that of a slave who’s Hell bent on serving his master for a morsel of portage. In Osinbajo’s case, it’s for the purpose of APC presidential ticket in 2023.
Unfortunately, Prof Osinbajo didn’t deem it necessary to address the root cause of the agitation for secession in the Leadership Newspaper lecture which he attended yesterday.
He was deliberately blank on the raging agitation against open grazing across the country to which many state Governors have passed bills against.
He excused himself from discussing the other major issue bothering on Value Added Tax (VAT) that constitutes the bulwark of financial subjugation of the southern Nigeria States that contribute the resources to the northern states that opposed consumption of alcoholic beverages, yet enjoying the tax from (VAT) on such items.
Not done yet, Prof Osinbajo averted his attention away from the people’s request for decentralization of power, call for true federalism, regional management and resource control in the country. For Osinbajo, those calling for equal rights and justice, even distribution of resources in accordance with global best practice of economic principles, must face extinction.
What the Vice President earlier canvased in his unfortunate response to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his earlier position on restructuring at a Town Hall meeting in Minnesota, USA, in 2018 is antithetical to the APC two volume documents on how to restructure Nigeria, presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by Governor Nasir El-Rufai and his team in their “Reports of the APC Committee on True Federalism” submitted on January 25, 2018.
Earlier, Prof Osinbajo had said in the United States of America, a nation that celebrates the rule of law and humanity, that “the problem with our country is not a matter of restructuring… and we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into the argument that our problems stem from some geographic re-structuring”.
Professor Osinbajo is not the first narrow minded Nigeria leader to take Nigerians for a rollercoaster ride on the decoupling of the failed national structures or otherwise. His boss, President Buhari is an ardent precursor of status quo ante and agent of barbarity. President Buhari has since told Nigerians to perish the thoughts of a restructured Nigeria.
The questions begging for anwsers specifically have been, what has happened to the APC’s own reports on true federalism since the Vice President is repeatedly caught vaccilating whether or not the country should be refederalised?
A probe on the APC restructuring document revealed that the committee engaged about 8,040 persons during 14 sittings nationwide; held 12 public consultations in all the six geopolitical zones in the country, while 409 memoranda were received from respondents. The committee initially started with 10 members but was expanded to 23 members.
The APC committee on restructuring found that Nigerians showed interest in 24 issues including: the creation of states, merger of states, state police, the derivation principle, fiscal federalism, local government autonomy, devolution of powers, type of government, independent candidacy, public holidays, the land tenure system, power sharing and rotation, type of legislature, affirmation for vulnerable groups like the physically challenged, women and youths, the minimum wage, border adjustment, secular statutes of the country, and the conduct of referendum. Of those issues, the panel made recommendations on 13.
‘Merger of states’: The panel proposes a draft bill that will allow states to merge if they so desire. The report shows that just 36 per cent of those polled by the committee wanted more states to be
created, and since there is already a procedure for creation of states in the constitution.
‘Derivation Principle’: The panel recommended that the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission RMAFC Act be amended to vest it with the power to periodically review the derivation formula and make recommendations to the President who shall table the same before the National Assembly for necessary action.
‘Fiscal federalism and revenue allocation’: Panel wants constitutional amendment to give more revenue to the states and reduce the Federal Government’s share.
‘Devolution of powers’: The panel recommends this based on popular demand for there to be devolution of powers to the states from the FG. “We have recommended that the first schedule, part one and two be amended to transfer some powers to the states,” said el-Rufai on the day he submitted the document.
‘State Police’: The committee recommends that state police should be moved from the Exclusive list to the Concurrent list. “We are recommending that police should be both federal and state”, the committee chairman said.
‘Resource control: exploitation and revenue sharing of resources from oil minerals’: The committee proposes that mining, minerals, oil revenues should go to the states but that it should be limited to onshore areas, not offshore ones which would still be owned by the FG.
“There will be certain constitutional amendments. The Petroleum Act will be amended to show that states can now issue oil mining licences; the Land Use Act, Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act, the Petroleum Profit Tax Act, 2007, would all need to be amended. So, we have proposed amendments that will ensure that minerals, mining and oil are vested in the states except offshore minerals,” el-Rufai also noted.
There are other significant recommendations including the ones on ‘Local Government Autonomy, Referendum’, ‘Independent candidacy’, ‘Citizenship’, ‘Public holidays’ and ‘Judiciary’.
These are the all important issues at the heart of the agitation that is bursting the nation at its seam that Prof Osinbajo and the APC have been avoiding each time they have the chance to speak publicly on the “Nigerian Project”.
Prof Yemi Osinbajo should know — in spite of his seemingly and glaring incapacitation, self-denial, self-abnegation, and most times — self-pillaging and destruction, in pursuit of pure fraud that the chicken of decoupling Nigeria nation has come home to roast!
Erasmus Ikhide contributed this article to the restructuring discourse and can be reached via: email@example.com, +2348035032123.27