Leader of the Afenifere group, a Pan-African Yoruba faction, Ayo Adebanjo, has said that the upcoming Nigeria Independence anniversary on October 1 is not worth celebrating because the dreams of the founding fathers were not achieved.
The elder gave his opinion in a recent interview with Punch over what Nigeria at 60 meant for the country and the strides achieved.
When asked if he felt that the anniversary was worth marking, Adebanjo said, "It’s not worth celebrating at all because we have not achieved the dream of our founding fathers, particularly after the intervention of the military."
On the reviewing of the country's current constitution, he said that "We can’t review a constitution we didn’t make. That constitution was imposed by the military. So, it’s a total cancellation. You can only review or revise what you gave not a constitution we didn’t take part in."
The leader said that the corruption by politicians in the country today has its basis in the military rule. He said that the current state of the country was an embarrassment.
"Certainly, I’m embarrassed. The corruption being talked about was more or less started by the military when the military took over. We had corruption in the First Republic," he said.
Adebanjo said that then, the Federal Government was accused of corruption that could be rated at just 10 percent compared to the 151 percent that it is today; tagging the past leaders as "angels", "consdering what is happening now under Muhammadu Buhari."
Adebanjo noted that the agitation for restructuring did not begin today, as it started during the military era.
He said, "The clamour for restructuring came after the military took over. When the military took over, they introduced this constitution. So, by the time they said they were going back to the barracks in 1999, we said, ‘Thank you, o. Take us back what we used to have.’
"I want you to know that the struggle we have now is not new. We had foreseen it before Olusegun Obasanjo came into office. We insisted that there should be a sovereign national conference to agree on the constitution to go back to federalism before any election. But the pressure was so much; people were accusing Afenifere of being stubborn. We must restructure if we want to have peace."