The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has drawn up a list of their expectations from the second-term administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Dr. Kunle Olajide, the YCE Secretary General, told NAN that Buhari needs to evolve ways to ensure revenue generation, rather than sharing of allocation.
He also urged the President to consider restructuring the country.
His words: “I have written a congratulatory letter to the President on his re-election and assured him of YCE’s support for his administration towards achieving a greater Nigeria.
“In the letter, I told him that his victory carries enormous responsibilities among which were the need to ensure national unity and a revisit of the el-Rufai’s committee report on restructuring.
“The President has replied the letter, appreciating it and the in-depth suggestions. He assured me that the suggestions will be given adequate cognizance.
“We have to gradually move back to the period of generating revenue and not sharing revenue. Each federating unit should be allowed to exploit and explore its resources.
“They should then pay an agreed percentage to maintain few essential services in the centre such as Defence, Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Custom services.”
In his remarks on the 14 items on the exclusive list in the First Republic, while noting that the rest were residual for the states, he continued: “Today, there are 66 items on the exclusive list. The intervention of the military in 1966 truncated the march to true federalism.
“So, in the next four years, Buhari should be able to finish the process, foundation and implementation of the el-Rufai’s committee recommendations. I think it is very essential that the report is implemented as a first step to entrench a true federal system of government.
“The President should ensure that his appointments reflect the diversity of Nigeria and in line with the Federal Character Principle enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution. We must ensure that people think of Nigeria before anything else, irrespective of tribe and religious affiliation. The President must ensure that he bequeaths a legacy of a united Nigeria.
“He must ensure that the people remained the centre of all their decisions, including security of lives and properties.”
On the 2019 elections, he added: “Let me confess. I am very proud of the Yoruba race. The outcome of the election gladdens my heart considerably because the political temperature was very high during the campaign season. Everybody was anxious and worried that there might be widespread violence. Yes, there were violence and skirmishes here and there, but not to the extent envisaged.
“Looking at the conduct of the election by itself, I think we have made progress. We are not yet there, but we are far better than where we were before in Yorubaland.”
SaharaReporters, New York