Restructuring: “Nigeria needs a new Constitution for progress” – Ayo Adebanjo

Ayo Adebanjo

A prominent leader of the Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, has expressed deep concern over Nigeria’s current socio-economic challenges, attributing them to ineffective governance and an outdated Constitution.

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In a recent interview, Adebanjo criticized President Bola Tinubu’s administration for its lack of sincerity and failure to address the country’s pressing issues, urging for the implementation of the 2014 National Conference report as a step towards national reform.

Adebanjo highlighted the government’s refusal to meet workers’ demands for a new minimum wage, contrasting it with the high salaries of National Assembly members and the significant expenditure on government officials’ amenities. He argued that the government can afford to pay workers adequately if it reallocated funds currently spent on luxury items and reduced the oversized cabinet.

The Afenifere leader said, “President Bola Tinubu was aware of the economic challenges before he assumed office,” Adebanjo said, dismissing excuses about inheriting a bad economy. “The problems did not catch him off guard. He campaigned on promises to address these issues, and now he must act”.

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Adebanjo criticised the removal of fuel subsidies without corresponding measures to alleviate the economic burden on citizens, questioning the administration’s priorities. “You can find money for senators’ expensive cars, but not for workers’ salaries. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening, and this is neither fair nor sustainable”, he stated.

Reflecting on Tinubu’s first year in office, Adebanjo expressed disappointment, noting that the administration has yet to tackle the longstanding issues of economic disparity and inadequate infrastructure. He urged the government to focus on tangible improvements rather than making excuses for inaction.

Adebanjo stressed the need for a new constitution, describing the current one as a military-imposed document that disadvantages southern Nigeria. He called for the adoption of the 2014 National Conference recommendations, arguing that only a new, equitable constitution can foster genuine progress and national unity.

“The Constitution we have is fraudulent, and no real progress can be made under it. President Tinubu should seize the opportunity to be remembered for good by initiating Constitutional reforms”, he emphasised.

The Afenifere leader also dismissed discussions of local government autonomy and other reforms as diversions from the core issue of constitutional change.
He insisted that only a Constitution created through inclusive dialogue and consensus can address Nigeria’s systemic problems and pave the way for sustainable development.

Adebanjo’s comments reflect a growing frustration among Nigerians who are demanding substantial reforms to address the country’s socio-economic challenges and create a fairer, more just society.

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