The group, which based its endorsement of former President Goodluck Jonathan against President Muhammadu Buhari on the convocation of the 2014 National Conference and implementation of the confab’s report, said the new administration might not make headway without executing the recommendations.
The PUNCH had exclusively reported on Wednesday that Buhari was not favourably disposed to the implementation of the report, despite the fact that Jonathan handed over the document to the President, alongside his (Jonathan’s) handover notes.
A Presidency source had hinted that Buhari would not implement the report because he never believed in the conference but would stick to the recommendations of his transition committee, led by Ahmed Joda.
However, the spokesman for Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, who spoke to our correspondent in an interview on Wednesday, said the group would speak on the alleged abandonment of the report.
He said, “If we don’t deliberately restructure Nigeria as Nigerians, Nigeria on its own will be restructured the way we are going.
“If we get to a stage where people (who are) working can no longer be paid; if we continue the way we are going now; I can tell you – mark my words – if we go on like this for six to 12 months, you will begin to hear the news that some governors are fleeing the country.
While Odumakin stated that the defects in the country’s federalism had been there before Buhari and Jonathan’s administrations which he described as an old wound, he said a change of government was not enough to correct the system.
The Afenifere spokesman asked whether the change of government would change the country from a one-product economy that we have seized to rely on (crude oil). He said while the country had budgeted $17bn for its 2015 fiscal year, it now generated lesser revenue due to the fallen price of crude oil.
Odumakin said, “I am talking about the impending crisis we are facing because of the structure we are operating – the monolithic economy. We are losing over N16tn every year because the constitution says that the owners of the resources cannot tap their resources. Go to every place, illegal miners are having a field day.
“If we want this country to move forward, we have to restructure. I cannot say at the moment that the President will do it or not, but we have to do it.”
Jonathan had, during his handover ceremony on May 28, told Buhari that the confab report was more important than his handover notes.
Shortly before he left office, the former President Jonathan had forwarded the report to the National Assembly for action.