SMBLF tackles Agbakoba for advocating suspension of calls for restructuring/ Agbakoba

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has tackled a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), over his recent comment that people should discontinue calls for restructuring in the country.

In the said comment, reported by NVS, Agbakoba had argued calls for restructuring had done more harm than good to the country, especially with President Muhammadu Buhari appearing to be against the idea.

He had consequently enjoined various sub-national groups in the country such as Ohanaze, Afenifere among others to shelve demands for restructuring, arguing they should rather push for ‘cooperative federalism' in a document titled: Legal and Institutional Restructuring for Next Nigeria.’

 “Rather than bring us together and strengthen us, restructuring has pulled us back. I personally will urge all political parties, all sub-nationalities, like Afenifere, Ohanaeze, to suspend it because it is tearing us apart,” he had said.

But reacting in a statement, the SMBLF faulted Agbakoba’s opinion, likening the suggestion to giving up on the struggle for better Nigeria.

In the statement signed by Yinka Odumakin (South West), Prof Chigozie  Ogbu (South East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South), and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt) spokesmen, the group said: “The whole suggestion (by Agbakoba) is akin to somebody suggesting to our founding fathers to stop the struggle for independence because the colonial lords were opposed to the idea.”

The group further wondered why the human rights activist would call for suspension of calls for restructuring, given he was one those who pushed for democracy during the country’s military regime.

The statement continued: “Nigeria has entered a terminal crisis under this arrangement as we now reel under unsustainable debt with the government planning to amass more like a drunken sailor.

 “Development has ceased nationwide and we are reeling under a system collapse. There is no solution under the suffocating arrangement as the only possibility is disintegration.

”It is the best moment to push for the restructuring of Nigeria to avert its break-up under the crushing weight of over-centralisation. On restructuring we stand as there is no other option for the survival of Nigeria.”