*Says Most Senators Are Broke
The March 28 and April 11 elections may not hold because President Goodluck Jonathan is planning a two-year tenure extension, Senator Babafemi Ojudu (Ekiti Central) has said.
Ojudu spoke at a social discourse organised by the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) at the University of Ibadan (UI), stating that the resumption of Senators next week would enable Senators to provide answers to the challenges he said the PDP has been posing on Democracy.
The programme was in honour of former Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, who turned 50 on Monday.
The senator said Nigeria was on her way to “a very long night.”
“We are entering into a very long night in Nigeria. If anybody thinks there will be election on March 28 and April 11, he is deceiving himself. They are just deceiving us. The body language of some top leaders is that the Federal Government is not willing to organise any election now.
“We are resuming next week. I will not be surprised if they bring a motion seeking postponement of the election for six months because of the Boko Haram war.
“Interestingly, about 80 per cent of senators are not returning. And senators are broke. All they need to get the motion adopted is a simple majority. Then, they may ask for two more years. That is what they are working towards.”
Ojudu said All Progressives Congress (APC) members and other progressives had not been speaking against it in public because they believed it was absurd.
When asked how APC lawmakers and others planned to tackle the challenge, the senator said they would regroup next week in preparation for resumption in the National Assembly to coordinate efforts to respond appropriately to the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) alleged hidden agenda.
He said the Yoruba must clamour for the change that is appropriate for their aspirations and values.
The ARG faulted postponement of the election, alleging moves to Balkanise the country.
In his closing remark, the ARG Chairman, Hon. Olawale Oshun, said the position of the ARG was that the election shift was not about elections but about preparing the ground for military take-over or Balkanisation of the country. He rejected both agenda, saying the ARG and the Yoruba would not support such.
Oshun said: “It is in this light that we in Afenifere Renewal Group, and by extension, the Yoruba, contend that this election shift is certainly not just about elections. We believe that the postponement is about something more sinister.
“This postponement had long been foreseen by Nigerians, and we had awaited its doomed arrival in awe. The Federal Government and its security agencies have been fighting Boko Haram in the last five years, and had not, at any time, dealt that enemy of state any sucker punch.
“The first sinister motive we suspect is that this postponement might be the ground to prepare a soft surface for a sympathetic group within the Armed Forces to take over the reins of power, since in character and content there is little to distinguish the present rudderless government from the one that ruled us till 1983.
“It is necessary to warn that the Yoruba would not be part of any country that is forcibly taken over by any military insurrection, no matter the direction or purpose of any such self-styled messiahs. We as a people know what we want, and this is clearly not part of it. This is definitely not the change we as a people would clamour for.
“If for any reason, Nigeria ceases to be ruled democratically, or would be Balkanised into smaller groupings, then we Yoruba people would rather go our way and choose to become an independent nation. This is a change we would agitate for.”
The guest lecturer, Rotimi Akeredolu, who traced the history of the country and how it came to this condition, also called for true federalism.
Akeredolu said: “Our people appear fully mobilised for change. It has become the theme song in the land and even the cynical are waking up to the realisation of the possibility of having a change in government soon.
“It is not going to be sufficient to have a new government, which will be prepared to continue with the old ways of doing things. We must depart from the path of over dependence on the government for everything. Now is the time for all true Yoruba sons and daughters to insist on being different.