Elder statesman and National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) chieftain Pa Ayo Adebanjo, National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and former Secretary General, Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku on Tuesday canvased return of Nigeria to true federalism, saying it will help to remedy the gross imbalance in the country.
The prominent Nigerians spoke at the formal launch of the Autobiography of Adebanjo, titled: “Telling It As It Is,” in commemoration of his 90th birthday held in Lagos.
Speaking at the book launch Adebanjo noted that there was deep poverty entrenched in the lives of the masses because there was no true federalism, saying that there was no reason for Nigerians to be poor in view of the abundant resources at the nation’s disposal.
He said what the government of today was only interested in was to argue with the PDP about who stole what instead of impacting in the lives of the people.
Adebanjo added that the way the late Obafemi Awolowo recruited them in those days made them to be radical, saying that was why he and others could not change from one party to the other as they do these days.
In his submission Asiwaju Bola Tinubu said Adebanjo stood for true federalism, while also describing him as a great leader who stood for restructuring.
According to him, “Ayo Adebanjo is a great leader who was principally committed to constitutional democracy in this nation. You can praise and honour him for his stand on this nation.
“He stood for restructuring, which is true federalism; about freedom and about opportunity for each federating unit to come up with their blueprint to promote unity of the nation.
I am with him on this; he has been a father to all of us in politics and he is ready to pay the supreme price.”
Tinubu also said if not for the honesty and integrity of Adebanjo, he would not have become the governor of Lagos State, saying that it was Adebanjo who insisted the results of the primary election which favoured him must be upheld even when others were trying to scuttle it.
Also speaking, Anyaoku said the nation was doing well when it practiced true federalism under the four regions, saying that the nation was making tremendous progress then until the military came in.
He said in the Western region then, Awolowo introduced free education and free health, while the Eastern part, late Michael Okpara revolutionalised the agricultural system and that under the leadership of Ahmadu Bello in the North, the groundnut pyramid held sway.