An umbrella body of all self-determination groups and socio-cultural organisations of Yoruba Descent Worldwide, the Yoruba World Congress (YWC), has said that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, despite its cruelty, has brought about the stark reality that it is time for Nigeria to jettison the present unitary government and restructure to true federalism.
In a statement yesterday, the Communications Secretary of YWC, Chief Tola Adeniyi, said the congress had taken a studied notice of the recent compulsory evacuation of thousands of Almajiris throughout the 19 northern states by respective state governors in the region and that it is time to jettison the current self-serving policies like Quota System, Unity Schools, Federal Character, Education Trust Fund (ETF), Universities Commission, Universal Primary Education Board, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and several similar self-serving, corruption-laden agencies smuggled into our peculiar federal system of government so that each region can determine their education system, housing needs, energy requirements, roads and transportation priorities and food security requirements and of course internal security.
“Almajiri educational system is a federal dictated, financed and controlled educational system for usually abandoned and wandering children scattered all over the vast mass of land in the northern part of Nigeria. The governors took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to give vent to their age-long dissatisfaction with the Federal Government’s meddlesomeness in the running of their respective primary education system.
“In sacking the Almajiri pupils and evacuating them in hundreds to their respective states of origin, northern governors ‘vowed not to allow the system to persist any longer because of the social challenges associated with it, including the perpetuation of poverty, illiteracy, insecurity and social disorder.
“In view of the drastic and bold steps taken by the 19 governors, notice was being served on the heavily-loaded government at the centre that time was up for the Federal Government arm-twisting control of educational, state and local government schedules in Nigeria. Each state in the North now determines their destinies.
“It is also a clarion call on all other regions in the country to send non-indigenous people that constitute a nuisance and epitomise grinding poverty back to their regions of origin so that each region can properly plan for their indigenous populations and remove the crushing burden imposed on them by Nigeria’s unitary government.
“Totalitarianism and ruthless over-centralisation have been the bane of the Nigerian federal system of government which is federal only in name. And its time is over.”