By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Former Chief of Army Staff, Rtd General Alani Akinrinade on Wednesday said it is imperative for President Muhammadu Buhari to visit the vexed issue of restructuring for the good of the country.
Akinrinade, who was chairman at the June 12 Democracy Day celebration, with theme “Democracy and Restoration of True Federalism in Nigeria”, organised by the State Government in Lagos, in Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, said Buhari should not look at those opposing restructuring of the nation, but that he should go ahead and implement.
“The president should not listen to those who have kicked against restructuring, and look into the political, physical and territorial re-alignment. Those against it are enemies of peace and they will be stopping us from joining the rest of the world in the race towards development, human dignity and comfort. Please commence now because four year is enough to achieve it,” he said.
On June 12, Akinrinade said he had admiration for Buhari’s courage and respect for the voice of Nigerians, by honouring Abiola, saying that the honour was in recognition for all whose loved ones died in the struggle for the actualization.
“It will be economically sensible if the National Assembly can be encouraged by the president to pass a law or amend the constitution to move the inauguration date to June 12 and avoid the squandermania of inauguration and stamp it finally into the history,” he said.
Akinrinade urged the president to protect himself from guilt by declaring public anyone, herdsmen, kidnappers, bandits, and whichever name they chose to go by either local or foreign, as criminal of the first order and to be dealt with as the law dictates.
“I notice that you are trying to restructure the police, please do it snappily and do not allow it turn to another talk shop,” he advised Buhari.
Also speaking, a former Governor of Lagos State, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, said Nigeria needed to return to how it started, where there was unity in diversity, especially if it wanted to secure its future.
He said Unitarianism bred violence and corruption while democracy eradicate the two, urging Nigerians to wholeheartedly embrace democracy.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat said the philosophy behind June 12 must continually be celebrated by ensuring that elected officers were accountable and every Nigerian treated equally.
Sanwo-Olu said June 12 would continue to remind Nigerians that free and fair election was possible and that it also showed there was unity in diversity.
He, however, said that if the philosophies behind June 12 would be accomplished, it would require thinking differently.
He commended Buhari, for declaring the day a national holiday, saying he exercised statesmanship to correct the nation’s historic record.
Also, a former Commissioner of Information in the state, Dele Alake, said that quality service delivery and eradication of poverty was key to celebration of June 12, as that was what it stood for.