During the condolence visit, the South and Middle Belt leaders insisted on the restructuring of Nigeria. The leaders also advocated the change of the constitution to give room for a constitution of true federalism.
The leaders called on other state governors to enact their own anti-open grazing laws. Adebanjo, who also spoke on behalf of the pan-Yoruba organisation, Afenifere, described President Buhari as “a dictator, tyrant and autocrat.”
He urged Nigerians to reject any election until the country was restructured. The Afenifere leader said the best constitution for the country was the 1954 constitution. He said, “The true constitution that could have helped the country was the 1954 constitution which gave us true federalism but it was rejected, what we have now is the constitution imposed on us by the military.
“The present constitution has given too much power to the President which makes him the most powerful leader in the world. We should not go to election without restructuring so that we can have true democracy where justice reigns.” Adebanjo who lamented the killings in the state slammed president Buhari and the All Progressives Congress government for not checking the herdsmen.
He said, “If Buhari and the APC are interested in keeping this country together, they must resolve the herdsmen issue. And to Benue people; you are too educated, too civilized and mature for people who do not know how to read and write to intimidate you in your own land. No one should dominate another.
“How can Buhari say you must accommodate your fellow even when your fellow is killing you? “We must join hand to fight for the freedom of the south and the middle belt; we must change this constitution that makes us a prey.” Also, the leader of Ohanaeze, Chief John Nwodo, lamented that Benue was being used as a case of new aggression.
He also stated that the best way to get out of the injustice being meted out to other parts of the country was to restructure Nigeria. Nwodo said, “The problem is that since the military took over and handed over a forced constitution on us, Nigeria has remained divided, whereas there was growth under regional government.
“Restructuring is imperative and if we continue like this, Nigeria will die in seven years.” A South-South leader, Air Commodore Tony Inyang, also lent his voice to the restructuring of the country. He said, “If the governor has the full control of the security, he will be able to deploy such when he gets intelligence report and this will avert any crisis.
“There must be Nigeria, but a Nigeria with justice and fair play.” Dr. Bala Shagaya, who led the Middle Belt Forum, urged the Benue people not to allow foreigners take over their land. A former governor of the old Anambra State, Chief Emeka Ezeife, applauded the anti-open grazing law and advised other governors to enact their own.
Others in the delegation are a former governor of Ebonyi state, Sam Egwu; a former governor of Ondo State, Chief Olusegun Mimiko; Senator Chris Anyanwu, Banji Akintoye and Afenifere’s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin.
Ortom who threw his weight behind restructuring, said, “I have joined in the restructuring debate following the pains we have passed through and the conspiracy by some people to kill our people.”