The leader of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Chief Ayo Adebanjob in a interview with Punch Newspaper correspondent revealed the reasons for Nigerians to look beyond voting for Abubaker Atiku, and Bola Tinubu.

He said this while assessing Nigeria at 62, the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and discusses the group’s support for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party

Some people are of the view that there is nothing to celebrate after 62 years of independence, given the current state of the country. What’s your view on this?

There’s nothing to celebrate and for me I am very sad. This is not the Nigeria that I fought for. This is not the Nigeria that we were enjoying before and immediately after independence before the military took over. I took part and demonstrated in London for independence and we achieved self-government and our founding fathers fought the Macpherson Constitution, which was military, and changed it to federalism of 1954 at the London Constitutional Conference, where all the founding fathers of Nigeria agreed that it should be a federation and it was under that system that we had our independence and we were enjoying that independence under the federal system.

Under that autonomy, (Obafemi) Awolowo was able to perform all the wonders in the Western Region – free education, free healthcare services, there was autonomy, there was security, state police, everything. Under it, we had competition among the autonomous regions; Awolowo was performing in the Western Region and built the University of Ife; Ahmadu Bello built the Ahmadu Bello University; Awolowo built the Liberty Stadium, while Ahmadu Bello built theirs and there was competition until the military came in 1966, and all the problems started. So, when the military came in, that was the beginning of the trouble. We have never had it so bad, particularly under Buhari; it has been going from bad to worse. Our naira is worth nothing, there is no security, you can’t travel from here to Ekiti State safely, and the cost of living has risen. Unemployment has risen and everything has gone worse all because of this constitution imposed on us by the military. All our woes are because it’s not the constitution we agreed to at independence. All these problems we are having now should be attributed to the imposition of the constitution by the military. Until that constitution is changed, we cannot have peace.


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Are you certain that if Obi emerges the President, he will change the constitution?

Certainly, that’s why we are working with him. I am not in the Labour Party, but I am urging all those who believe in social justice to queue behind him. The Labour Party now is not just a labour party; it’s a movement to change the country from dictatorship to democracy. Right now, the man who said rule of law is subject to national interest.

Do you think the Labour Party presidential candidate has what it takes to bring the country out of its current state of despair and deliver on restructuring?

Certainly, he can. He was a former governor of Anambra; look at his record there; he is one of the governors that left office and he has not been chased around by the EFCC. Those are the records. Now, ask yourself, have the APC and the PDP done anything better in the country.


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