President Muhammadu Buhari can still redeem his image and be the best Nigerian president ever, if he can restructure the country into six geopolitical zones before handing over power in 2023.

A former Nigerian ambassador to the Philippines, Dr Yemi Farounbi, said this, adding the president can still write his name on the positive side of history, if he can implement restructuring.

The veteran broadcaster and administrator said this while featuring on a monitored radio programme, adding that such an act will help to strengthen the country’s economy and political space.

Dr Farounbi however did not see any hope in the quest for the realisation of a Yoruba Nation as, according to him, a nation is quite different from a nation-state.

“A nation is different from a nation state; you should agitate for what is achievable. I have not seen a country that fell from the sky,” he said.

Farounbi also said the recent threat by some terrorists to kidnap President Buhari and the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, portends a grave danger for Nigeria and its unity.

He said: “The acts of the bandits have shown that they really mean business. They recently ambushed officers from the Presidential Brigade of Guards in Abuja.

“This portends danger and this is an absolute insult and injury to the sovereignty of Nigeria and whenever I hear this, I feel ashamed of our country.

“I was once an Ambassador to the Philippines and whenever I have the opportunity of visiting Cambodia, I was treated with great honour like a saviour.

“One day, I ask the King of Cambodia why I was accorded that honour and he replied that when Cambodia had problem of insurrection, it was Nigerian policemen that were drafted to quench the mutiny and create order.

“Now we are being threatened by terrorists in our country and our soldiers are almost incapacitated. The Nigerians soldiers that went to Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Congo but now they cannot effectively defend the territorial integrity of their country.”

Ambassador Farounbi also declared that he was not surprised that President Buhari has turned out to be an instrument used by God to punish Nigeria and Nigerians.

He said Nigeria and its people are being punished by God, using Buhari, for turning deaf ears to warnings and voting him to power in 2015.

According to Farounbi, Nigerians deserved the punishments and harrowing experience they are going through under the President Buhari administration because of their evil deeds.

“In 2014/2015 when we were campaigning, when Nigerians decided to accept the campaign of once chance, they were warned of the past history of Muhammadu Buhari and how he imprisoned many politicians, including Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

“God is a wonderful Being, he decided to use Buhari to punish Nigerians for their evil deeds and Nigerians deserve these punishments.

“Nigeria is not what I thought it will be. I have incurable optimism that Nigeria will still be better. Those who are enjoying proceeds of bribery, corruption, epileptic power supply, insecurity among other vices are not looking forward to seeing a better Nigeria,” he said.

Ahead the 2023 elections, the elder statesman further said there is no difference in the ideologies of the two frontline political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He said the two major political parties are only recycling politicians who have little or nothing to offer Nigeria and expressed regrets that the people are non-charlant towards their rights.

Farounbi further lampooned the APC for fielding a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket, stating that such acts could further put the unity of the country in jeopardy.

He said: “In any decent society, there are traditions. After the annulment of the 1993 election, we felt that there should be equal access to power in such a way that it will rotate between South and North in order that all Nigerians will be equally represented and this agreement is an unwritten rule.

“One of the fundamental principles that guided the establishment of the PDP at inception was that power must be rotated. In addition, there must be a balance between the two major religions in power rotation.

“The two political parties broke the unwritten rule of religion and ethnicity in the power rotation because they see Nigeria and Nigerians as impotent.”

Dr Farounbi further said: “We have problem with insecurity and no politician is telling us of how they will find possible solutions to it.

“Politicians are fond of using slogans and lies to take power from us. Nigerians must insist that any aspiring political office holder must tell us his vision and manifestoes.

“Instead of focusing all our attention on Muslim-Muslim tickets, we should focus more on the two fundamental issues affecting Nigeria – hunger and insecurity.”

Dr Farounbi therefore charged political leaders to be sincere with their campaign promises and urged Nigerians to love one another and be prudent with the management of public funds.

Babatunde Tiamiyu

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