Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo and pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere have expressed their readiness to collectively fight insecurity and promote the unity of Nigeria.
The groups collectively called on the Federal government to end all forms of insecurity in the country and ensure that the unity of Nigeria is not threatened by any group of people or ethnic group.
The two groups also resolved to work together to bring an end to incessant killings and kidnappings in the South West and South East, even as they called on the Federal government to initiate programmes that will ensure the safety and protection of all Nigerians irrespective of their religious or tribal affiliations.
The positions of the two groups were made known to newsmen when a delegation of Ohaneze Ndigbo in the South West visited Afenifere leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti at his residence in Akure to commiserate with him over the gruesome killing of his daughter, Mrs
Funke Olakunrin, who was allegedly killed by Fulani herdsmen at Kajola village along Benin-Ore Expressway in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State penultimate Friday.
The Secretary-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo in the South West, Chief Inno-Chuks Ezechiefo who spoke on behalf of Igwe Gregory Ilohika who led the delegation to Fasoranti said both Afenifere and Ohaneze have always worked together for the unity of Nigeria, adding that the two groups would work together again to bring an end to insecurity in the country.
He said both the Igbo and Yoruba people are peace-loving people and warned the Federal government not to push them to the wall in the interest of peace and unity of the country.
“We are ready to live with other Nigerians in any part of the country because we are lovers of peace. We will also ensure that we work with Afenifere to bring an end to killings by Fulani herdsmen in this country. The unity of Nigeria is paramount to us and we shall do everything possible to ensure that there is peace in this country,” he stated.
He added that “our brothers in the North should also support us in the fight against insecurity in this country. The Fulani people should also work for the unity of this country. They should support us so that we can put an end to incessant killings in Nigeria. We are ready to live with others in Nigeria.”
Describing the late Mrs Olakunrin as a “sacrificial lamb,” Ezechiefo said “MKO Abiola died and his death brought democracy to Nigeria, so also, we believe that the killing of Mrs Olakunrin will bring security to Nigeria and bring an end to all forms of extra-judicial killings because she died a martyr and we believe that she died for the liberation of innocent people whose lives are being threatened every day.”
He tasked the Federal government and all security agencies in the country to ensure that the killers of Mrs Olakunrin are fished out in no distant time in the interest of peace and unity of the country.
The leader of Afenifere, Chief Fasoranti, who said that the Ohaneze and Afenifere have always worked together for the unity of Nigeria, assured that Afenifere would be willing to work with Ohaneze to restore the peace of Nigeria, even as he stated that efforts aimed at ensuring the unity of the country would be embraced by Afenifere.
He said “the Yoruba and Igbo have come a long way. Even in the time of the civil war, the Yoruba people provided refuge for the Igbo. We accommodated many Igbo nationalities in Yoruba land, especially Ondo State. We will continue to work together for the peace and unity of this country.