By Chukwudi Nweje
Pan Yoruba group, Afenifere has asked the Federal Government to immediately approve state police to enable states to protect themselves from the various acts of terrorism, kidnapping, herders/farmers clashes that pervade Nigeria.
It reiterated its position that restructuring remains the only way to fix Nigeria, even as it said the restructuring should be completed before the general elections in 2023.
Afenifere made the demands in a communique issued at the end of a meeting presided over by its leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo in Sanya-Ogbo, Ijebu Ode, yesterday.
It said, “In view of the fact that Nigeria nation is fast moving into the precipice, there is the need by the federal government to urgently put a halt to various acts of terrorism, kidnapping, herders/farmers clashes and the like. This, Government can do, by immediately allowing states to have their own police. In fact, the security apparatus should be democratised down to the local level. Every community must be at alert to realise that they must defend themselves from bandits who seem to have declared war on Nigeria. Afenifere again reiterated its position that restructuring remains the panacea to solve the multifarious problems bedevilling the country now. And, we insist that this restructuring should be done before the next elections in the country.”
The communique signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi also bemoaned the influx of foreigners into Nigeria under the guise of commercial motorcycle riders, which it said has worsened the security situation and called on indigenous communities in the country to be on the alert and be ready to defend themselves from bandits who have declared war on Nigeria.
It further said, “Afenifere notes with serious concern the unprecedented security problems accentuated by the influx of people even from outside Nigeria. Some of them are disguising as Okada riders. We call on the government and security agencies to put a halt to the unbridled influx of people with questionable intentions. Terrorism and related vices including kidnapping are now so worrisome that in some cases, our people in places like Yewa, Ogun State, Oke Ogun in Oyo State, etc are forced to be relocating into the Benin Republic and other West African countries. Urgent actions must be taken to guarantee the security of these people and to put a stop to what is causing them agonies.”
The group said it stood with the 17 southern governors on the ban on open grazing and commended the South-West states on the establishment of the regional security, Amotekun.
It added, “It is a known fact that Afenifere strongly stands by the southern governors in their resolution on anti-grazing laws. We commend the steps taken by the governors of the South-West states on the establishment of security networks like Amotekun. We urge them to continue to forge ahead.”
The group condemned the illegal mining activities going on in various parts of Yorubaland, which it said jeopardise the economic and agricultural well being of the people.
“We note with concern the illegal mining activities going on in various parts of our land, especially by non-indigenes. In many cases, the manner of this activity is not only jeopardising the economic and agricultural activities of our people in these areas, the security of the people is also being seriously threatened”, Afenifere said.