•States should emulate Kano’s Kanduje – Southwest PDP
By Dayo Johnson, Dapo Akinrefon, Ola Ajayi, Rotimi Ojomyela, Shina Abubakar & James Ogunnaike
The influx of northerners into the South West zone of the country has elicited angry reactions from various Yoruba groups and leaders including the Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE; the socio-political organization, Afenifere; the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC and some leaders. They maintain that Nigerians have the constitutional right to move around in any part of the country but where such people army of miscreants, suspected terrorists, criminal herders and bandits then it gives cause for concern. Again, this happening mostly after the ban on interstate travels following COVID-19 pandemic should be rejected totally, they argue.
It’s becoming increasingly disturbing—YCE
Reacting, the Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE, said it is becoming increasingly disturbing.
Secretary-General of the group, Dr. Kunle Olajide, said: “We completely reject it. We call on governors in the South West to put heads together and put machinery in motion to ensure that the Western Nigeria Security Network begins operations immediately.
“We gathered from a reliable source that it is not only Almajirai that come in droves, also the adults in their large number have trooped in. There’s Presidential order banning inter-state travels. They are flouting it.
Also speaking, the Yoruba Revolutionary Group (Agbekoya) said: “We are very much aware how they are trooping into our zone. We are already proposing something to the government. If the governors don’t take any step, we will go ahead to protect our region.
“But one of the challenges we have is the issue of funds. We are facing serious financial difficulties. Once that is taken care of by our governors, there is nobody we cannot face.”
Hold northern elites responsible—Afenifere
On its part, Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin said: “Voices from the South over the years have spoken against the Almajiri social demography which northern politicians have used to hijack power and harvest money from the federal purse. It is wicked of northern elites to start exporting them to the South now that it is the only Coronavirus that is derivable from them and oil money is drying up.”
We’ll resist attempts to invade S’West – OPC
Similarly, the OPC vowed to protect the Southwest region against any possible invasion.
Speaking on behalf of the Aare Gani Adams, the OPC coordinator in Osun State, Mr. Deji Aladesawe said: “We are happy that Governors of the region are being proactive on several issues relating to the interest of the region and we will always support such initiative since the mandate of the group is to protest the interest of the race and its territory.”
Send them to farms — Okurounmu
Former Secretary of Afenifere, Senator Femi Okurounmu said: “There are two dimensions to the problems of Almajiris, in the north and their influx into the South, First of all, the Almajiris have always been an instrument of operations of the northern elites. This has always been deliberate in the north, right from pre-independence.
.”To curb the ugly trend, what I think that can easily be done is that, there are laws against wandering, and free grazing, they can easily invoke those laws, I think these laws can be invoked against loitering, street begging, wandering. They should just polish such laws. Those who break the laws can be sent to communal labour. The government can set up agricultural farms to farm, to clear land, plant crops, and harvest crops. This way, they earn something. This is a very useful step. Clear them from the streets and make them productive at the farm.”
Other states should emulate Kano’s Kanduje —S’West PDP
When contacted, the Zonal Publicity Secretary of PDP, Ayo Fadaka said: “The Almajiri issue continues to remain a challenge to the North which for curious reasons sustained it for so long.
“When President Jonathan moved to abort the system, he received little or no support to the Almajiri school system. It was the first casualty of the APC governments in the Northern States. However, it seems there is a new reawakening triggered by Kano’s Gov Ganduje who thinks that summary expulsion of non-native Almajiris is the way to go, this is erroneous.
“This is unacceptable, the Almajiris remain the burden of the North and it must be prepared to shoulder it.
“The North failed to educate its people on the need for responsible parenthood; it is not out of place to see a 32year old who has already fathered dozens of children he won’t care for.
“Therefore the Southern States must be prepared to expel all the Almajiris and even miscreants who constitute a challenge to our security back to their States of origin. If Kano could do it to its kith and kin, then we too should brace up to do it.
“The security of the South matters so much and addressing issues of future challenges now is a task that must be accomplished.”
They’re disasters in the making— Ayenakin
A legal practitioner, Mr. Banjo Ayenakin said: “When people are migrating from one region to the other with no clear-cut plans in minds; with no homes in view; it is apparent that they will constitute an enormous nuisance to the host environment. These are people who have no economic, social, or political advantage to the host community. They are disasters in the making.
“The influx must be a security concern to the South. It is not a mere influx or happenstance as some opined. It may be a calculated or orchestrated device to cause serious upheaval in the South.
“Without sounding like an alarmist; these bandits will be ready tools in the hand of Fulanis who are residents in the South and who are having crises with farmers. They may easily be engaged to fight the host communities.”