By Dapo Akinrefon
THE pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, yesterday, urged Nigerians to defend themselves against bandits, warning that Nigeria is fast moving into the precipice.
Afenifere also expressed worry over the worsening security situation in the country, noting that it is threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria.
In a communiqué issued at the end of its monthly meeting, held at the country home of its acting Leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, the Yoruba group said the state of the nation calls for concern.
Those present at the meeting were Deputy Leader, Oba Oladipo Olaitan; Secretary-General, Sola Ebiseni; Chief Supo Sonibare, Abagun Kole Omololu, Leke Mabinuori, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, Dr. Gbola Adetunji, Dr. Alonge, Babatunde Tijani, Dr. Amos Akingba, Comrade Jare Ajayi, Prof Akin Onigbinde and Dauda Adam, among others.
The communiqué, signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, reads: “The meeting deliberated profoundly on various issues concerning the Nigerian nation, particularly in the ways that they affect the Yoruba.
“Specifically, the meeting deliberated on the security situations that are not only threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria but making Nigerians be living in fear as many are losing their lives and properties to kidnappers and terrorists.
“We deliberated upon the plan by President Muhammadu Buhari to re-open the cattle routes despite stiff opposition from members of the public.
“Afenifere also discussed the issue of 2023 elections.
“After exhaustive deliberations on these issues, the following Resolutions were made: Afenifere noted 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.
“Afenifere observes that 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 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.
“Afenifere also noted 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 but the security of the people is also being seriously threatened.
“Afenifere also took particular note of the incessant security breaches in our border towns in Kogi, Kwara, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo. We hereby strongly call for the protection of the people in these areas.
“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 governors of the South West on the establishment of security networks like Amotekun. We urge them to continue to forge ahead.
“Since Nigeria 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 police. Security apparatus should be democratised down to the local level.
“Afenifere again reiterated its position that restructuring remains the panacea to solve the multivarious problems bedevilling the country now. And we insist that this restructuring should be done before the next elections in the country.
“In the meantime, every community must be at alert to realise that they must defend themselves from bandits who seem to have declared war on Nigeria.”