ABEOKUTA – The Pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, on Tuesday said that for Nigeria to witness desired development and progress, there must be true federalism.
The group also reiterated its call for the restructuring of the country.
These were contained in a communique issued at the end of its first annual general meeting held at the country home of its Acting Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, in Isanya Ogbo, Ogun State.
The meeting, which deliberated extensively on various issues pertaining to the Nigeria nation especially in the way they affect the Yorubas, also reviewed the various challenges that Nigeria has been facing since independence.
It felt that while the country had never met the dream of its founding fathers, the situation had never been this bad socially, economically and politically.
The communiqué which was signed by the
Afenifere National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, noted that “one of the things that has been a great cog in the wheel of Nigeria’s progress today was the rubbishing of true federalism”.
The communique added that true federalism must be allowed to be effectively operational immediately, stressing that States and local government councils must be allowed to enjoy self governance as provided for them in the Constitution.
The communique read, “Afenifere is convinced that restructuring of the Nigerian State before the 2023 general elections is achievable. It is achievable through the adoption of the reports of the 2014 National Conference and the 2018 Mallam El-Rufai Committee of the APC on True Federalism with desirable modifications where necessary”.
“Before and after independence, various efforts have been made to have a country, Nigeria, that everyone would be proud of. A country in which every one lives a happy life and there is life more abundant for all.
Afenifere however has no doubt whatsoever that the country can never get out of its present logjam, let alone, develop, unless there is restructuring”.
” In recent times, we have consistently expressed concern on the situation of insecurity in Nigeria today. We have also always recommended what we consider as the ways out of the unprecedented security challenges facing us.
In this respect, we strongly call on the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the introduction of State Police equipped with requisite means to enhance security in the states and that of the federation ultimately”.
“The performance of Amotekun Security Network in the South West in conjunction with the Nigerian Police has shown clearly that all the criticisms against State Police are unfounded and self serving”.
While considering Sunday Adeyemo Igboho as a Prisoner of Conscience, Afenifere called on all men and women of conscience, particularly the international community to which human rights and freedom are abiding faith, to prevail on the Governments of Nigeria and Benin Republic to release Sunday Igboho forthwith.
The group added that the federal government should also pay Sunday Igboho the damages awarded to him by the court upon the savage attack on his person and property.
“The meeting also called on the federal government to release Nnamdi Kanu even if on political consideration as happened in the case of Asari Dokubo under the then President Olusegun Obasanjo”.
The meeting was attended by some leaders and members of Afenifere from all the states in Yorubaland including Delta, Kwara and Kogi.
Among the leaders in attendance were the former Governor of Kwara State, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Senator Kofo Bucknor-Akerele, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, Chief Supo Sonibare, Chief Sola Ebiseni, the Secretary General, Dr. Gbola Adetunji, Chief Korede Duyile, Abagun Kole Omololu, Hon. Leke Mabinuori, Chief Kofoworola Doherty, Dr. Ebun Sonaiya, Chief Tunde Onakoya, Senator Femi Lanlehin, Jumoke Ajasin-Anifowose, Chief Segun Olawoyin and Deacon Owolabi Oladejo, Chief Olu Pesu, Reverend Goke Omigbodun among others.