September 27, 2023

Afenifere hits Obasanjo over attack on Oyo Obas



— Demands public apology to Obas

— Tells security agencies, to be more decisive, and proactive on insecurity, banditry

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

The Pan Yoruba Socio-Political Group, Afenifere, has asked former President Olusegun Obasanjo, to apologise to Oyo traditional rulers for ridiculing them, the Yoruba culture and tradition.

Rising from a meeting at the residence of its leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure, Ondo state, the group lashed Obasanjo for “rubbishing the noble tradition.

A communique issued at the end of the meeting reads “Afenifere was taken aback by the avoidable and unwarranted incident that took place at Iseyin, Oyo State on Friday, September 15, 2023, where former President Olusegun Obasanjo commanded Royal Fathers at the gathering to stand up (and after complying), were ordered to sit down.

” It was as though a military commander was giving orders to his troops.

“We Yorubas respect our traditional institutions, the arrowhead of which, are our traditional rulers, who, traditionally and spiritually, have acquired the status of deities.

“It’s not surprising that they are referred to as ‘Igbakeji Orisa’!. In view of the attempt to ridicule the respected Obaship institution in Yorubaland, Afenifere hereby demands an unreserved Public Apology to Obas from former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

“Our tradition describes who we are. As such, no effort must be spared to prevent the rubishing of our noble tradition.

“In that wise, it’s hereby recommended that royal fathers are spared the trouble to stand up at public functions as obtained in the United Kingdom among others.

On the state of the nation, the group said “After carefully reviewing the present situation on social, economic, security and political situation in Nigeria, particularly in Yorubaland, Afenifere called on all the state governors in the zone to improve regional cooperation in order to enhance the standard of living of our people.

“The meeting observed that the Development Agenda for the South West of Nigeria (DAWN) and the Yoruba Agenda launched at Ibadan in 2017 provide a roadmap that the state governments can use to transform Yorubaland.

Speaking on insecurity and banditry in the country, the group” the meeting called on the Federal Government and Security Agencies to be more decisive and more pro-active.

“Four approaches are hereby recommended for immediate consideration and action, immediate deployment of anti-terrorism devices and proper motivation of security personnel,
Immediate engagement of local leaders in areas where insecurity is rife.

“Reports have it that leaders in those areas are somehow complicit in how bandits succeed in their nefarious activities, deliberate efforts be made to get the youths gainfully engaged so as to make them unavailable for anti-social and inhuman activities while cases of banditry and terrorism be discharged expeditiously. Perpetrators of banditry are made to pay heavy prices.

The group also “reaffirms its support for the current government ably led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and calls on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the government in the onerous task of resuscitating our economy and improving the quality of life of all citizens.

It further appealed “to the government and Labour leaders to engage more in consultation with a view to quickly resolve the issues surrounding the fuel subsidy removal and the attendant difficulties Nigerians are facing.

“Afenifere calls on the government to redouble its efforts in finding a lasting solution to the intractable problem of the exchange rate in order to bring succour to the teeming population of our people, in no distant future.

On speaking Yoruba language, Afenifere said “In order to ensure the survival of Yoruba language as the most important element of Yoruba culture, Yoruba should be the medium of instruction from Primary One to Three.

” Thereafter, it should become a compulsory subject for every pupil in Primary School and for every student in secondary schools. It must be offered as one of the compulsory subjects in the school certificate examinations.

On the coming census, Afenifere said “The Meeting also takes note of the plan by the Federal Government to unify various forms of official identification processes in Nigeria and commended the initiative.

“It also reiterated the need to employ the use of a Biometric System in the planned census exercise. It is observed that the system worked well as used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the purpose of registering people for the Voters Cards.

” We recommend this because of our belief that it would considerably reduce the avalanche of anomalies usually associated with head-counting exercises in the past.