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Afenifere calls for implementation of 2014 Confab report

*Decries 'apartheid' treatment in the opening of borders for only Dangote, BUA cement companies *Asks security agents to step up their game and provide adequate security for lives and property in Nigeria *Opposes construction of rail line and roads to Niger Republic

Afenifere, the apex Yoruba sociocultural and political organisation has, again, called for the implementation of the 2014 Constitutional Conference Report, which recommended fundamental changes to the structure of the country, saying the report contained the panacea to Nigeria’s lingering political problems caused mainly by the over-concentration of power at the centre.

Rising from its monthly meeting held at the country home of its national leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti in Akure, the Ondo State capital, Afenifere also raised alarm over what it described as “worsening insecurity and state of the economy in the country,” calling on the President to take steps to provide adequate security for lives and property in Nigeria.

The group equally opposed the proposed rail line and N30bn highway to connect the Niger Republic with Nigeria, describing them as outlandish and misplaced priorities.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting and read to newsmen by the National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere warned that ”the country has virtually become ungovernable and unless we restructure and restore Nigeria to federalism, the country is on the brink of collapse and God should save us from the worst-case scenario.”

“…Nobody should take this country on any childish ride; we should just implement the report of the 2014 conference now,” the group declared, lamenting that with Nigeria entering its worst recession in 33 years and the second in five years of Buhari, “we are equally besieged by attendant poverty, hunger as well as worsening insecurity across the land with kidnappers, armed robbers and bandits on the prowl and government helpless and unable to govern effectively.”

Turning to the recent youth protest against the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), under the aegis of the nationwide “#EndSARS protest, the group argued that the protest was a by-product of a unitary rule, which promotes single policing that does not allow for policemen to be posted to their cultural zones to take charge but entrenches the culture of policing whereby people who have no knowledge or understanding of a people or their culture are sent to police them.

According to Afenifere, it is because most Nigerian policemen have nothing in common culturally with the people they are detailed to police that they show so much disdain for them as to routinely violate their human rights in the way SARS profiled young people whose cultures they did not understand, as criminals for the simple reason that they wore fancy haircuts and sagged their trousers.

“lt was the peak of bestiality to open live bullets on peaceful protesters singing the national anthem and holding the national flag as it happened at Lekki Toll Gate on 20/10/20,” Afenifere remonstrated, adding that “it has become more disheartening that the Nigerian government continues to tell all untruths about the massacre in spite of the CNN revelations and the Lagos coroner advertising unidentified dead bodies dumped in its mortuaries from 19-27 Oct 2020.”

”lt smacks of absolute lack of conscience for anybody to still be talking of ‘massacre without dead bodies’. We are not sure that the current investigation is capable of unravelling what happened in Lekki,” Afenifere stressed in the communique.

“For instance, we gathered that two sets of soldiers came to Lekki, one from Lagos and another from Abuja. What mandate was given to each and by whom?

“We need to know why Lagos Governor was allegedly blocked from reaching the president first after changing the curfew time and after the massacre.

”We commend the UK Parliament for their bold debate on the malady in Nigeria and welcome their decision to recommend sanctions against top officials of a supposed democratic government in Nigeria behaving like a junta.”

Condemning the opening of borders to only Dangote and BUA, Afenifere asked the government to open the borders to everybody.

“The meeting condemned Buhari government’s attitude of a dog that breastfeeds its own puppies and kills other animals for lunch as per management of borders,” the communique further read.

“The Seme and other Southern borders have been closed for a year now against our people and recently opened for the use of Dangote and BUA. We reject this apartheid policy and demand the reopening of Seme and other southern borders now!”

On the attack and destruction of the farm of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, the group said “the meeting received the report of yet another provocative invasion of Chief Olu Falae’s farm a few days ago by Fulani herdsmen.

”We wonder if a group of Yoruba boys can go to the North and be harassing a northern equivalent of Chief Falae serially and war would not have been declared on Yoruba in the North now,” Afenifere regretted, calling on President Buhari, “who is also the grand patron of Miyetti Allah to bring this unfortunate development to an end now. There should be an apology to him also.”

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