Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has asked Federal Government to immediately proscribe Afenifere and other cultural tribal organisations undermining peace, security and peaceful coexistence of the country as terrorists.
CNG, in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, by its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said any individuals as Adebanjo and others associated with such groups or organisations that incite others to violations or openly support acts of terror and terrorist movements should be arrested and decisively dealt with by the authorities.
He said: “We emphatically repudiate the provocative action of remnants of those who harbour pent-up grudges against the rest of Nigeria for the failure of Awolowo’s tribalistic ambition to secure the nation’s leadership, and deem this affront…”
He died in the early hours of today due to complications from Covid-19, according to family sources.
The spokesman for the Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, is dead.
He died in the early hours of today due to complications from Covid-19, according to family sources.
Details of his death are still sketchy.
“I just spoke with Dr. Joe, his wife. She’s in a panic mode. She said a part of her is gone. Odumakin had been in the ICU of LASUTH for the past one week after being transffered from IDH Yaba,” a source said.
Odumakin was a human rights activist who played a vital role in the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) that fought General Sani Abacha’s regime after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election.
He was the Apex Yoruba group’s spokesman for over two decades, coordinating the publicity and public relations activities of the group.
He was also one of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) spokespersons, the body representing ethnic nationalities in the South-West, South-South, South-East and the Middle Belt.
Odumakin, married to another activist, Dr. Joe Odumakin, has been one of the strongest critics of the present government using the platform of the Afenifere.
He has consistently taken on the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government over alleged impartiality and favouritism in appointment into various offices.
His voice was also very loud in condemning the activities of killer herders in the Yorubaland.
He recently warned the Federal Government against arresting Sunday Igboho, who recently issued a quit notice to the Fulani herders in Ibarapa Oyo State and subsequently ejected the Sarkin Fulani in Igangan.
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, yesterday, called for the inclusion of its members and other ethnic groups in the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, in Oyo State, to overcome the language barrier, which sometimes causes misunderstanding.
The call by MACBAN, however, elicited angry reactions from other ethnic groups like the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, and the Middle Belt Forum.
The leader of the Fulani herders in Oyo State, Ibrahim Jiji, made the call, while speaking with newsmen at the Ibadan palace of Sarkin Sasa Sardaunan Yamaa, who is also the Chairman, Council of Arewa Traditional Rulers and Chiefs, in the Southern states.
Jiji, who expressed sadness over the killing of his men at Ayete, called on the relevant security agencies and Governor Seyi Makinde to expedite the release of his men, numbering 46, who were mistaken for criminals and erroneously arrested by security agents.
While clarifying the issue, he noted that security agents arrested members of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, who are the people fighting banditry, robbery and kidnapping in the area.
His words: “After the commandant of Amotekun called us that we should join in a clearance operation, we agreed that 50 men from us, who are members of Vigilance Group, would go with them.
“When Amotekun operatives wanted to go for the operation, we were in Eruwa. But, Amotekun operatives went for the operation without carrying us along. We were only informed thereafter, that they had gone and killed three of our members.
“We got information that some people were kidnapped at Igangan and our Vigilance Group was directed to go there and rescue the victims. But, on their way to the place, some security men arrested them; they are 46. They were taken later handed over to the Police Area Commander at Eruwa.
“They are not criminals at all. This Vigilance Group had arrested and handed suspected criminals to the police. How would they now be taken as criminals?
“We plead with Governor Seyi Makinde to expedite their release because they are certainly not criminals as being branded.”
Jiji urged the people not to brand any criminal they see as Fulani adding that criminality, robbery and banditry should not have any ethnic colouration.”
“A criminal is a criminal. He may be Igbo, Yoruba, Fulani or any other ethnic group in the country”.
They’re asking for too much —Afenifere
Reacting to Miyetti Allah’s request, Afenifere said MACBAN was asking for too much.
Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin said: “Why don’t they ask for them to come and mount traditional stools in Yorubaland? These people are climbing over the leaves of the tree in their unbridled ambition.”
Address worsening security problem in North —PANDEF
Also, the Deputy National Chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum, Thompson Okorotie flayed the move by the Myetti Allah but urged them to address the worsening security problem in the north.
Okorotie said: “What do they really want to achieve? Though we do not have a direct link, as far as we know, Amotekun is purely a South West arrangement to help the region. It is a self-help arrangement borne out of the rising insecurity in the land. The security situation has so worsened that everybody is to himself.
“What is the role of Myetti Allah? Do they have any structure that is related to Amotekun? Amotekun, as far as I know from outside, is well structured and it covers the South West, the Yoruba states.
“So, I do not understand what they want to do. I think they have more jobs in the North. Although we have security challenges all over the country, there is a bigger problem in the North. But if they want to solve the security challenge, let them concentrate on Yobe, Borno and others where fellow Nigerians are dying in their droves in the North. So, I don’t think it is a good idea. I don’t even believe that the Amotekun structure will accommodate then.”
It doesn’t make sense —Middle Belt Forum
On its part, the Middle Belt Forum described MACBAN’s request as “irrational because it does not make any bit of sense.”
National President of MBF, Dr. Pogu Bitrus in Makurdi said: “What is their business with Amotekun? Is the South-West not predominantly Yoruba? So, the suggestion is just like saying that we should go and have traditional rulers like Emirs of other ethnic groups in the north. It simply doesn’t make sense, it is irrational and there is no justification for that.
“Amotekun is a Yoruba outfit to save the Yoruba people from aggression. Aggression from which people? From Fulani herdsmen.
“So, it is only proper that Amotekun should be a Yoruba affair. We are not saying that Nigeria should not be plural in all spheres. But what we are saying is that when a particular ethnic group takes it upon themselves to attack others unprovoked, for whatever reason, those people have the right to defend themselves. And that is what brought about Amotekun.
“Amotekun is a Yoruba answer to the aggression by the Fulani herdsmen and of course other insurgent groups on their people.
“If they are not happy with it, they should go to their own states and have their own outfit. The truth remains that even in the north, different ethnic nationalities have vigilante groups of their ethnic nationalities to defend their people.
“So there is nothing wrong for the Yoruba to defend themselves. It is up to the Fulanis to ask their people to stop killing others, to stop attacking farmers, to stop carrying out unprovoked attacks on communities so that Amotekun will not be necessary.” (Vanguard)
…We’ll support them but there must be restructuring — Afenifere
…There must be conditions — Balarabe Musa
…We shall look at presidential candidates when they emerge and evaluate them — ACF
…Let Igbos speak with one voice — PANDEF
Apex Igbo socio-political organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo said yesterday that it had gotten the mandate of the Igbo-speaking states to negotiate with other Nigerians for the president of Igbo extraction in 2023.
Anambra State president of Ohanaeze, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene said during a press briefing in Awka that the mandate would be pursued with the seriousness it deserved because the South East was the only zone that had not occupied the office of president of Nigeria since the present democratic dispensation began in 1999.
However, different ethnic groups and personalities have reacted to the development with Afenifere saying it would support Igbo Preisdency but noted that there must be restructuring, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, said it would look at presidential candidates after they had emerged to evaluate them.
According to Ohanaeze, if in 2023, Igbo do not get the president, Ohanaeze would continue with the struggle until it is achieved, recalling that it took the late Nelson Mandela several years of struggle to achieve it in South Africa.
Okeke-Ogene also spoke on the recent attempt by some people, led by a traditional ruler in Anambra State to factionalize Ohanaeze through what he described as a misguided effort to deceive the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, to register a parallel Ohanaeze.
He said: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo is an institution of credibility and repute that spans seven states and beyond and should not for any reason be subjected to ridicule because of selfish interest of self- seeking individuals.
“We want to use this opportunity to advise the said traditional ruler to focus on activities of his kingdom and desist from meddling in the affairs of Ohanaeze so as to protect the integrity of the stool he occupies. I want to assure everybody that Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief Nnia Nwodo remains intact and very strong. We want to use the opportunity to apologize to other Igbo states for this dance of shame.”
He also explained that through the intervention of the elder statesman and first republic minister, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, Ohanaeze and the Indigenous People of Biafra,
IPOB, had resolved their differences and had started working together to achieve the collective agenda for the Igbo.
On the recent misunderstanding between some traditional rulers and the Anambra State government, the Ohanaeze president said: “We want to advise our revered royal fathers to emulate the conduct of the Chairman, Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council and Obi of Onitsha, lgwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, the grand patron of the Council and traditional ruler of Nnewi, lgwe Kenneth Orizu, as well as the traditional ruler of Mbaukwu, Igwe Peter Anugwu, among others and avoid confrontational stance against the state government as there is need to avoid sending wrong signal to the outside world.
“It is necessary to follow laid down processes and procedures in channeling grievances to appropriate authority. We equally want to use this opportunity to urge stakeholders in the state to avoid overheating the polity and creating opportunity for few individuals to hijack the power structure and hold the entire people hostage and in bondage.”
We’ll support them but there must be restructuring — Afenifere
When contacted, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, said though it supports the South East’s agitation, the country must be restructured before the 2023 general elections.
Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin said: “We will support the South East to get the Presidency in 2023 provided Nigeria is restructured.
“We have been on the same page with Ohanaeze as far as restructuring is concerned, but if Nigeria goes into any election before carrying out restructuring, it will spell doom for the country.”
There must be conditions — Balarabe Musa
However, Second Republic governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa said majority of Northeners were now in support of the emergence of a President from the Southeast come 2023, particularly of Ndigbo extraction.
According to him, “this time around, it would not be solely an Ndigbo affair, as all Nigerians would participate in selecting the most competent person among the Igbo that will fit the number one seat in Nigeria.
“He must be someone that will bring about peace, justice and equality in the country. He must be someone with the qualities of late Zik of Africa,” he said.
He reiterated that Nigerians would have to participate in choosing an Igbo person with such sterling qualities, who would be President in 2023 unlike in similar exercises.
We shall look at presidential candidates when they emerge and evaluate them — ACF
Reacting, Spokesperson for Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, Emmanuel Yawe, in a terse statement, said: “ACF believes that it is the constitutional responsibility of political parties to produce candidates. Until they do that, the forum will not interfere in that process. We shall look at the presidential candidates when they emerge and evaluate them at that stage.”
But a chieftain of the ACF, Anthony Sani said Ndigbo has the constitutional right to field a president in 2023.
“The decision by Ohanaeze Ndigbo to field a candidate to contest for the post of president in 2023 is their constitutional right under the nation’s multiparty democracy. They should design their winning game plan and canvass support across the nation, considering the president would preside over the whole Nigeria and not president of Igbos alone.
“And as Ohanaeze canvasses support, they should note that democracy is a contest of ideas and reasons and not a bull fight in a sumo ring. That is to say, in a multi-party democracy, threats and intimidation, nor playing victim with lamentation cannot secure power. Reasoned persuasion of the voters devoid of bellicose and percussive posturing are the instruments, while social skills are the requirements. More so, there is no national consensus on rotation of the president between the North and the South that is binding on the political parties.”
Let Igbos speak with one voice — PANDEF
Also yesterday, the apex socio-cultural group of the South South geopolitical zone, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, said it will welcome Ohanaeze just as it called on all Igbo leaders and groups to eschew any form of division and support ‘Ohanaeze’ to negotiate with other parts of the country for the 2023 presidency.
National Chairman of PANDEF, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, who gave the advice yesterday in Uyo stressed that Ohanaeze must work together with everybody, including those in government to win the support of other parts of the country.
Nkanga said PANDEF would welcome Ohanaeze when approached because the South South had held that the next president of the country should come from the South East.
His words: “I think what Ohanaeze is trying to do is the right thing and they should have the support of everybody in the Southeast and also in Southern Nigeria. Which other organisation would have done it other than they themselves?
“If they (Igbos) have other organizations, whether women, youth groups, especially those in govermment, they should support Ohanaeze. It should not be while Ohanaeze is negotiating for Igbo presidency, other organizations are negotiating for other regions to take the position. Let the Igbos speak with one voice.For Ohanaeze to succeed, the elders and leaders must make sure they eschew any form of faction in the organization. This is not the time to talk about faction; they should close ranks because when they close ranks they should be able to convince the rest of the country.”
“Though they have not approached us yet on that, Ohaneze will not have problem if they come to us because they are a component of Southern and Middle Belt Forum. And PANDEF over time had supported the idea that we should allow the presidency to come to the South this time.
“And of course if it comes to the South the logical thing will be to allow the Southeast have it. In an open letter our Chairman Board of Trustees,Chief Edwin Clark wrote, he specifically said that the presidency should go to the Southeast” (Vanguard)
This is, undoubtedly, a difficult time for Afenifere leader, Baba Reuben Fasoranti. He has suffered a grievous loss of his daughter, Funke Olakunrin, in untoward circumstances. The loss of one’s child is a painful and traumatic experience. My prayer for him and his family is to find strength at this trying time.
Now, the death of Mrs Olakunrin is bad enough; the politicisation of the grief is grossly unfair to the family of the deceased. We have always known that some of our leaders have bad manners, but this incident has further exposed them as lacking the ethic of charity. When the news of the death was first announced, the President’s media aide, Femi Adesina, hastily jumped on Twitter to say her killers were “those described as armed robbers by Ondo State Police Command.” Adesina cared little about the deceased; his obsession about roughening up the narrative was to preempt people’s angst that would be directed at his paymasters. If he cared about the poor woman and he respected the Fasoranti family, he would have hesitated and not tried to stuff words in the mouth of the police. The bereaved family not only have to contend with their pain, they also have to deal with the irritation of their daughter’s name being evoked each time we bring up the petty politics of shameless politicians who are using the sad incident to burnish their credentials as bona fide national leaders.
One of these Job’s comforters is the All Progressives Congress leader and former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, who answered some journalists’ questions during his visit to the Fasoranti family. First, he downplayed the circumstances of Olakunrin’s death by suggesting that she could have died in a road accident if it was duly fated. This line of reasoning is about one of the most uncharitable things one can say to the hearing of a bereaved family and, frankly, unbecoming of someone who wears the label of an elder. Such misspeaks bolster my conviction that the withdrawal of the permanent pass that some folk have awarded themselves as Yoruba leaders is long overdue for withdrawal. However manner Olakunrin might have died, the fact remains that she was killed and allegedly by herdsmen. To even overlook the circumstances of her death, sidestep the tense reactions by the exasperated populace, and begin to meander logic through bush paths is moral cowardice.
For a while now, Nigeria has been in a difficult situation because of the activities of killer herdsmen. Mind you, these herdsmen have been labelled as the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world by the Global Terrorism Index. They have carried out massacres in rural and agrarian communities, and have been emboldened enough by the slackness of state security forces to move into urban settings. Tinubu only needs to go to rural areas in southwestern Nigeria, and his ears will be filled with stories of assault, kidnapping, and vicious murder. People are no longer at ease. They have lost their lives and entire investments in farming to the herdsmen menace. Those that have survived deadly encounters live in fear of the herdsmen. The fact that death is cheap in Nigeria does not mean we should refuse to label an issue for what it is. There is a context to the suspicion that Olakunrin might have been killed by herdsmen; why try to obfuscate matters by pointing out other ways she could have died? Why not just tell the bereaved you are sorry and go home?
The herdsmen nuisance got to the point that Adesina told Benue people to yield their land to their killers or continue to lose their lives. How can anyone look at all of these stories – including the “your land or your life” propositions to the poor hapless and undefended Nigerians – and merely shrug and say death could have come by a road accident anyway? We all know death is inevitable, but nobody throws their life outside the window for the fun of it. Otherwise, why does Tinubu himself travel with an armed escort and in a bulletproof vehicle too? Why can he not test his fate by stripping himself of the paraphernalia of defence and let’s see what happens?
While responding to the press, Tinbu tried to deflect, engaged in a rhetorical strategy called ‘whataboutism’ for no other discernable reason than not wanting to address the hippopotamus on his laps. The question at hand was the issue of insecurity – the kidnappings and killings by herdsmen – but somehow, he managed to drag in another issue entirely when he alluded to the alleged kidnapper, Evans, who was arrested a while ago. What has Evans’ kidnapping career got to do with herdsmen who did not even start their crimes with kidnapping but massacres and displacement of poor villagers whose farms they raided? Why stop at Evans when he could equally have raised other issues such as Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo’s pending lawsuit and even climate change? He even threatened to give us a history of kidnapping to show us that what we are presently dealing with is an imitation of the criminal proclivity of southerners.
All of the above bring me to the point that baffled me most and which summarises all of the rhetorical acrobatics he did at the Fasoranti’s house: the needless defence of the Fulani by Tinubu. By now, everyone would have noticed that the most strident defence of the Fulani over the herdsmen issue has come from southerners, particularly the Yoruba. On the question of whether the Fulani deserve the stereotype of cold-blooded killers or not, the Yoruba people have wept louder than the bereaved. The Fulani themselves are an ethnic group with enough power to take over the media in their own defence, but they do not do so. Today, the Fulani are resented, and not just because of the herdsmen issue but also because of the clannishness and tribalism of President Muhammadu Buhari who has more or less driven collective benefits in the direction of a selected class. Why have they not refuted the narrative about them, considering that they have the necessary clout to challenge the demonising of their ethnic identity? They can use the airwaves and other media forms to vehemently denounce the herdsmen who attack undefended populations. They can rebuke Miyetti Allah group over their inflammatory statements, and also condemn the actions of reprobate groups such as the Coalition of Northern Groups who gave governors a 30-day ultimatum to enforce RUGA and students of Usman Dan Fodio University who insisted that RUGA must be established in all the 36 states of Nigeria.
They are so many crisis-management strategies the Fulani ethnic group can deploy to manage their image being battered all over Nigeria because of the spate of herdsmen attacks. If the Fulani themselves are not engaged in activities to refurbish their image, it is because they are too self-secure in their political power and privileges to be bothered about the long-term implications of ethnic stigmatisation. They probably also do not concern themselves so much with pushing back against stereotypes because their lackeys in the South run those errands on their behalf.
Tinubu, in rounding off the interview, made a rather curious statement cum question, “I don’t want to be political, but I will ask, where are the cows?” If by that he means that the crime of murder could not have been committed by herdsmen because there were no cows at the crime scene, it means he has reached the end of reasoning. I do not want to be political either, but the question of where the cows have already been answered by none other than Tinubu himself. The cows are everywhere. If some people look into their mirror, they will find those cows staring back at them in all their bovine glory.
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Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, says it has received information that Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Afenifere chairman, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, has been killed by persons suspected to be herdsmen.
The spokesman for Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said this in a terse message sent to The PUNCH on Friday.
According to Odumakin, the 58-year-old woman was heading to Ore Junction from Akure, Ondo State, when she was attacked and shot by the herdsmen.
He said, “We have confirmed the death of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin (58), daughter of our leader, Chief Fasoranti.
“Eyewitness accounts say she died of gunshots from Fulani herdsmen who shot her at Ore junction in Ondo State earlier today.
“She was coming from Akure when the armed Fulani herdsmen came from the bush to attack her and other vehicles.
“Her domestic staff in the car with her also sustained gunshots.
“This is one death too many and a clear we-can-take-it-no-more death.”
Olufunke is the second child of 94-year-old Fasoranti to die. The elder statesman had also lost a daughter, Bunmi, some years ago. (Punch)
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ADO-EKITI—THE Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG, in Ekiti State, yesterday, expressed confidence that the Yoruba nation would produce the country’s next president in 2023.
Speaking with newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, State Coordinator of ARG, Mr. Bunmi Awotiku noted that the body would play significant role in rallying the Yoruba nation for the realisation of the 2023 agenda.
He said: “The South West has been supportive of the policies and programmes of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and we shall continue to do so. We want him to succeed and he shall succeed by God’s grace.
“We would come to the round table and I can assure you that Yoruba would forge a common front this time around. We have learned our lessons as a people and we won’t allow internal fight or acrimony to deprive us this great opportunity like the presidency.” (Vanguard)
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Outspoken Afenifere chieftain, Senator Femi Okurounmu has accused INEC of working against southern interests in the recent presidential election. He also accused APC leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu of using his personal interest to endanger the lives of other Yoruba people across the country. He spoke on these and other national issues in this interview conducted by TUNDE THOMAS.
What is your reaction to the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari over Alhaji Atiku Abubaka in the presidential election?
Buhari’s so-called victory was made possible through the collusion of INEC officials and the security agents that were deployed for the polls. The presidential and national assembly elections were marred with a lot of irregularities. To make matters worse, INEC officials and security agents openly worked for Buhari and APC, instead of being neutral. They openly supported Buhari and APC. It was glaring that INEC was acting out a script and that script was to dance to the tune of Buhari and APC. The election was far from being free and fair.
Again look at the number of deaths, the number of Nigerians who were sent to their untimely graves just because a clique wants to remain in power at all cost. Buhari has nothing to rejoice about. That election was a setback for our democracy. The president and his party members didn’t allow the will of Nigerians to prevail. Thank God Atiku has gone to court to challenge the outcome of the charade called election.
Are you saying that INEC compromised?
Obviously. INEC didn’t live up to expectation. It was glaring that INEC compromised and that’s why I described INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, a big failure. In several parts of Nigeria, especially in the South, millions of voters were disenfranchised especially in areas perceived to be strongholds of opposition parties. To show you how biased INEC was, while INEC insisted on the use of card readers in the South, same rule was not applied in the North and all manners of people were allowed to vote. At the end of the exercise INEC was declaring millions of votes in the North while working against the interests of the South. The situation portrayed INEC as having a hidden agenda. This is why Afenifere spoke out against some of these evils that took place during the presidential and national assembly elections. Imagine how APC supporters and thugs unleashed violence on voters in Oshodi, Okota, Isolo and some areas where they felt the party was not popular among residents. We are against the attacks on Igbo and other non-Igbo who were victims of APC supporters and thugs attack. We are all Nigerians and nobody has any right to impose his own will on others. You can’t force me to belong to your own political party or force your ideology down my throat. It is a free world and there should be freedom of choice.
As Lagosiansfile out on Saturday to cast their votes to pick the next governor ofthe state, what is your advice to the parties, the electorate, INEC, and security agents?
Lagosians don’t have problem with one another. Lagos has always been a melting pot for all Nigerians, and people have been living together in unity, and harmony. We are shocked by the action of APC supporters and thugsduring the national assembly and presidential elections. There should not be a repeat of that show of shame during the gubernatorial elections. I advise security agents to be alive to their responsibilities. How can thugs, hoodlums and street urchins be attacking people and security agents would be found wanting?
I’m also shocked that when those thugs attacked people penultimate week neither APC national leader, Bola Tinubu and Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu deemed it fit to speak out against the evil. Even up till now neither of them has condemned those behind the attacks. Even the governor of Lagos state, Akinwumi Ambodefailed to speak out and this was why Afenifere spoke out in order to douse tension. Afenifere spoke out to reassure non-Yoruba living in Lagos that the attack on them wasnot by Yoruba but by some thugs who wereworking for some political overlords. Yoruba are peace loving, and we will continue to promote and exhibit virtues that will continue to strengthen the bond of unity among Nigerians. Although we were initially shocked that Governor Ambode didn’t speak out but we later understood his own predicament. Ambode is also being persecuted by Tinubu and other APC leaders. But these people should stop playing God. They should notendanger Yoruba interests because of their own selfish interests. Voters in Lagos should not be intimidated. They should be allowed to exercise their fundamental rights in an atmosphere devoid of harassment and intimidation.
Now that Buhari has won the election, what advice do you have for him?
Buhari has gone beyond advice. Buhari already has a mindset and that’s why advising him is a waste of time. Buhari is opposed to restructuring of Nigeria. He wants the status quo to remain. But the fact still remains, whether Buhari wants to believe it or not there is no alternative to restructuring. Afenifere leaders’ opposition to Buhari is not borne out ofhatred butout of our desire to have a country where there is justice and equity.
Look at the herdsmen menace, Buhari has failed to curb it simply because the herdsmen are his kith and kin. Butthe nefarious activities of herdsmen have been leading to loss of lives on daily basis across the country. But for how long will they continue to go on rampage before Buhari will deem it fit to find a solution to their menace?
Some Nigerians who have expressed joy over Buhari’s victory have declared that his re-election will enable him tosustain the war against corruption and carry out other reforms that will transform Nigeria, what’s your take on that?
Which war is Buhari fighting against corruption? Is Buhari truly fighting corruption, when his right hand man, and APC National Leader Bola Tinubu put bullion vans containing money in his compound ,and EFCC is looking the other way? To rub salt upon injury, when he was confronted about the propriety of what he did, instead of being sober Tinubu said he has the right to keep his money anywhere including his house, andsome people say Buhari is fighting corruption. Rememberalso what APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole said publicly that any looter that joins APC will be forgiven his sins, and you say Buhari is fighting corruption. Buhari’s war against corruption is a mockery. It is not only one-sided but also selective. (The Sun)
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The Yoruba sociocultural organisation, Afenifere has unequivocably condemned the various attacks meted out on the Igbo in Lagos during the Presidential and National Assembly elections yesterday in Lagos.
The Republican News earlier on its Facebook page has published some gruesome commentaries from some Young Oduduwa Leaders eulogizing the political violence against the Igbo in Lagos. These young Yoruba leaders, who mostly are in diaspora, mainly in the UK, promised more deaths and to make more wives of the Igbos widows.
One of such commentaries stands out on its specifics and it came from one Samuel Olumide, who suggested that they should go out and kill the Igbo in large numbers.
One Prince Afefe Agbaye responded by telling him ” death awaits them especially in Okota…..my people don’t be sad, relax and see how their wives become widows.
There was also one case of alleged OPC leader, who reportedly was attacked by Igbo youths for carrying away ballot boxes and burning ballot papers in Ago Palace way in Okota, Lagos.
It is very deserving for the authentic Yoruba leaders to condemn such acts of violence and that they actually did, to set the record straight.
Below is the press statetment:
Political Violence: Afenifere Condemns Attacks on Ndigbo in Lagos
Afenifere condemns in the strongest terms the political violence visited on Nigerians of Ndigbo extraction in Lagos during the Saturday Presidential elections.
Dirty political merchants and their band of thugs apart from engineering political disenfranchisement of Ndigbo, went ahead to visit violence on them and burning their votes en masse.
The political vandals they used were said to have been calling themselves OPC but our checks with the genuine leaders of the group have shown that the deragend elements had no affiliation with the OPC known by Afenifere.
We frown seriously at the failure of the security agencies to give adequate cover to Ndigbo in the affected communities as these thugs went berserk carrying out the instructions of their sinking political godfathers.
We want to assure our Igbo Brothers and Sisters that the bond of friendship the Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo have built particularly under the dynamic leadership of Chief John Nwodo remains strong and will not be broken by the nefarious activities of a few strange children in our midst.
We are already in discussions with Ndigbo leadership on the matter and we appeal for calm as these political vandals are only engaged in death kicks .
We call on the security agencies to give adequate security covers to Ndigbo in subsequent elections as we encourage them not to succumb to intimidation and harassment by political vampires .
Our historical connectivity with Ndigbo will survive the Saturday madness and the perpetrators will be shamed eternally.
National Publicity Secretary.
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President Muhammadu Buhari and APC Chieftain, Bola Tinubu
A Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has described as deceitful the declaration by President Muhammadu Buhari that his campaign would be led by the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu.
The spokesperson for the group, Yinka Odumakin, warned that any attempt by Buhari to avoid the presidential debate slated for next week could spell doom for his re-election bid.
Buhari, while inaugurating the APC Presidential Campaign Council in Abuja on Monday had said he was handing over the campaign to Tinubu.
He had said, “But I must also add that though we will all be deeply involved, I will like to assure the nation that I will do my part without making governance or my work to suffer. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, my co-chairman, will be fully in charge and is going to be on 24-hour vigil.
“That is to say the operational buck of this campaign stops at his table, and I therefore urge all of us in the leadership of this campaign, in the field operations, on the campaign trail and in the secretariat to consult with Asiwaju whenever guidance is needed.”
Odumakin, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone on Monday, said the statement smacked of deceit.
He said, “I think the whole thing is just to make Tinubu feel good and think he is being reckoned with. But in any case, it is said that those who don’t learn from history will repeat it.
“This confirms that there are political forces that see some personalities at desperate times as people they can just toy with and once they dangle some carrots before them, there will be no problem.
“But if he tries to avoid the debate, it cannot work. Nigerians will not be wise to vote for anybody that is not ready to debate.” (Punch)