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Bola Tinubu, Defender Of The Fulani |The Republican News

APC national leader, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Abimbola Adelakun

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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BREAKING NEWS: Suspected Fulani Herdsmen Kill Daughter Of Afenifere Chairman, Pa Fasoranti

Late Mrs. Funke Olakunrin (Nee Fasoranti) and her father, Chairman of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

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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Yoruba Will Produce Next President In 2023 – Afenifere |The Republican News

 

Aso-villa

Aso Villa

By Rotimi Ojomoyela

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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Presidential Polls: How INEC Worked Against Southern Interests -Okurounmu |RN

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 Lagosians  file out on Saturday to cast their votes to pick the next governor of  the 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 thugs  during 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 Ambode  failed 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 was  not by Yoruba but by some thugs who were  working 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 not  endanger 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 of  hatred but  out 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. But  the 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 to  sustain 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, and  some people say Buhari is fighting corruption. Remember  also 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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Afenifere Condemns Attacks On Ndigbo In Lagos, Blames Dirty Political Merchants, Their Thugs

Afenifere-on-attacks-on-Igbo

File Photo: Afenifere leaders

 

 

By Ike A. Offor, Editor

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:

PRESS STATEMENT

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.

Yinka Odumakin.
National Publicity Secretary.

 

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APC Presidential Campaign: Buhari Deceiving Tinubu – Afenifere |RN

Buhari-meets-Tinubu
      President Muhammadu Buhari and APC Chieftain, Bola Tinubu

Samson Folarin

 

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)

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Presidential Election: Afenifere Endorses Buhari, Osinbajo For 2019 |RN

The Afenifere leaders, led by Pa Ayo Fasanmi, held the meeting at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Secretariat Agodi, in Ibadan.

Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

Notable leaders of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural and political organisation, Afenifere, rose from a meeting which lasted for about three hours on Thursday, in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State, and endorsed the candidature of President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for re-election in February 2019.

x states in the South West, also fixed January 29, 2019 for an official declaration for Buhari and his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo.

The Afenifere leaders, led by Pa Ayo Fasanmi, held the meeting at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Secretariat Agodi, in Ibadan.

The resolution was reached by Yoruba leaders including former governor of old Oyo state, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, former deputy governor of Lagos and Oyo states, Prince Biodun Ogunleye and Iyiola Oladokun, respectively, Dr. Abayomi Finnih; son of the late Pa Adekunle Ajasin, a former governor of old Ondo State, Tokunbo, and former commissioner for Lands in Osun State and son of Chief Bola Ige, former Minister of Justice, Muyiwa. The roll call also included Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, Mr. Ayo Afolabi, Prof Adebayo Ademudi, Oladosu Oladipo, Tajudeen Olusi, and chairman of Ekiti State chapter of Afenifere, Chief Akin Fasae.

Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, Fasae said: “We have decided to host Yorubaland in Ibadan, on January 29, next year. It is to proclaim the support of Yorubaland for president Buhari in 2019, and also, to tell the whole world that Afenifere, which Chief Obafemi Awolowo (former premier of the Western Region) created before he left, is still intact as a progressive movement. And any Afenifere person, who is not in the progressive, is not part of us. “We are now telling the Yoruba people and the whole world that Afenifere, as enunciated and enacted by Chief Awolowo is still intact and we are going to support president Buhari and Prof Osinbajo; come the presidential election in February 2019.”

Giving more information about the January 29, 2019 Declaration, Fasae said that “the owner of the mandate of the Yoruba people is APC. The six governors of Yorubaland are APC. Speakers of all Houses of Assembly in Yorubaland are APC. So, we have six speakers.

“Those people in other group of Afenifere, none of them has ever contested election. Go and research it. So, they don’t have any mandate. The Afenifere we are talking here has the mandate of the Yoruba people, and you will see them here, all of them,” and added that Osinbajo and progressive

leaders of Yoruba nation would attend the January 29 declaration. Fasae dismissed the notion that Afenifere should not be playing partisan politics by endorsing a political party.

“Yoruba, as a nation, must have a political interest. So, when they tell us this is their political interest, as Afenifere, we must support them. This is just the point. We cannot say because Afenifere and Yoruba people want this, then, we’ll run away from them. No, we don’t do that.”

In response to the endorsement of the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, by the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), Fasae said: “The Afenifere we know in Yorubaland is progressive. And this is where we are in Ibadan. The other Afenifere that is talking about Atiku is the Ayo Adebanjo. They are not part of us. They are usurpers in the group.”  (The Sun)

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Fulani Herdsmen: Afenifere Asks For UN Intervention, Says Presidency Behind Them

By Fikayo Olowolagba

 

Fulani-Herdsmen3

 

The apex Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere has criticised the Federal Government over its warning issued to prominent Nigerians against inciting statements.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had in a statement, said unrestrained pronouncements were capable of encouraging criminals to defy legal and democratic institutions.

Reacting, Afenifere, in a statement by its spokesman, Yinka Odumakin described the Presidency’s reaction as insensitive and offensive and an indication that the government supports the activities of the killer herdsmen.

He called on the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Genocide to investigate the killings before a chaotic situation breaks out in the country.

The statement reads, “Is it asking Nigerians being killed to defend themselves that could lead to a breakdown of law and order? Seventy-three people were killed in one day in Benue.

“Many people have been killed in the last three years. Not one person has been brought to book by this government.

“This statement is so embarrassing, offensive, unfeeling. It shows clearly that the Nigerian Government is fully behind the activities of the herdsmen who are killing people and that is why we restate our demand.

“Since there is no justice from the Federal Government, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Genocide should look into what is going on in Nigeria before there is a breakdown of law and order.”  (DailyPost)

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IPOB Commends Afenifere, Yoruba Elders For Condemning Operation Python Dance |RN

Soldiers-IPOBmembers in Aba

From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu, has commended apex Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Yoruba Elders Council (YEC) and other leaders from the South West, for condemning  Operation Python Dance II in the South-East.

The group said the collective and individual condemnation, to suppress legitimate agitation for freedom, through intimidation and slaughter of the innocent, has earned Afenifere and other elders an enduring legacy which history would never forget.

IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Mr Emma Powerful said the Yoruba groups rose up to condemn the evil and “well-oiled propaganda machinery that seeks to turn the truth upside down and make us believe that light is now darkness and darkness light.

“This rare courage and forthrightness in coming forth, to speak up in defence of freedom of speech, expression, association and recognition that IPOB is not a terrorist organisation, has contributed in convincing humanity that agitation for freedom within Nigeria, including the right to self-determination, is not a crime.

“We also commend men and women of good conscience, from across all ethnic divides in Nigeria and across the globe that condemned the campaign against innocent civilian populations across Biafraland.

“With this public display of courage,  we are hopeful that many more courageous men and women across West Africa and Africa, in general, will rise up against this tyranny and oppression in black Africa, as other races have managed to do.

“With this, IPOB worldwide will remain steadfast and committed to the pursuit of the finest ideals of liberation to set free all oppressed and marginalised people in Nigeria and beyond.

“We must all stand firm now because ultimately, power belongs to the people,” Powerful said.   (The Sun)

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Ohanaeze, Afenifere, Balarabe Slam Kwankwaso For Supporting Anti-Igbo Threat

 Rabiu-Musa-Kwankwaso
                                     Rabiu Kwankwaso

Adelani Adepegba, Ihuoma Chiedozie, and Olaleye Aluko

The pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo have condemned Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso’s opposition to the call for the arrest of northern youths, who said the Igbo should leave the North before October 1.

Prominent Nigerians and groups including Afenifere, Ohanaeze and the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, have demanded the arrest of the youths by security agents.

But Kwankwaso was reported on Thursday to have opposed the call for the arrest of the youths. According to a national newspaper (not The PUNCH), the former Kano State governor in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Wednesday said the youths should be engaged in dialogue.

However, Afenifere and Ohanaeze, in separate interviews with The PUNCH on Thursday described the former governor’s position as unfortunate.

The Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Mr Chuks Ibegbu, who spoke with one of our correspondents in Enugu, said  Kwankwaso’s position should be probed.

The Ohanaeze spokesman said, “Nobody is above the law so the security agencies should investigate him.

“We want to warn that those that are fanning the embers of disunity should desist from doing so, because, if at the end of the day, the country descends into anarchy, they will also lose out.”

Ibegbu added that Kwankwaso’s statement did not come as a surprise.  “We have not forgotten that when he was governor, he stated that there was no need for more states to be created in the South-East. He said the land mass of the South-East would not support a new state, but he chose to forget the fact that state creation is not just about land mass but population.

He advised Kwankwaso, whom he said wanted to be President of Nigeria, to turn a new leaf.

The spokesman for Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said he was not surprised by the ex-governor’s utterances, noting that he had always been known for his bigotry.

He stated that Kwankwaso was trying to position himself as a defender of the Arewa.

Odumakin said his statement had further confirmed the widely held notion that the northern youths had backers.

He said, “He (Kwankwaso) is trying to position himself as a defender of the Arewa and anyone who knows him over the years would have observed his bigotry and it shows clearly that he doesn’t believe in Nigeria.

“When a crisis happened in Ife, it was Kwankwaso that was making incendiary remarks and yet there are rumours that he wants to be president of Nigeria. We have noted his utterances.”

“When people like him talk about one Nigeria, it is pure deception. I endorse what the Southern Nigeria Youths Coalition said that they wanted a referendum to determine the future of the country. I support their plan to retaliate any genocide against the Igbo in the North,” the Afenifere chieftain said.

Also, a former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, said  Kwankwaso’s call to negotiate with Arewa youths was wrong, adding that the northern youths drumming the quit notice should be arrested.

Balarabe Musa said the arrest would serve as “deterrence” and uncover the sponsors of the youths calling for a quit notice.

He said, “There is nothing wrong in inviting the youths, but definitely, the position of the Kaduna State Governor, El-Rufai, calling for arrest is the position of the majority of Nigerians. The call of people is that these young ones must be held responsible for their actions, not just to teach them a lesson for their crime, but also to expose those behind the quit notice.

“This is because the quit notice is clearly illegal and unconstitutional. How can you tell another Nigerian to quit and then give a date? That means that after that date, the youths can do anything illegal. The Federal Government and 80 per cent of Nigerians are clearly opposed to this notice. All the steps being taken by the government are correct and the government should immediately arrest these youths. Kwankwaso is wrong and the Kaduna State governor is right.”  (Punchng.com)

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