Herdsmen under the umbrella of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore have expressed scepticism over the inauguration of Operation Amotekun.
Miyetti Allah, however, warned that it would not condone acts of injustice meted out to any of its members by the officials of the outfit or any other vigilance group.
The National Secretary of the group, Alhassan Saleh, said this on Friday during an interview with Saturday PUNCH.
Saleh said, “We have no problem with them as long as they will not target our herders. We have our own defence mechanisms. We fight injustice anywhere, not only in Nigeria. So, if they end up meting out injustice to us, we will fight back. That is the truth but we are law-abiding.
“And as herders, we must herd our cows until there is an alternative provided for us. If they give us alternative, we will go there and if they say they don’t want us, those that want to leave, will leave but what we will not sanction is anybody taking the law into their own hands because we have a history of fighting injustice anywhere there is oppression.”
He stated that Miyetti Allah was not in support of cows straying into people’s farms but movement, as guaranteed by the constitution, must be respected.
Saleh recalled that herdsmen suffered acts of injustice when the Benue State Government set up the livestock guard which ended up extorting money from innocent herders.
The secretary said Operation Amotekun could be used by politicians to perpetuate themselves in power by election rigging.
Saleh argued that South-West governors should have remained true to their call for state police rather than opt for the Operation Amotekun option.
He stated, “When you empower groups and give them arms, the possibility is that others will follow suit and the central government will begin losing its power. Definitely, our politicians will begin to abuse these outfits.
“When it is election time, sitting governors will use the outfits to their advantage. The first casualties of such malfeasance will be the people of that state, because when they want to impose themselves, they use these people because they are already trained and armed just like in Benue State.
“At the end, the livestock guards ended up killing people. It is on record because people have been tried and jailed. So, it is not the way forward. If they cannot push the debate for state police, they should not do such half measures.” (Punch)
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the South West geo-political zone of the country has concluded arrangements to meet with all the six governors of the region with a view to ensuring security in the region.
The chairman, Ondo State chapter of the association, Alhaji Bello Garba who disclosed this in Akure said the association would soon meet on how to work with governments in the South West to tackle the issue of kidnapping and other crimes in the region.
Garba said the association had been working with security agencies in the region on the issue of security.
He said the organisation discovered that some herdsmen who were not their members were coming from Edo, Ogun and other neighbouring states to operate in Ondo State, especially along the Shagamu-Ore expressway.
According to him, the National Chairman of the association, Alhaji Mohammadu Kirwa, had directed that the Ondo State chapter should cooperate with the state governors, police commissioners and other security agencies in the South West to deal with the issue of kidnapping
This development followed the spate of kidnapping and killing on highways in the South West, especially along the Lagos-Ibadan, Lagos-Benin, Ondo-Ore, Akure-Owo-Akoko and Ibadan-Gbongan-Akure expressways.
In one of such attacks on July 12, 2019, suspected kidnappers shot dead Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the 58-year-old daughter of an Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
Garba asserted that the Ondo chapter of MACBAN and the national body had resolved to deal decisively with the scourge of kidnapping and killings in the South West region.
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Kidnappers and herdsmen abducting people have been warned to keep away from the South West or risk incurring the wrath of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC).
Giving the warning in an interview is the president of OPC, Aare Prince Osibote, who said the group will resist any attempt not only to make Yoruba land unsafe but also to turn it into den of criminals. Osibote, who succeeded late Dr. Fredrick Faseun as OPC leader also spoke on other national issues.
What is your reaction to the present state of insecurity in the country, especially the South West where suspected herdsmen and bandits have been kidnapping people?
As an organisation, OPC is worried about this security challenge, and our hope is that the various security agencies will be able to quickly nip in the bud the nefarious activities of bad elements behind these vices. As the leader of OPC, I’m calling on Yoruba and other people living in the South West not to panic. OPC is up to the task and we are fully prepared to defend the Yoruba land from any external aggressors. I’m giving the people of the South West the assurance that they should not panic. We are already doing our home work. We are ready to bare our fangs if provoked.
Don’t forget that the primary objective of setting up the OPC as an organisation is to defend and promote Yoruba interests, and we are ready at all times to do that. Enough is enough! These criminals should keep off Yoruba land or risk incurring the wrath of OPC.
Our warning to all these criminal elements is that they should stay away from Yoruba land. OPC under my watch will not allow Yoruba land to be turned into a den of criminals. Never! It will never happen. They should not play with fire. OPC can’t only bark but can also bite. We will not trigger or provoke any crisis, but any group or individual that attempt to disrupt peace in Yoruba land will have himself to blame. Everybody know what OPC can do, but we are for peace and unity of Nigeria, we don’t want to be provoked and this is why I’m using this medium to appeal to the Federal Government to take urgent steps to put adequate security measures in place to secure lives and properties of all Nigerians.
Why has your voice not been heard all this while on some of these burning national issues?
I have not been speaking out since I took over leadership of OPC after the death of our founder, Dr Frederick Fasheun because I have been undertaking reforms in OPC with a view of sanitising the organisation because on assuming leadership of the organisation, I discovered that some unscrupulous elements have mingled with the organisation and we needed to flush them out. Those are the bad elements that are giving OPC bad name. OPC as an organisation has good ideals and vision with the primary objective of promoting Yoruba interests, values and culture.
OPC was set up during the military era to fight injustice against the Yoruba race especially after the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election. At the time OPC was set up, former President, General Olusegun Obasanjo was being held in jail by the Abacha military junta. Part of the reasons OPC was set up was to fight the military junta that annulled the June 12 election, and also to ensure a return to democracy, and luckily we were able to achieve those objectives as democracy was restored to the country in 1999.
I’m determined to reform OPC because the impression some people have is that OPC is all about hooliganism and thuggery. But this is a wrong view of the group. Our objective as I said earlier is to promote Yoruba culture and practices. OPC members are not to be used as thugs or to unleash violence on people. I’m rebranding OPC, and this I’m doing quietly and this is why I have not been too loud in what I have been doing since assuming office as OPC leader. Moreover, I don’t believe in speaking too much. I believe in taking action rather than talking every time. Then, again we must try to find out, whether those talking every time have genuine intention or not, or whether they are doing so to attract attention with a view of getting something in return or not.
To tackle insecurity in the South West, some Nigerians are suggesting the idea of collaboration between the Police and OPC like it was done before. What’s your take on that?
It is a good idea, when Alhaji Musiliu Smith was the Inspector-General of Police, he initially expressed reservations about OPC activities but I later got an appointment with him, and I used the opportunity to explain to him in detail what OPC stands for. I told him that what people are telling him about OPC is not true. Then a lot of people were saying negative things about OPC. I took time to explain to Smith about the vision of OPC, and what the group stands for. My interactions with Smith led to collaboration between OPC and the Police, especially in the area of combating and tackling crime. His successor, Alhaji Tafa Adebayo Balogun sustained that relationship and during his time there was also collaboration between the Police and OPC to enhance security of lives and properties especially in the South West.
Balogun is a man that should be appreciated. During his tenure, not only Nigeria was effectively policed and secured but the South West in particular enjoyed peace and security. Tafa Balogun had zero tolerance for crime and criminals and it was during his time that ‘Operation Fire-For-Fire’ was introduced. He is a man that should be appreciated. In the history of OPC, Tafa Balogun can’t be forgotten for how he ensured that the Police and OPC worked in harmony to protect lives and properties of Nigerians especially in the South West. It is a pity and very unfortunate that Tafa Balogun is not being appreciated the way Nigerians ought to appreciate him over his achievements in the area of security. Like it was done during Smith, and Balogun’s era, we can also do it now. OPC is ready to collaborate, and work with the Police and other security agencies to tackle the problem of insecurity in the country if we are invited.
How would you assess President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration?
There is no individual that is 100 percent perfect. As a leader, the president I believe has been trying his best to move the nation forward. He has been trying to sanitise the country through his fight against corruption. Corruption has caused a lot of havoc in the country. It has become a hydra-headed monster that we need to tame. We should all join hands to fight corruption if we want Nigeria to attain greatness.
Some Nigerians recently canvassed death penalty as punishment for corruption, what’s your take on that?
I’m in support of it. Death penalty is okay for corruption. Through corruption and corrupt practices, looters are destroying the nation. They are also killing Nigerians. By the time a few corrupt people are hanged or executed other would-be looters will beat a retreat. I don’t see anything wrong with execution of looters. Their execution will serve as a deterrent. If looters are executed, there will be sanity. Nigeria will not be the first country to execute looters. In China, looters are executed. There are also other countries that do so.
As a way of fighting corruption some have suggested that the newly elected public office holders should be made to swear by traditional gods like Ogun, Esu etc, that doing so will help to stem or tackle corruption as many public office holders don’t respect the Bible and the Quran which are currently being used for swearing-in ceremonies. What’s your reaction?
I fully support it. It is another effective way to tackle corruption. These traditional gods are agents of the supreme deity Yoruba called Olodumare. When you swear falsely on any of these gods, you are playing with fire because if you swear on them, and when you get to public office and start stealing, you will incur the wrath of these traditional gods as calamities in various forms will start afflicting anybody that swears falsely with them and this is why our public office holders are afraid of them. But if these public office holders have genuine intention to serve and not to loot, they should not be afraid or develop cold feet if they ask them to swear by traditional gods.
What is your reaction to the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day?
It is a welcome development. OPC as an organisation was part of the June 12 struggle. OPC came into being as part of other movements that emerged to fight the injustice of June 12 annulment. President Buhari should be commended for making the declaration.
What are your expectations from President Buhari in this second term in office?
It is only in Nigeria that I see citizens abuse their leaders. Even though you may disagree with his policies and programme, you don’t need to abuse Buhari as a leader. There are polite ways to express your disagreement with him without resorting to abuse.
As for my expectations from him, he should fix the power sector. He promised to do this during his first term but up till today the problems besetting the sector are still there and we all know that power is the key to so many economic challenges facing the nation. If the power sector is fixed, there will be a boom in the economy. Then small scale enterprises will also thrive, and employment will be generated for many unemployed Nigerians.
Buhari also promised to tackle the problem of unresolved murders and assassinations. There are so many unresolved murders and assassinations. We need to unravel these, so Buhari should keep to his promise to let Nigerians know what happened in all these cases.
During his second term, Buhari should also ensure that he put in place, people-oriented programmes that will make life meaningful for Nigerians. He should also find ways to squarely address the problem of poverty.
To the South West governors, what’s your advice to them?
My advice is not only for the South West governors but all the newly elected leaders. They should know that they were elected to serve. They should therefore not be self-serving. They should not betray the electorate. They should know that public office is an avenue to serve and not platforms to loot. (The Sun)
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Alhaji Yerima Shettima says the north will produce the next president when President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023 – Shettima, who is the president of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, says the current administration has not favoured the north– The AYCF president says the ruling All Progressives Congress will die before 2023
– Shettima says the north will never allow power to shift to the south, adding that it is the only thing the zone has. The president of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shettima, has said that the north will produce the next president when President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023.
Legit.ng gathers that Shettima stated this in an interview published in the New Telegraph on Friday, June 21.
The AYCF president said President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has not favoured the north, adding that the current government is purely a southwest government.
He said: “I don’t know who is going to be the next president of Nigeria until we see those who will declare interest.
However, talking about the zone, which should produce the president in 2023, I have said it on many occasions that the North will produce the next president and you could see that the issue is becoming very clear. “I don’t just make pronouncement on something I am not sure of.
We are sure that this government has not favoured the North. This government is purely a South-West government. They have taken everything.
” Shettima also said that the only thing that is holding the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) together is President Buhari, adding that the party will die before 2023. He said:
“Even in the National Assembly, somebody was working to ensure that his interest is protected to make it easy for him to become president come 2023, but unfortunately the party itself will die before 2023.
“By 2023, All Progressives Congress (APC) will no longer be visible. The only thing that holds that party is President Buhari, but he is not coming back.
This is his last tenure and I am sure the Buhari I know will be busy thinking of how to go for his retirement rather than thinking of whether the party survives or not.
“He has achieved all he wanted to achieve. He has become both head of state and civilian president.”
“On what informed his belief that APC would die before 2023, he said: “It is because of the characters that formed the party do not share the same ideology. Theirs was completely unholy marriage.
“We will continue to fight until our last blood. We will continue to expose them until the right people come to governance. It is not a personal thing; it is for us. The North must have to retain power.
“You cannot take power, which is the only thing that is left for us now. The current president is not really helping us. Insecurity has destroyed the entire North. We are left with poverty, kidnaping and banditry on daily basis.
“People are dying and you think the little power we have despite the fact it is not being used for the best interest of our people, we will just fold our hands and allowed it to be taken back by the South, which have resources.
The common man in the North is not benefiting anything; the whole thing is held in the hands of few individuals and you think we will allow that.” (Legit.ng)
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The Yoruba have launched what it called a trans-national group aimed at working for self determination of its people all over the globe. The group named Oodua World Congress OWC according to them will represent and defend the interest of the Yoruba and Itsekiri people all over the world.
Two things are very clear about their mission, to defend the interest od he Yoruba and Itsekiri people and to seek for self determination, using nonviolent means. The group will also organise a national summit this year, 2019.
Below is the group’s press release.
Lagos, May 31, 2019
A trans-national group aimed at working for the self determination of Yoruba peoples all over the world has been launched.
The new movement, Oodua World Congress, (OWC) will represent and defend the interests of Yoruba and Itsekiri people all over the world.
The group said it will mobilise local and international community for the realization of Yoruba self determination using peaceful and non-violent means and drawing from Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations which states that all peoples have the right to freely pursue their political, economic, social and cultural sovereignty
OWC draws membership from Nigeria and the six continents of Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Australia and the Pacific. OWC plans a Yoruba trans-national summit before the end of the year.
In a release signed by Ayobami Akinreti and Dr. Mustapha Idris Olukotun on behalf of the OWC Public Information Bureau (PIB,) the organization said it will work for the self determination of Yoruba people using local and international instruments to actualise its goal within the shortest possible time.
The OWC said Yoruba population is 27th in a list of 233 countries and bigger in size than 165 countries in the world.
In Africa, Yoruba nation will be the third largest nation in population while it will be the first in human resource potentials.
The group said it is time to assert Yoruba as a sovereign nation and free the people from servitude and long-standing bondage.
“OWC is a new movement in response to the need for synergy and intensive local and international campaign for the Yoruba self-determination up to the point of actualising a sovereign nation for the children of Oduduwa who share common history, common culture and common fears and aspirations”, the group stated.
It noted that self determination is the goal of the new millennium.
“In this campaign, OWC promises to provide hope for a despairing population and lead the children of Oduduwa from stupor to greatness, from hopelessness to glory and from shame to fame,” the OWC said in the statement.
The group said Yoruba people do not hate any nationality or tribe, but rather was propelled by the motive to do things and run the affairs of her own government based on the over 2000 year old values and civilisations of the Yoruba people.
“After over a century, Nigeria has failed to give Yoruba people what we want. We have fought wars. We indeed continue to fight different forms of wars as a people in Nigeria where live and living must necessarily cost everything including constant misery and loss of human lives. Our children are crying, our young and old generations are deprived, our values and civilisations are trampled and our rights to choose those who lead us have always depended on the wishes of those who see us as eternal foes.”
OWC stated “What we see today is wasting and destruction in our towns, cities, villages and borders. Our moon no longer shines. Our sun has been suppressed. Our stars trampled under the scorching coercion of the Nigerian state.”
The officials said “We have a long history. We have a long tradition. At a point in world history, Yoruba nation was the reference point for the cultural, political and economic heritage of the black people all over the world. At a point, our standard of living was comparable if not better than some European nations. We have a history of war and peace. We had a history of when the children of Oduduwa had some level of independence later taken away by fiat. Today, the Yoruba fortunes have declined. Our humanity has been punctured by the garrison Nigerian state in the face of a desperate attempt to sustain the obvious ruins that the country has become.”
The group said the campaign for Yoruba self-determination has become inevitable “in the face of the horrific sufferings and deprivations of our people” adding that the problem has been compounded by the invasion of Yoruba territories by armed Fulani men who appear anxious and determined to impose siege and war on Yoruba people.
“Throughout Nigerian history, the Fulani have always been the aggressor. Our territories are currently occupied by armed groups. Our wives and daughters are raped. Those who challenged them have been killed in the most savage manners. Our farms, our homes, our cities and our forests have become death traps. It will be foolish and catastrophic for our people to fold their arms with the illusion that war is not being planned by people who consistently portray themselves as our eternal enemies inspite of the affection and love of the Yoruba people.”
The OWC said the group is open to all children of Oduduwa who are in the age of 18 and above.
“Our convenant is to liberate our people from the shackles of agony and bleakness.”
It urged Yoruba, Itsekiri and all Oodua descendants all over the world to unite and prepare to defend their ancestral territories from the aggression and organised hostilities of arrogant aliens currently occupying Yorubaland including our sacred forests and groves. OWC said it will shoulder the historic and necessary burden of redeeming Oodua descendants from their affliction and put an end to the mourning, the gnashing of teeth and the desolation of the people.
It said Yoruba people will be energised to act with the philosophy of proportional response to the premeditated attacks being planned by those who wish to keep Yoruba under brute force. The group said it is ready to work with other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria who share the dream of OWC.
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A group known as Yoruba Youth Council Worldwide in collaboration with list of other groups of youths from South West have handed down a strong-worded quit notice to the Fulani herdsmen in the region. The group and others gave 7-day ultmatum for the marauding Fulani herdsmen, who have been known for their murderous, raping and kidnapping and other criminal nature, to leave the region. This, they said that, if it does not happen will attract serious consquences in an operation they called ‘Operation Clean Sweep’.
Below is the press statement by the group:
Press Release 23rd May 2019.
7 Days Final Quit Notice To All Fulani Herdsmen in South West tagged: “Operation Sweep Clean- (Folumo)”.
The leadership of the Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide (YCYW) alongside other leading Yoruba youth organizations in Yoruba Land: a coalition of all Yoruba indigenous youth and student organizations in Nigeria and in Diaspora, with the sole aim of enthroning rule of law, security of lives and properties, good governance and succinct democratic ethos predicated on Awoism credos and peaceful coexistence of Nigeria.
Based on this premise, rising from her National Executive Council meeting in ile ife on 23rd May, 2019, in view of the recurrent decimal of flagrant brutal killings by the gun-wielding terrorist Fulani Herdsmen/Boko Haram, aggressive invasion and violent attacks and alleged kidnapping of innocent Yorubas and Nigerians domiciled in Yoruba Land, gross violation of fundamental rights to human dignity leading to serial and merciless killings of innocent youths, rising wave of insecurity across the nation in Lagos around Ojokoro, Ibadan to ife road, Ibadan to Ijebu Ode/Benin Ore road, Ekiti to Akure and other highways kidnappings and robberies, incessant records of brutal ritual killings to mention a few, precipitating our unanimous resolution via final 7 days quite notice to all Fulani herdsmen/Boko Haram to stay off all our territories, towns, villages and highways in all southwest states predicated on the launched mass movement tagged: “Operation Sweep Clean(Folumo)” forthwith.
Failure to comply with this final warning shall leave us with no other option than to forcefully clean up and root out all Fulani herdsmen/Boko Haram terrorists in all hiding creeks and forests in the south-west geopolitical zone of Nigeria after 7 days final quit notice to lapse on the night of Thursday 30th May, 2019 accordingly.
Henceforth, we are laconically positing that all residents persons domiciled in the southwest shall be part of this mass movement launch of 20 million man match against the herdsmen terrorists in all southwestern states, wherein a date will be announced upon violation of these warning notice, wherein all our members across all the local governments and communities within southwestern states shall by jointly and simultaneously mobilized to frontally comb and move into all forests, creeks and flashpoints, wherein all cattle breedings and animal husbandry marauding shall be stopped forthwith.
Furthermore, after 21 days of persistence of these heinous threats against our people, we shall not hesitate to move against all investments and businesses; ranging from real estate, transportation haulage, oil and gas owned by any Hausa/Fulani extractions within southwest, if this evil persist irreversibly without verifiable interventions from their leaders and heads, we shall summarily shut down all palaces of Hausa/ Fulani communities within southwest.
Nigeria, seems to be faced with multifaceted challenges daily, consequently, we have gotten lots of colossal loss of lives and properties from the killer herdsmen terrorist groups, unfortunately, they are yet to be classified as a prohibited terrorist organization by the federal government of Nigeria.
Perhaps, it is highly regrettable to note the Federal Government ill-motivated act of comparing the Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria to Afenifere and other socio-cultural groups; what a profused insulting, irresponsible and reckless statement from a government under democratic rule, to make matters worse President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government assured and promised N100Billion to support the herdsmen, when they have not shown any sign of remorse or repentant demeanour.
We have it on record, that the FG has proven to protect these Fulani herdsmen with additional approval of radio station licencing to Fulani radio station network across the nation.
Consequently, this is a direct nexus for provoked aggression, anarchy and authoritarianism.
We are suspicious of some elements who are using the veil of government to launch a massive genocidal war against innocent Nigerians, particularly Yoruba people, i.e recently our doctors and professionals are gruesomely killed and brutally maimed.
Based on the live report, we learnt the Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen are feasting around us daily, in over 2,000 creeks forests spread across southwestern states, particularly in the most vulnerable states: Ogun, Ekiti, Oyo, Osun and the Ondo States respectively.
For power corrupts and absolute powers corrupt absolutely.
We believe, this is the best time to review our unworkable system of government towards the realization of the restructuring agenda, with a prepared vision and hope for a new people’s constitution that guarantees good governance, devolves power and economic resources rights to the Regions/ States and Local government units, unfortunately this has not only contributed immensely to our precarious and nebulous status as the poverty capital of the world, but tainted accolades as the worst place to live in on earth.
What else gives citizens the confidence to thrive, if this stumbling pyramid of daily struggles and resultant double jeopardy remains unabated.
Based on this premise, we believe charity begins at home, precipitating our clarion call for ‘A Southwest Economic Revitalization and Security Summit’ slated for Thursday, June 27th, 2019 at Mapo Hall, Ibadan, Oyo State by 11a.m.
We passionately appeal to all our political leaders, stakeholders, elders, youth organizations, all Yoruba socio-cultural self determination groups and Royal fathers to urgently shun all divisive tendencies and embrace one another, for it is high time we crave with the greatest respect and seek His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Dr. Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi 111, The Alaafin of Oyo and other Royal Fathers of great reputes.
Also, we equally call for a closer ranks between Aare Dr Gani Adams, The Aare Onakankafo of Yoruba Land alongside the Agbekoya, Afenifere, ARG, all OPC, OLM, YCWY, YYC, Yoruba Koya, Yoruba Assembly, YSG, VOR, all youth and student leaders to mention a few, while we equally call on all our esteemed captains of industries, philanthropists, professionals, scholars, political gladiators and leaders of thoughts to collectively reason together on the way forward and proffer immediate panaceas to this stalemate. For we can no longer guarantee our further safety and economic survival as a nation, due to the aforementioned tribulations and double jeopardy thickly fastly like an evolving time bomb, earnestly waiting for ignition.
We believe that these similar gestures be transmitted to other regions too, in order to simultaneously and effectively ventilate our age long grudges dispassionately as commons and compatriots.
This will then culminate to the eventual convocation of ‘A National Peace and Security Summit’ to be hosted by President Mohammadu Buhari in Abuja by Thursday 25th July 2019.
However, firstly we demand for a special Yoruba youth dialogue with President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR being a father and president of the nation, this shall serve as a means of intimating him on all the aforementioned, in order to cross-fertilize ideas on the current state of the national affairs and other issues of mutual interests, as the nation’s present and future heirs, as well as YCYW, being the umbrella body for the Yoruba youths.
We hope this clarion call would constructively summon our dying consciousness of building and salvaging our nation from imminent total collapse, for canons of war or attrition cannot solve our dreaded ailments, but exploring dialogue as the alternative first aid of getting out of this evil hoods.
We believe that no human life is worth to be shed on the altar of mediocrity and quests for power.
For we must ensure to protect all inhabitants within our territories and by extension all Nigerians nationally.
Long live Yoruba Land.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Signed: Aremo (Barr)Oladotun.Hassan,Founder and President,Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide(YCYW).
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The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has charged Commanding Officers of Army units within the South South, South East and South West zones of the country to work towards tackling crimes and criminality within their areas of responsibilities. General Buratai spoke at the Nigerian Army First Commanding Officers workshop for 2019, urging the Commanding Officers to tackle kidnapping, smuggling, pipeline vandalism and terrorism.
He tasked them to work close with the authorities within their areas of responsibilities to be able to gather intelligence and ensure that they nip crisis rocking these areas in the bud. The Army Chief, who was represented by the Commander, Nigerian Army Signals Corps, Major General Mohammed Mohammed, urged the commanding officers to refresh their minds on how to confront criminality within the areas they are deployed to.
He said that all operations in which the Army was involved in across the country was to sharpen the knowledge of the commanding officers and make them perform optimally, adding that the workshop was put together to ensure that they share knowledge with other Commanding Officers participating in the workshop.
He said: “We have informed the commanding officers to understand that workshops like this are intended to refresh their minds, their experiences and for them to share knowledge with their colleagues from other regions.
“Like you understand, the commanding officers here are from the South South, South East and South West and there is rich knowledge of activities going on in these areas. So, bringing them together here is for them to share knowledge and to understand also the new directive and policies that will guide their conduct and understand the need to integrate with the societies where they are working.”
General Brutai tasked the officers to learn from their contemporaries on how to apply leadership skills in their various units, adding that the workshop was aimed at improving the skills of the Commanding Officers towards developing a more professional and efficient approach to the performance of their statutory roles in both peace and war times.
“I am highly delighted to be in this occasion of the first Commanding Officers workshop, which is highly necessary in line with our vision to the security challenges confronting us on daily basis, and also to find a solution to those challenges,” he said.
Earlier, the General Officer Commanding 81 Division, Major General Musa Yusuf, said the training activities were designed by the Army Headquarters to enhance and build the capacity of the Commanding Officers.
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Some Northern elements are planning to pull the rug off the feet of Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila in his speakership bid, when it will be impossible to save his candidacy, Sunday Tribune has reliably learnt. A source close to Aso Rock Presidential Villa disclosed that the plot might not be unconnected with a political storm gathering against the national leader of the ruling party and Gbajabiamila’s main sponsor, Senator Bola Tinubu.
The source said the parliamentary leadership politics appeared to have become so overwhelming for the Lagos strongman that he wasn’t even showing expected interest in the much-discussed ministerial politics regarding the South-West.
Gbajabiamila, the current House Leader, is the front-runner for the speakership seat, but the combination of zoning and godfather apron attachment is reportedly threatening his chances in the North, where two governors on the platform of the ruling party are said to be coordinating the last-minute surprise package, to again, thwart Femi’s ambition.
Both governors are very close to President Muhammadu Buhari, whose support for Gbajabiamila, is perceived by the other camp as being passive.
While one of the governors is allegedly using subterfuge to relate with the Tinubu camp, the other doesn’t plainly care.
They are carrying a candidate who they plan to carry through the contest. Expectedly, their candidate isn’t from the South.
An ally of one of the governors told Sunday Tribune that “the battle is just beginning. You will see what they (Tinubu’s camp) will see in days ahead. We know Femi (Gbajabiamila) is just another instrument in his (Tinubu) hands.
“But we will ensure that he (Tinubu) loses all steam even before 2023. They (Tinubu’s camp) have no strategists. They don’t always know the battle to fight. You will see the real battle soon.”
The Villa-connected source had earlier revealed that Lagos technically producing Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and trying to grab the speaker seat would not sail through both at home and elsewhere.
“Are we the only one in the South-West trying to corner everything. VP is from you, your wife is bidding for something in the Senate. Your boy wants to be Speaker. Is it only Lagos that is doing APC and is it only oga that is playing politics,” the source sarcastically queried.
Another source introduced a different dimension into the alleged one-man power-grabbing agenda when he went rhetorically: “How much did he (Tinubu) even contribute to the election?
“There was even no account rendered for the money we contributed. The time is almost here for the whole truth to be told the world. What was their (Tinubu’s camp) contribution that they want to corner everything?”
It was learnt that Gbajabiamila is attracting more enemies because his aspiration is being seen as just a stepping stone for his godfather to build a nationwide network for his rumoured presidential ambition in 2023, when political power is expected to return to the Southern part of the country.
Though Tinubu is yet to declare such an ambition, his close allies have confirmed they talked him into giving the presidency a shot when Buhari’s constitutionally allowed two terms are done.
Tinubu is allegedly supporting Gbajabiamila and by extension, Ahmed Lawan for Senate presidency seat to deploy supporters of the duo in the National Assembly as coordinators for his presidential project, in their constituency and senatorial domains.
Those from the lower chamber, allegedly to be known as constituency coordinators, are said to be of greater factor to the success of the project, hence the utmost importance of ramming Gbajabiamila into the speakership seat.
Meanwhile, more facts are emerging on why loyalists of Tinubu and his erstwhile honcho, former National Legal adviser of APC, Muiz Banire are side-stepping the armistice entered into, in the course of the last general election to resume hostilities.
Following the perceived attack on Tinubu by the Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai recently in Lagos, Sunday Tribune learnt that Tinubu’s camp has since been unloading on Banire over his perceived support for the rumoured presidential project of the governor.
A source close to Banire, however, dispelled such a notion, saying that those who want to make more enemies for Tinubu are behind the conjecture, adding that “they (Tinubu’s camp) are now saying Muiz (Banire) is coordinating for el-Rufai in the South-West.
“You can see the way these our people think. Instead of seeking one house ahead of their oga’s 2023 campaign, they are busy scattering everywhere. The Arisekola fellow writing against Muiz is not even a factor. They were the ones who sought cooperation before the election, see what they are doing now.”
Banire, in a post on Thursday, promised to come after his traducers soon, threatening an exposé, complete with documents on hitherto yet-to-be-made-public secrets.
Quoting him, “For now, my admonition to them if they love their sponsor, is to note that he who lives in glass house must not throw stone. Our maturity seems to be challenged these days and hopefully we won’t lose it. In my subsequent interviews, I shall address all their lies appropriately. For now, let me remind the latter-day workers of The Nation and TVC that some of us are custodians of the origin of these establishments and at the right time, they will learn more with documentation”.
Aside Banire, another personality being reportedly caught in the 2023 presidential drama, is the embattled chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Services, Babatunde Fowler.
His current travails at the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged official corruption are being linked to his perceived sway in lending support to a particular camp.
Fowler, seen by many as a nominee of Tinubu, is actually a long-standing friend of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who was said to be instrumental in his emergence as the chairman of Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS), the job he was holding before his “promotion” to Abuja.
A deep source in Lagos APC politics disclosed that Fowler was “helpful” in the 2019 election and the fears that his support in 2023 may be crucial in favour of a perceived presidential aspirant, reportedly ramped up the move against him.
The public official who is being tipped to enjoy crucial help from Fowler, if the latter retained his money-spinning job till 2023, is yet to make any move to show he is interested in succeeding Buhari.
But there is a widespread notion that Buhari may prefer him to others, if the North is conceding to the Southern part of the country in the next four years.
While the intendment is said not to oust Fowler using the current EFCC probe, Sunday Tribune learnt those behind his travails would shake him so much, to show where the real power lies in the current political equation.
A party chieftain who works closely with the public official being rumoured of having Buhari’s back for the top-job in 2023, told Sunday Tribune that when enquiries were made at the appropriate quarters on Fowler’s case, a top-dog of the intel community, told them that it was an inside job and both sides in the Fowler saga, should please not drag him, into it.
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A chieftain of the All progressives Congress (APC), Senator Ayo Arise, has said that the South West zone will vote for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 general elections. In this interview with WILLY EYA, he spoke on various issues.
It is two months to another round of general elections and there is a heightened political tension in the country now; what are your thoughts ahead of the 2019 poll?
Looking at what is on ground and the efforts of the incumbent government and the lackluster campaign of the opposition, it looks to me that the election is going to be what the Americans call a home run. I have my reasons. Maybe the master strategy and masterstroke that the APC as a party adopted ab initio, their social services to the poor have virtually made members of the opposition to panic with some actually saying it is like bribing the electorate. That is the kind of panic that I have seen that shows that this government is actually working. Every government around the world that has been so popular has always done so. I will take you back to immediately after the Second World War or shortly before that, during the reconstruction when President Roosevelt started what he called the social security benefits; in the process, he introduced the post stamps to those people who could not feed themselves. The idea was for them to go to the post offices and collect stamps and they could feed free in America. Something similar to that is what the APC has done to the poor in our society. Not only do they give the elderly, the very poor, they give them stipends to live on. It might be poor but there is a difference between zero and something.
The APC has done so much for the poor in our society by giving them something to feed themselves and to have hope that tomorrow will be better. They have gone beyond that. The niche is the ‘Trader moni’ programme. It is actually given in the form of a loan but is interest-free to encourage people to develop themselves and as soon as they pay back, the money is increased and the person could have 100 per cent once he pays back the initial money. How do you want to tackle that in any society? Roosevelt was not only popular, he did four terms as president.
As a matter of fact, the man was on a wheelchair. So, the APC has continued to do things for the poor people and that is where the PDP has no response. When the President came out to say that he would not allow what they did to him to happen to another person, it is that he is so confident of what he has done. Anyway you look at it, whatever grammar and noise you make, the social services to the poor have achieved a lot and the politics of the APC is working the talk. But it is very painful for those who are making easy money in Nigeria. In this dispensation, there is no free money anywhere. It is being ploughed back to those who require survival in the society and the money could go round the people. So, I support the APC and their programmes.
Our people are prepared for this election more than three years ago unlike the PDP that are struggling for votes two months to the election. You can see all the programmes of the party. Some are three years old, some two and some even recently, and looking at all of these, I want to say that 2019 is going to be a homerun election for the APC. If you look at the geographical configuration, you find out that even if the South East will vote for the APC because of the PDP vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi for whatever reasons, you find out that that zone has been effectively neutralized by the votes that will come from the South West. Don’t forget that almost all the South West states now have APC governors. Forget about all the noise in some quarters; the moment you allow a stranger to occupy your house and you do not have a house to go back to, you. are finished. The South West will vote for Buhari.
You talked about a lackluster campaign by the opposition but many people feel it is the other way round and that they are not seeing much of the APC campaigns; is it a matter of strategy or what? Again, what would you say to those who hold the view that some of the social investments your party is embarking on now like the ‘Trader Moni’ programme are like vote-buying ahead of the election.
It is just a question of looking for excuse. Those people who are complaining know the programme of the APC ab initio and were here when N500 billion was allocated for that purpose some two or three years ago. Why you see all these is because they have not been able to respond to most of these policies to make any impact in the coming election. The government started with the N-power and would you now say that because of the fear of what the opposition would say, you stop such a programme that is good for the people. Or would you say because the PDP is complaining, you would not give the poor people money that sustains them? Would you say that because the PDP might call it bribery, you would stop giving loans to the traders? There are so many things that are going on that you can see but it is only lazy people who do not want to work for their money that are complaining. I am talking about those who are used to free money and stealing. I have always encouraged everybody to work for his money; this country will move faster than waiting for free money. I was part of the PDP when I was at the National assembly and I had my voice and supported everything that was progressive. So, for me it is not an issue of waking up overnight and now saying this. I started from the Alliance for Democracy; that is my own background. Politics is about caring for the people; it is not about making money.
You sound very optimistic about the APC winning the election but unlike in 2015, the two major candidates are both from the Fulani tribe in the North and of the same Muslim faith, don’t you think that it is going to be a tough battle?
Some people are of the view that former President Jonathan lost because the election was between a Christian and a Muslim and a Northerner versus a Southerner but they have forgotten that in 2011, all those were not considered before Jonathan was elected. Some people compare Buhari to Atiku but let me tell you, if Buhari goes to any state in the North, it is always a lockdown; I have never seen that level of followership before. Even before the social investment programmes that the government has been executing, if you saw the followership, you would marvel. It is not an issue of where a candidate comes from but that of what do we want as Nigerians. If Buhari is able to do what he has done so far, imagine if he stays four more years and he now moves the power generation to 10000 megawatts or more than that. Look at our foreign reserve! Where were we in 2015? Look at the agricultural sector! We are looking for a country that would care for everybody.
In the area of security, remember that in 2015, we were already getting jittery that Boko Haram was coming to the Southern part of the country. Today, Boko Haram is contained in the North and most of the local governments where the sect hoisted its flags before have been fully recovered by the Nigerian Army.
What is your take on the order of the Nigerian Army for the Amnesty International to quit the country following its report that about 3500 Nigerians have been murdered under this administration? I listened to both sides and the Army spokesperson said they recommend their relocation from Nigeria. It is not the military that should tell them to move out of Nigeria. The woman who spoke on Channels for the Amnesty International said they never got any clarification from the military even though they made attempts to do so. She said that when there was a response from the Benue State government, they had already written their report. It is good for people to continue to do their work but when there is exaggeration of statistics based on probably rumour, it is wrong. So, I think the reaction by the military was in anger because they do not have the right to order the Amnesty International to relocate from the country. When you are wrongfully accused, there is a tendency for you to get angry and upset.
What would you say about the president declining to assent to the Electoral bill? Do you agree with those who insist that President Buhari did that because he does not want a free and fair election in 2019?
I have listened to so many people on the Electoral bill. In that bill, a section says 90 days notice is required and in another section on the same thing, 41 days is required; how would you now say you should go and pass an act that has such an obvious conflict. The president has an Attorney General who would look at it and luckily enough, he has a Senior Advocate of Nigeria as his vice. What would you imagine would happen if people go to court if they find the obvious conflict in the act? So, when people trivialize this, I started wondering what is the problem. That is the way we trivialize everything in the country. Most of the people in the National Assembly, on individual basis, we are friends and most of them who have even moved back to the PDP are people that I know but I am saying that if people defected from the party that voted them in, they should forfeit their seats. (The Sun)
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)