By Niyi Olutunde, Akure
The Pan Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere has called on the federal government as a matter of urgency to end rising rate of insecurity in various parts of the country especially in the Southwest region.
Afenifere said President Muhammadu Buhari should be proactive enough to order the arrest and prosecution of herdsmen and bandits alleged to have been in possession of unlicensed sophisticated weapons and perpetrating incessant kidnapping, killings and destruction of property nationwide.
The group stated this on Monday in a communiqué issued after its monthly meeting held at the residence of its National Leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure, the Ondo state capital.
The Yoruba group cautioned that the issue of herdsmen’s attacks on travellers, farmers and residents in the Southwest region could lead to ethnic violence, if not checked.
The National Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr Yinka Odumakin while reading the communiqué called on the government to immediately re-address its priorities in re-defining law and order that would protect all citizens in any part of the federation.
The communique reads thus, “Genocide stalks Nigeria: Meeting reviewed the spate of wanton killings goIng on across Nigeria and being perpetrated largely by Fulani herdsmen/militia the only group that are in possession of unlicensed sophisticated weapons in Nigeria today without fear of any consequence as they seem to have official backing, promotion and defense.
“The killings targeted at non-Fulani groups across the country are willful and deliberate in pursuit of expansionist and conquest agenda.
And most unfortunately, the government in place has betrayed perceived complicity as we are not aware of any member of the group on trial for these monumental crimes even when Miyetti Allah has owned up to some of them.
“Instead, the regime has treated them with kid gloves, making excuses for their crimes with our Information Ministry and Presidential media office being made to look like Boko Haram and Miyetti Allah media centre as they issue statements to defend these groups even when they are not defending themselves with the presidency equating Miyetti Allah with Afenifere and Ohanaeze in order to confer legitimacy on them.
“And of late is the insensitive and impunity-inspired decision of the FG to open a Fulani Radio for the herdsmen in violation of the Federal character spirit of our constitution
Those who have studied events in Liberia. Somalia, Rwanda and Sudan would not miss the fact that this was how events started until full-scale civil wars broke out.
“To avert this destructive scenario, we call on the Federal Government to immediately readdress its priorities in these matters and begin the process of running an inclusive country while re-defining law and order so that no citizen would take the life of another and not fear for consequences.
“We equally call on the international community not to stand aloof as Nigeria drives to the edge of the precipice. There is a big burden for the global community if things get out of hand in Nigeria”.
Afenifere also frowned at the activities of the Fulani marauders all over Yorubaland in form of killings, kidnappings and rape of women.
The group said, “The situation has become much more frightening with the claim by a recently kidnapped don at OAU, Ile-Ife; that he noticed that one of the policemen who stopped him at a checkpoint shortly before he was abducted made a call.
“He said the policeman is of the same ethnic stock with the Fulani herdsmen who kidnapped him thereafter. We want the police authorities to properly investigate this as it sends a worrying signal.
“We advised our people to active their traditional and communal self-defense system in the face of these existential threats.
“The Assembly took note of the recent statements by former President Olusegun Obasanjo crediting the wave of terror going on Nigeria by Boko Haram and Miyetti Allah in Nigeria to the Fulanisation project in West Africa. We commend his boldness in speaking the truth no matter how inconvenient it may be, which is the hallmark of a statesman.
“We also acknowledge the forthrightness of the Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, Gen David Jemibewon, Col David Bamigboye, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Middle Belt Forum and all other patriots who have backed Obasanjo’s statement”.
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