Afenifere, a pan-Yoruba sociopolitical organisation, has condemned the level of insecurity in certain regions of the country due to the assaults on farmers by armed herdsmen.
The collective observed that the outlaws’ illicit activities against farmers necessitated the establishment of a state police force in order to bolster adequate security at the local level.
Chief Sola Ebiseni, the association’s Secretary-General, issued the aforementioned information in a communiqué that our correspondent in Akure was provided with on Wednesday. A communiqué was issued during a gathering of the group that took place at the domicile of its chief, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, in Ogun State’s Ogbo Ijebu.
A portion of the communiqué reads, “Afenifere has witnessed an alarming resurgence of insecurity caused by armed cattle herders terrorising farmers, murdering, maiming, and raping women; as a result, certain member communities of the host communities are no longer at ease with the killer visitors.”
“Although Afenifere acknowledges the constitutional right of every Nigerian to reside in any region of the country of his or her choosing, it is crucial to ensure that these citizens respect the economic prosperity and cultural harmony of their hosts.
Afenifere reaffirms its stance against open grazing and its predilection for ranching as the preeminent method of animal husbandry globally. It is more prudent than ever to contemplate the possibility of granting state governments increased authority in safeguarding their territories through the establishment of their own internal surveillance apparatus.
Concerning genuine federalism, the organisation urged the federal government to restructure the nation and amend the 1999 constitution in accordance with the recommendations of the 2014 Confab or the Nasir El-Rufai Committee on Federalism.
According to the group’s assertion, Nigeria remains a federation comprised of deeply rooted ethnic nationalities, which has hindered its progress towards nationhood due to its departure from the fundamental tenets of federalism. Without genuine federalism that ensures justice, inclusivity, egalitarianism, equity, and a sense of belonging for all its constituent groups, Nigeria will continue to be a geographical construct devoid of a shared sense of patriotism and nationalism.
“The sole viable course of action in this regard is to amend the military constitution immediately and reestablish a constitution that adheres to the fundamental principles of the federal government.” The errors that led to the electoral irregularities observed in the 2023 general elections and the technical ruling by the Supreme Court that legitimised them will persist ad indefinitely unless this is rectified immediately and expeditiously.
“Therefore, Afenifere urges Nigerians of good faith and civil society to collaborate in order to ensure that the Federal Government initiates the requisite measures in this regard without delay.” “Additionally, Afenifere endorsed the resolutions of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, of which he is a member, regarding the necessity of restructuring Nigeria in accordance with the irreducible template established by the APC/El-Rufai Committee on Federalism and the Reports of the 2014 National Conference.”