Afenifere insists on state police, true federalism

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The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has decried the rate of insecurity in some parts of the country as a result of the attacks by some armed herdsmen on farmers.

The group noted that the criminal activities of the bandits against farmers raised the need for the creation of state police to enhance proper security at the grassroots level.

This was contained in a communique issued by the Secretary-General of the association, Chief Sola Ebiseni, and made available to our correspondent in Akure on Wednesday. The communique was issued at the meeting of the group at the residence of its leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo in Ogbo Ijebu, Ogun State.

The communique partly reads, “Afenifere observed the alarming resurgence of insecurity occasioned by the activities of armed cattle herders terrorising farmers, killing, maiming the people and raping women for which some of the host communities are no longer comfortable living with the killer guests.

“Afenifere reiterates our opposition to open grazing of animals and reaffirms preference of ranching as the world’s best practice of animal husbandry. No matter is better than now to consider that state governments be allowed to play greater roles in the security of their states by establishing their internal policing mechanism”

On true federalism, the group called on the federal government to adopt the report of the 2014 Confab or the Nasir El-Rufai Committee on Federalism to restructure the country and change the 1999 constitution.

The group stated,” Nigeria is a federation of entrenched ethnic nationalities which has failed to evolve into a nation because of the deviation from the foundational principles of federalism. Except Nigeria is ruled based on true federalism which guarantees inclusiveness, fairness, egalitarianism,  justice and a sense of belonging to all its constituent groups, it will remain a mere geographical expression with no sense of common nationalism and patriotism.

“In this connection, the only way forward is to change the military constitution now and re-enact a constitution in line with the foundational federal principles. Except this is done now and quickly all the errors that occasioned the type of electoral shenanigans witnessed during the 2023 general elections and the technical judgement by the Supreme Court legitimising the same will fester ad infitum.

“Afenifere therefore calls on the civil society and well-meaning Nigerians to join hands in ensuring that the Federal Government immediately sets the necessary modalities in motion in this regard. Afenifere further endorsed the resolutions of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum to  which Afenifere belongs, on the need to restructure Nigeria using the Reports of the 2014 National Conference and the APC/El-Rufai Committee on Federalism as the irreducible template.”

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