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Wednesday 5 July 2017

Time for restructuring is now ―Afenifere

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IPOB: The Pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, on Wednesday said unless the country commences the process of restructuring, Nigeria may be heading towards precipice.

The group who stated this after its National caucus meeting held in Akure, Ondo state, said that the country can only pull back from the brink only “if the processes restructuring or restoring the country back to its independence constitutional status before the coup of January 1966”.

In the communique read by its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, the group said failure of the leaders of the country to embark on restructuring of the country will make demands for self-determination to become more strident.

“We state without equivocation that Nigeria has entered a terminal crisis and clearly withering away and can only manage to be pulled back from the brink if we commence the processes of restructuring or restoring the country back to its independence constitutional status before the coup of January 1966. Failure to do this will make demands for self-determination to become more strident.”

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The group also expressed worry over the economy of the country and said “the group is worried about the state of the economy which has seen many states being unable to pay salaries to their workers for several months and the general hardship being the lot of citizens across the country without concrete measures being taken to end the economic downturn in the country”.

“We are also disturbed by the revelation by the Speaker, House of Representatives Hon Yakubu Dogara that 28 out of 36 states of the country are under one military operation or the other signalling the low intensity warfare going on in the country and the general state of insecurity.”

They condemned the attitude of the federal government towards the killings being perpetrated by the Fulani herdsmen across the country, calling for a solution to put an end to the menace.

“We are alarmed by the increasing spate of the impunity of Fulani herdsmen in the Southern and Middle Belt communities of Nigeria.”

“Of late we have witnessed the shooting of policemen who went to protect Chief Olu Falae’s farm and the killing his neighbour-farmer, the chasing of students out of schools in Delta in Edo and Anambra states by cows, the storming of Taraba House of Assembly by armed Fulani herdsmen to stop the lawmakers from carrying out their legislative duty because they were debating anti-open grazing bill; without any response from the Federal Government.

“We have however seen the swiftness with which the Federal Government mobilized all its strength to defend Fulani herdsmen who came under attack in Taraba state.”

“While we do not condone attacks against any citizens, we make bold to say that the conduct of the FG on this occasion does not promote an inclusive society as it gives the impression that the protection of the FG is only available to a superior race while other nationalities are vulnerable because they are not represented in the commanding heights of power in the country.”

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The communique read further, “We are at loss at the increasing loss of authority and capacity to retain the confidence of citizens from sections of the country by the Federal Government in the face of its helplessness or unwillingness to take any concrete action beyond empty platitudes as we begin countdown to the October 1 quit notice given to Ndigbo by Arewa youths who have claimed the support of their elders without any rebuttal.”

“This has been followed with inciting messages to bring Igbo into harm in the North from 1st October and all security agencies who should do something but are headed by personnel from the same section where the threats are coming from folding their arms.”

They however called on the ruling APC led Federal government to rise up to the occasion by fulfilling its avowed commitment in its manifesto before it is too late by “initiating action to amend our constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties and responsibilities to states and local governments in order to entrench true Federalism and  the Federal spirit.”

Afenifere also commiserate with the family of a former Minister and elder statesman and former Permanent Representative of Nigeria at the United Nations, Alhaji Maitaima Sule, saying the elder stateman left when Nigeria needs its critical voices most.

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