By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere on Sunday alerted that Nigeria is now at the brink of an avoidable catastrophe that requires urgent actions.
Afenifere raised the alarm in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi on the resolutions of its Executive Council at a meeting held at the residence of its acting leader, Chief Ayo Ayobanjo,
The Pan Yoruba Socio cultural group emphasized that ” the most potent recipe to prevent the catastrophe is restructuring that would return the country to true federalism”, and that President Muhammadu Buhari, the national and state Assemblies and all other stakeholders should ensure that restructuring take place within the remaining part of this year.
Stressing that “ its implementation in terms of true federalism in finance, security, social welfare etc. must commence before the middle of next year.”, it maintained, ” after
reviewing recent developments in the country, Afenifere Executive Council said that the signs “are ominous, requiring steps to prevent the country from apocalypse.”
Commenting on the recent Lagos meeting of Southern governors, the Pan Yoruba group endorsed the resolutions of the governor’s vmeeting especially that of placing a total ban on open grazing and having state police, saying, “Afenifere is in full support of the governors to have laws banning open grazing latest by September 1, this year.”
” We notice that some states already have this law enacted. We urge the remaining states to enact the law expeditiously. Beyond the enactment however, we call for immediate enforcement of the law so as to put an end to various vices that the act of open grazing is engendering,” it said.
Frowning at the disapproval being expressed by some Northern elements to the position of the Southern governors, Afenifere stressed “of what intrinsic benefits has open grazing been in the recent past going by various studies that have been done?
“It is on record for instance that open grazing is one of the major causes of desertification that is occurring in the northern part of the country. It is also on record that cows reared in a ranch are far more productive, healthier and are less tasking for the rearer compared to the ones being driven from one place to another in search of food and water. And certainly those in ranches constitute less risk to neighbouring communities compared to the ones migrating from one place to another.”
Afenifere added that the seeming intractable security challenges in the country are due largely to the restraint put in the way of state governors” and that ” the governors are described as chief security officers of their respective states, yet they have no security agency that can be deployed to where crimes are being committed with arms”.
It noted that there is the need for ” a security agency that can arrest, investigate and prosecute”, and that ” those of them who came up with some security apparatus like Amotekun are dis empowered because they could not bear arms. And when they arrest suspected criminals, such suspects must be handed over to the police”.
” As experiences have shown, once this is done, hardly do such cases go beyond the police. And the state security body has no control anymore since the Police is a federal agency who does not take order from the governor. This must change. State police, down to the level of local government, must become operational immediately,” the statement asserted.