AMOTEKUN: Those Who Are Afraid Are Criminals – Odumakin

 

The spokesperson of the Afenifere Renewal Group, Yinka Odumakin, says those who are afraid of Operation Amotekun are criminals.

The social commentator while featuring as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily said the initiative is for the protection of the ordinary people within the Southwest.

“Those who are afraid are criminals troubling the Southwest,” Odumakin stated.

As far as Mr. Odunmakin is concerned, those who are not criminals should not be troubled by the establishment of Amotekun.

READ ALSO: Amotekun: Atiku Supports Community, State And Zonal Policing

Odumakin argued that security is not on the Executive List as some have said, stressing that what concerns the Executive is defense.

He said security is the responsibility of every Nigerian citizen.

According to Mr. Odumakin, there is no hidden agenda for setting up Amotekun.

The Afenifere spokesman said Operation Amotekun is to “secure lives and property, to aid the police where the police have failed, to fill in the gap”.

Since its launch earlier in January, the Western Nigeria Security Network code-named Operation Amotekun has continued to generate controversy in various quarters.

Though some are of the opinion that the initiative is a welcomed one which shows that the yearnings of Nigerians have prevailed, there are others who are afraid that if allowed to operate, Amotekun could turn out to be a disaster for the country.

The Federal Government declared ‘Operation Amotekun’ an illegal outfit, further stirring debates, with Southern and Middle Belt Leaders condemning the decision of the Federal Government to declare Operation Amotekun illegal.

There are fears that Operation Amotekun might turn out to become a means by which the Nigerian Police Force is decentralised, but governors of the Southwest have assured that the initiative seeks solely to show zero tolerance to crime, complement the police and other paramilitary organizations in their fight against criminals and to erase all blackspots within the Southwest.

Afenifere Charges Yoruba, Nigeria On Peaceful Polls

YorubaThe Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has called for a violent free election, urging the Yoruba nation to help achieve peaceful polls instead of fighting one another.

The group called on the Yoruba people to remember the peace treaty signed on September 23, 1986 in which it was agreed that Yoruba nation would never war against one another.

The ARG, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Olawale Oshun, noted that before the advent of colonisation, Yoruba people had a history of democratic lineage.

The group also stated that democracy, – “as defined by one man, one vote and the majority having their way and minority, their say” – has never been strange to the people.

Part of the statement reads: “We advise all Yoruba voters to use their votes wisely, in accordance with collective peace and progress of the region because traditionally, political leadership has always been germane to the well being of Yoruba people.

“This election has been described as a watershed in many quarters, and could be another defining moment in the history of Nigeria. Therefore, as a minimum irreducible expectation, we demand that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lives up to its promise of conducting perhaps the best elections in the history of Nigeria and ensure the outcome of the elections reflect popular will.

“ARG therefore urges law enforcement and electoral officials to stick to their constitutional duties and resist any temptations for partisanship because any premeditated or contrived action that threatens to derail the ongoing transition process and force a constitutional impasse is an action that will push Yoruba nation to the wall.”

However, the group wished Nigeria a successful and peaceful election process, thanking all Nigerians, including electoral and security officers, for playing their roles loyally.

Afenifere Renewal Group Denies Jonathan’s Endorsement Reports

AfenifereThe Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) says it is not a party to the endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election bid as misrepresented in different media reports.

In a press statement signed by its publicity secretary, Kunle Famoriyo, the group described the use of its insignia to promote the said endorsement as fraudulent and an attempt to deceive Yoruba people.

“It has come to our notice that some broadcast stations are using ARG’s name and logo to promote the said endorsement. This is fraudulent and we wish to advise media houses to be wary of such fraudulent promoters especially now that public interest must be defended by the media,” the statement said.

“The ARG is not a party to the endorsement and does not in fact think the performance of President Goodluck Jonathan since May 2010 is worth the endorsement of any patriotic citizen. We believe there is a difference between ‘transformation,’ which President Jonathan promised Nigerians in 2011 and mere ‘reform’ of the same governance culture that Nigerians have rejected.

“The ARG does not dictate to the generality of the Yoruba people, rather it gives voice to their feelings and aspirations. The extensive consultations we have made showed that Yoruba people have come to a firm conclusion that they have been at the shorter end of the stick under the Jonathan-led Government, under whose administration, nepotism and ethnocentrism have taken over as the emblem of our presidential politics,” the group stated.

It further stressed that it would remain committed to the aspirations of Yoruba people for change.

The Afenifere Renewal Group also echoed a statement in Abeokuta recently at a public lecture organised by the Ogun State chapter of ARG, that the change demanded was a public pledge to restructure the country in such a way that power would devolve to the most efficient federating unit.

ARG Demands Public Pledge To Polity Restructuring From Buhari

argThe Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has demanded a public commitment to restructuring of Nigeria’s governance structure from the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).

The demand was made in Abeokuta on Thursday by the Group’s National Chairman, Olawale Oshun, at the public lecture organised by the Ogun State Chapter of the group led by Olusegun Odegbami (MON).

The lecture was delivered by the former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

In his brief remark titled “The Change We Demand”, Oshun said there are “clear and strong indications that there is need for change” and Yoruba people are insisting that “the change that must occur must include some assurances that never again should the issue of equity amongst Nigerian nationalities be blatantly sacrificed as Federal Government has done in recent times”.

“The change that we demand include an assurance to restructure the country in such a way that power will devolve to the most efficient federating unit. The Yoruba people have witnessed how over-centralisation of power has been instrumental to the abuses of power and the institution of ingrained corruption that is destroying our country today,” he said, adding that restructuring must be made a national electioneering agenda.

“ARG uses this opportunity to demand these assurances from the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) This should not be an assurance given in private anymore; let it be an assurance given in public.

In his lecture titled, “Before Nigeria’s oil runs dry: options for development in the Southwest of Nigeria”, Fayemi argued that if the political activism for restructuring of Nigeria’s polity had been ignored as an ethnic agenda, its economic reality, which can no longer be ignored, makes the case of urgent devolution of power.

According to him, the mantra to diversify the economy in Nigeria would continue to fail without appropriate steps to devolve power and entrench fiscal federalism.

“The need to diversify our economy and the necessity of decentralizing the governance are coterminous imperatives.

“Indeed, one cannot occur without the other. We cannot diversify the economy without decentralizing governance.

“Here are four core areas that embody the immense economic potential of the Southwest waiting to be unlocked through diversification and decentralization. These are agriculture, mineral resources, telephony and internet, as well as Nollywood and domestic tourism development.”

Participants at the event also called for “aggressive education”.

Group Slams Kwankwaso For Endorsing Immutability Of 1999 Constitution

kwankwaso_bbcThe Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has condemned Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso’s comment, endorsing the immutability of the 1999 Constitution and called on all Nigerians to condemn the comment as “it is selfish and unpatriotic”.

In a media interview recently, the Kano State Governor was quoted as saying that “any Constitution other than the 1999 Constitution should be rejected because anything less than that is an instrument by those who think it will help them”.

ARG, in a statement signed by its publicity secretary, Kunle Famoriyo, blamed Kwankwaso, and other self-seeking Nigerian politicians, for endorsing 1999 Constitution when it suits him and calling for its amendment when it does not.

“Kwankwanso, one of those who believe the 1999 Constitution is perfect for Nigeria, has had two reasons to call for its amendment recently. He changed his stance on the agitation for state police when his security aides were withdrawn by ‘order from above’ during the Kano Emirship commotion. He also called for amendment of the impeachment laws when a raft of impeachment wave threatened governors of his party, All Progressives Congress, claiming Nyako governorship in the process,” the statement said.

“These two calls for constitutional amendment, coming at a time that Kwankwanso was at the receiving end of the imperial and despotic powers of the 1999 Constitution, seem to suggest that the Constitution must exist only to serve his personal good and that of others with similar stance. It does not bother them if and when others are the victim of the Constitution’s despotic powers.

“This selective philosophy from a man who wants to become Nigeria’s president is no less selfish and denigrating as the politics that currently dominates Aso Rock.”

The group said Nigerian politicians had not proved that democracy was indeed a better alternative to military rule. It said: “All Nigerian presidents since 1999 have found the 1999 Constitution handy in justifying dictatorial tendencies, with the current president claiming he is yet to even use 10 percent of the (despotic) powers of the constitution. This is a dangerous pointer to the fact that Nigerian politicians are still not faring better than military dictators who churn out decrees and amend them to suit their dictatorship ego”.

“Neither Kwankwaso, nor any Nigerian politician, need be at the whipping end of the Constitution before patriotic sense prevails on all of us to fight to entrench true federalism in Nigeria. For Nigeria to survive, it must provide an equitable basis of existence for all federating units. The 1999 is evidently inequitable and needs, not piecemeal amendments, but a total reworking.

“ARG has no grouse against any politician but it believes that no politician’s ambition should choke national interest. ARG therefore calls on all politicians to learn to sacrifice personal interests for the promotion of an egalitarian Nigeria anchored on true federalism principles.”

“Nigerians are not made for the law. Neither should law, meant to promote equality, promote class divide. We must ask ourselves: can we truly have democracy when some parts of the country feel less privileged than others?”

ARG also said that the national conference’s report must not be tainted by political ambition and that “Nigerians should be allowed through referendum to decide what happens to the report because they should have the primal right to determine how they wish to be governed”.

“Though, the report does not represent everything we want in the Southwest and we are still consulting on what position to take, it is unarguable that the resolutions represent a consensus of both political and apolitical Nigerians.”

The Afenifere Renewal Group Congratulates Fayemi, Fayose

ARGA day after Mr Ayo Fayose of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was declared winner of the Ekiti State election, the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has congratulated the people of Ekiti for voting in a peaceful and credible election.

In a statement signed by the group’s Publicity Secretary, Kunle Famoriyo, they expressed hope that the new trend in the governorship election in Ekiti sets a landmark to how elections should go.

The group applauded the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and the Governor-elect, Mr Ayodele Fayose, for the rare show of sportsmanship they displayed during the election and after the announcement of result.

The statement read: “We thank Governor Fayemi for courageously accepting the wish of the people of Ekiti whom he has served diligently and fervently in the last four years. ARG is convinced that if we must develop our land, we need an administration like that of Governor Fayemi.

“We also thank the Governor-elect, Mr Fayose for his magnanimity in victory and the promise he has made to continue building on the foundation laid by Dr. Fayemi.

“We welcome this promise of continuity in governance and we encourage him to use his tenure for the wellbeing of Ekiti people and to sustain the policies of his predecessor, including the economic integration projects of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, which harnesses the collaborative efforts of all the governments and people of South-western zone to uplift the quality of life of the Yoruba people.”

Afenifere Condemns Attack On Governor Fayemi

AfenifereThe Afenifere Renewal Group has expressed deep concern and worry over the attack on the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, allegedly by the Mobile Police Commander in Ekiti State, at the June 8, 2014 campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress in Ado Ekiti.

According to a statement signed by the Programme Officer of the Group, Segun Balogun, “the Commander is said to hail from Bayelsa State, Dr. Jonathan’s state of origin and was alleged to have boasted that he was carrying out orders from above.”

The Afenifere Renewal Group said that it had warned previously that the President has a bounded duty to all Nigerians to ensure that the elections in Ekiti State and indeed in all the Nigerian states are free and fair.

It noted that doubts regarding the President’s capacity for fairness had deepened “when Namadi Sambo, the Vice President, stated that his Party, the People’s Democratic Party was going to war in the Ekiti governorship election.”

Adding that the Vice President’s assertion has been borne out by the appalling events in Ekiti State, the ARG further said:

“The Yoruba people, at home and in Diaspora are working towards a peaceful, free and fair election in Ekiti State.

“Yoruba people would however not allow anyone, including the suppressive and oppressive central government, whose recent attack on the media nationwide, signals the return of the worst days of the Abacha military dictatorship, to subvert their will.

“We stood in collaboration with other well-meaning Nigerians to see to the end of military rule in Nigeria. We will not under any circumstance allow the subjugation of any part of Yoruba land and space again.

“We demand free and fair elections and we will join the good people of Ekiti State in resisting the planned subversion of their will.”

National Dialogue: Afenifere Demands Publication Of Committee Report

Afenifere Renewal Group has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately publicise the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on National Dialogue, which was submitted on Wednesday.

In a press statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Kunle Famoriyo, the group said that making the report a public document is the only way President Jonathan’s wish to convoke the conference can continue to enjoy the support of Nigerians.

“Nigerians have supported the call for the conference and participated fully in the public sessions. Many travelled far distances to participate in the conference. One of them was the late Babarinde Omojola, who never returned home but died after making his presentation in Akure,” the statement said.

It also said “The only way to respect and honour the sacrifices Nigerians made towards the successful completion of the committee’s task is to publicise the report.”

“If President Jonathan truly has no personal interest, as he claimed, in the conference and he is prepared to allow the will of Nigerians to prevail, the first thing to do is to release the report to the public as a feedback process.” It noted.

The statement further insisted that the “Afenifere Renewal Group will not be railroaded into a national conference, whose modalities and terms are skewed against the interest of our people. Certainly, we will only support the proposed conference for as long as it is transparently planned.”

“Our demand is to see Nigeria restructured into a truly federalist country with viable and autonomous federating units. We are convinced this is what majority of Nigerians want, as our wide consultations have shown. We also believe that the conference, when finally convoked, will succeed and produce desired outcome only if it is a conference of Nigerian ethnic nationalities.” It said.

The group “therefore pleads with President Jonathan not to put the cart before the horse as he announced that he has instructed the Minister of Finance to make budgetary preparation for the conference.”

Concluding that “It is good to make financial preparation for the conference but we insist that the first thing to do after the submission of the report is to make its content public. We wish to reiterate our earlier advice to President Jonathan that the outcome of this proposed conference will either make or mar his tenure.”

Founders Of New Parties Looted Funds To Do So – Afenifere

Spokesman of the Pan Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin has linked the proliferation of political parties in Nigeria to the abundance of funds looted by founders of the parties.

Odumakin, a former spokesman of the presidential candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen Muhammadu Buhari, said this during an interview on Channels Television’s morning flagship programme, Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.

“The people who can afford to form new parties are the ones who have looted resources and funds to play around with,” he said.

The politician said the rise of new parties spells doom for politics as it is known in Nigeria adding that “I think we are seeing the end of politics in Nigeria.”

The aftermath of the successful registration of the All Progressive’s Congress (APC) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has caused an upsurge of many other groups who have signed up for registration by the electoral body.

This is happening because “the day the elephant dies, you see all manner of knives.” Mr Odumakin said “everybody wants to grab this thing” because there is distrust amongst politicians, which has resulted in “all manner of parties”.

However, this new era has resulted in fewer choices for the masses because all the parties look and speak the same way. “I have learned to watch what men are doing rather than what they are saying”

Although there are new parties, there is a dearth of fresh blood as members of the new parties are the “same set of people dividing themselves into new formations”.

He described “most of the so called new parties” as “old wine in new bottles,” adding that in Nigeria “the more things change, the more they remain the same”

Although the APC has been touted as the party to unseat the ruling PDP, Mr Odumakin regards the party’s promises as ‘empty platitudes’ with “no ideology defining all these things”.

After a read through the 31-page manifesto the APC produced “you will see some wish list but if you look at it there is no ideological thread tying all these things together”.

The former CPC member stated that the 1999 constitution, which has accommodated corruption and the likes, is the country’s greatest problem. In his opinion, a total change and not an amendment is the only solution.

He accused Nigerians of reproducing bad leaders as he asked “why have Nigerians continued to continually produce worst set of leaders than the previous ones?”

Mid-Term Assessment: Odumakin Says Jonathan’s Performed Below Par

Right Activist and  National Secretary of the Afenifere Group, Yinka Odumakin has rated President Goodluck Jonathan’s two years in office as below par.

Mr Odumakin however noted that due to inherent difference in the country, “it is very difficult to govern this country”.

He  blamed the country’s woes on a “badly divided nation’’ citing the results of the 2011 general election.

However, Mr Odumakin maintained that there are areas where the government could have stamped its authority “for instance in the area of corruption. Today, corrupt people feel so comfortable that nobody is doing anything to touch them”.

Speaking further, the activist applauded the impact former minister of power, Barth Nnaji made in the power sector but berated the sudden decline recorded after his depature.

He noted that “Now we generating more than we were generating under Nnaji but lesser electricity gets into homes, distribution and transmission. What is happening? He asked.

He also chided the president for not empathizing with the citizens and for ’’scoring himself high” during the presentation of the Mid Term Report of the Transformation Agenda.

State Of Emergency Rule Is Not A Panacea For Peace – Afenifere Group

The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has declared that the state of emergency declared by President Goodluck Jonathan on three states in the northeast region of the country is a temporary solution that falls short of  action that should finally put the country on the path of progress.

The group in a statement by its publicity secretary, Kunle Famoriyo, maintained that the insurgency in the northern part of Nigeria is a “deep manifestation of the crises of nationhood bedeviling the country, which we have continually refused to fully address.”

The Yoruba socio-cultural group noted that every part of this country is seething in anger for one reason or the other, adding that Yoruba people feel insecure within Nigeria.

The group stated: “The Yoruba people, for instance, do not only feel insecure within Nigeria. We do not feel that Nigeria, as it is presently structured, can allow the component nationalities and groups to find full expression for their different aspirations. We, the Yoruba are concerned and miffed that the present structure of the country is a pernicious hindrance to our developmental destination. We are constantly being constrained to move at the developmental pace envisioned since the advent of self-rule in the 1950s, therefore to project to a great future for our unborn generation is fast becoming a mirage.”

The group urged the President not to rely on emergency rule or militia action in any part of the country as a means to achieving peace.

“It may bring some temporary succour, but it cannot guarantee long-lasting peace and security. His administration should desist from wasting the resources of the people of this country, but rather expend those resources on lasting peace, rather than this parochial focus on security.”

National State of Emergency

The group warned that “the present situation in Nigeria is a watershed, and it presents an opportunity to seek a lasting resolution to how we want to live and co-exist as a country of distinct nationalities, interests and priorities, within this beleaguered contraption called Nigeria.”

Reaffirming its lifelong commitment and call for a sovereign national conference, the group called the President to “immediately declare a State of National Emergency, and proceed to the National Assembly with an executive bill, with a view to preparing the grounds for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference, which would bring all the peoples… of Nigeria together at a round-table to dialogue on the future of the country.”