The pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, has lamented the rising levels of insecurity in Nigeria, just as it decried kidnappings along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
In a statement by its spokesman, Jare Ajayi, on Wednesday, Afenifere said the government has not done enough to tackle insecurity in the country, calling for more stringent actions from security agencies and the leaders.
It noted that “the kidnapping of seven people around Isara Remo on Lagos/Ibadan Expressway on Sunday, January 17, 2022, was another evidence that governments in Nigeria have failed in their primary duties of providing security and welfare for the people.”
The body recalled that earlier in the year some persons were also reportedly abducted at Onigaari Village on the same Lagos/Ibadan Expressway while others escaped being kidnapped on the same route last week.
Afenifere also recalled the kidnappings and attacks on communities in Ondo, Ogun, Osun and Ekiti state, noting that “these are unacceptable and must be stopped forthwith by all means”.
“Reports had it that some displaced terrorists in the northern part of the country led by one Belo Turji are making incursions into Yorubaland in the western part of Nigeria,” the statement added.
While acknowledging that President Muhammadu Buhari knows the country’s security challenges, it said the lamentations of some northern governors have not served as enough wake-up call to the government to tackle insecurity headlong.
Giving orders is not enough, the group said, adding that “the appropriate panacea is not being applied to the scourge. And until this is done, the situation may be getting worse each passing day”.
As part of solutions to the problem, the Afenifere called for the removal of security from the exclusive list, and the enforcement of the anti-open grazing laws among others.
Afenifere believes “that no matter the stride President Buhari makes on the Nigeria project, the worsening security and economic conditions in the country would rubbish his efforts and ultimate achievements”.
Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has reacted to the attack on the residence of Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho.
Acting Leader of the group, Chief Ayo Adebanjo in a statement signed on Thursday by the National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi said the attack was a “sad reminder of what Nigerians went through under the inglorious regime of late General Sani Abacha.”
The group said further that, “the attack is a sad indicator that we are fast returning to the era of late Sani Abacha when anyone who expressed opinions contrary to government’s position would be fatally attacked.”
According to Afenifere, the manner of the attack indicated culpability on the part of those in authority.
“We are forced into this deduction for a number of reasons. Firstly, eyewitness accounts indicated that the vehicles and uniforms of the attackers were that of the security agencies.
“Secondly, the failure of security agencies to confront the attackers further implicated the government. It was reported that the attack lasted for more than three hours. Igboho’s residence is in a highly-populated area within minutes’ reach to surrounding police stations. That no rescue team came from any of the police units including the DSS office in Ibadan for the several hours that the attack lasted makes it difficult not to believe that the government is complicit in the attack,” the statement read in part.
Afenifere made reference to how voices that were opposed to the dictatorial tendencies of the Abacha regime were suppressed.
“We recalled how patriots like General Alani Akinrinade, Pa Abraham Adesanya, Pa Alfred Rewane etc were attacked resulting in the untimely and gruesome murder of Pa Rewane.”
The pan-Yoruba organization said it is forced to make this deduction because Sunday Igboho is known to be at the forefront of agitations to have the Yoruba nation.
“What is wrong in canvassing for self-determination so long as such agitation is devoid of violence? The constitution the country is running guarantees the right of every Nigerian to express an opinion and even carry out rallies as long as such is done without violence.
“To the best of our knowledge, none of the rallies that Sunday Igboho has led in his campaign for the Yoruba nation could be said to be violent nor was he implicated in illegal activities. Why then should he be subjected to the kind of treatment his household received on Thursday morning?”
The body then maintained that a total stop must be put to the unprovoked attack on innocent citizens in the country.
The attack on Sunday Igboho’s residence came less than 72 hours to the plan by Igboho and others to hold a rally in Lagos to further canvass for the Yoruba nation this Saturday.
The Pan Yoruba Socio-political group, The Afenifere has opposed the statement of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami against the ban on open grazing by Governors in the Southern States of Nigeria.
A statement from the Secretary-General of the Association, Olusola Ebiseni maintains that the declaration of the Governors is legal and not a constitutional matter.
“Contrary to his latest vituperations, the ban on open grazing and movement of animals by foot is not a denial of “freedom and liberty of movement” and does not require the slightest touch of the constitution for the governor to pronounce.”
The statement notes that most states in the southern part of Nigeria already have the anti-grazing law in place.
“For the attention of Malami, most of the states already have laws banning open grazing and the pronouncement of the Governors was merely to give effect to an existing law.”
According to Ebiseni, The Afenifere is backing the southern governors’ position:
“We in the Afenifere support the resolutions of the Southern Governors banning open grazing and movement of cattle by foot in our territory.”
“Those who can cope with the destruction of farmlands and produce by animals and are also permissive of criminality by terrorist herdsmen are free to open their vast lands for such purposes.”
With this statement from Malami, Afenifere says the average Nigerian has lost confidence in the Buhari administration:
“Officials of the Federal Government should be advised that their jaundiced sectarian views are eloquent testimony that the Buhari administration has lost the confidence of the generality of Nigerians.”
He also advised President Buhari to bury the idea of general elections come 2023 without the necessary restructuring of the country to the path of federalism
“I urged President Muhammadu Buhari to bury the idea of holding an election before returning to federalism by restructuring the country now.
“There must be a country before elections are held; it would be patriotic of him to heed this advice. If Buhari is sincere about keeping the country together, he must restructure the country now; this is the only answer to halt the disintegration of the country. To save Nigeria, restructure the country now,” Adebanjo said.
He added that the consistent advocacy for the restructuring of the country to federalism is based on the founding philosophy of Afenifere.
Adebanjo appreciated other groups such as PANDEF, The Northern Elders Forum, Arewa Consultative Forum, and Middle Belt Forum for joining in the restructuring crusade for a greater and better Nigeria
He also hailed the Southern Governors Forum for joining the calls for restructuring.
Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has said it is in support of the ban on open grazing announced by Southern Governors on Tuesday.
In a communique issued on Friday at the end of a meeting held in Ogun State, the group also reiterated its call for restructuring.
The Governors announced the ban on Tuesday after meeting in Delta State.
They also called for President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation over the state of insecurity.
“Afenifere is in total support of the decision of Governors of the 17 states in Nigeria banning open grazing of livestock in any of the states that they control,” the Afenifere communique said.
“Afenifere felt that although the declaration by the governors ought to have come long before now, given the atrocities that have arisen from open grazing, it is better late than never.”
The Afenifere communique added that “despite various steps taken and appeals made by state governments and communities, herders continue to graze their cattle on farms of our people.
“When the farmers tried to protest, they (the farmers) are harassed, maimed and sometimes killed. Our female folks are raped. This is a very important reason for the need to completely outlaw open grazing with severe penalties for any violator.”
The group said it was “delighted” that the idea of restructuring as a mechanism for preventing the breakup of Nigeria “is becoming more popular and winning converts on a daily basis.”
It said it has been advocating for a federal system for Nigeria since 1953.
“A Constitution based on Federalism was operating in the country until 1966 when the military consigned the Constitution into the dust bin,” the communique said.
“Since then, Nigeria has not been enjoying true federalism.
“We in Afenifere believe very strongly that failure to practise federalism and increasing Unitarisation of the country were largely responsible for the travails Nigeria is suffering today – and will continue to suffer – unless Nigeria is restructured!
“We have no doubt about this at all.
“We are happy to note that some who were either opposed to Restructuring or hesitant of it are now embracing it. We therefore demand that Restructuring should be effected NOW!”
Afenifere said when the 8th National Assembly called for Memoranda on Constitutional Review, it had submitted a Memorandum.
“Of course the 1999 Constitution meant to be reviewed is what we are insisting should be jettisoned,” the communique said.
“But since we don’t have any other document other than this 1999 Constitution with which the affairs of the country is being run, we feel that it is sensible to submit a Memorandum that clearly states our own position.
“Our hope is that the National Assembly will be sincere in its effort at reviewing the Constitution.”
The meeting that produced the Friday communique was held at the house of the group’s acting leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, in Sanya-Ogbo, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.
Yoruba is one of Nigeria’s three largest ethnic groups.
Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afẹ́nifẹ́re has confirmed that its former spokesman Yinka Odumakin passed away due to complications from COVID-19.
Mr. Odumakin’s death was announced early Saturday prompting tributes from President Muhammadu Buhari, other top government officials and eminent Nigerians.
“It is with extreme sadness and sorrow that The Afẹ́nifẹ́re regret to announce the passing away of our Publicity Secretary Mr Yinka Odumakin which occurred on the 3rd day of April, 2021,” a statement from Afẹ́nifẹ́re, signed by its General Secretary, Mr Sola Ebiseni, said.
“The sad event happened this morning (Saturday, 3/4/2021) at the intensive care unit of LASUTH where he was being managed for respiratory issues due to complications from COVID-19 which he had recovered from about a week ago.”
The statement lauded Mr Odumakin’s character and praised him for his selfless service to the Yoruba body.
“Our organisation which is 70 years old this very month has had the services of our Dear Publicity Secretary for 17 years, uninterrupted, Unbroken,” it said.
“He served The Afẹ́nifẹ́re with all his might, power, intellect and soul. Steadfast, Forthright unalloyed!
“Mr Yinka Odumakin was a heart of loyalty personified. We will miss him. The Yorùbá that the Afẹ́nifẹ́re serve, will miss him. The nation Nigeria at these times needs him and will miss his invaluable services at these most difficult times of our debilitating challenges.
“On behalf of our Leader and Leader of The Yorùbá, the Afẹ́nifẹ́re extend our condolences to his immediate family We admit, endurance is an elusive virtue at these difficult times, but we counsel the family to embrace Fortitude at these trying times.”
Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere has bemoaned the state of security in Nigeria and charged President Muhammadu Buhari to act with alacrity.
In a statement signed by Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, the group said the idea of central policing has failed and called for the “urgent need to allow multi-level policing.”
Afenifere condemned the recent killing of a traditional ruler in Ondo State, the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Israel Adeusi, an event which it believes highlights the dire state of security in the country.
“This gruesome murder coming as we are still smarting from the brutal murder of the daughter of Afenifere Leader, Mrs Funke Olakunrin for which some Fulani herdsmen are currently on trial,” the statement said. “There have been other multiple murders across Yoruba land which the police have not been able to resolve. It has reached a point that only very prominent killings get reported in this state of total insecurity in a failed state.
“The killing of any citizen worries us, how much more a first class monarch. We ask the police to fish out the killers of Olufon as it one murder too many and absolute failure and lack of competence by the security system in Nigeria to secure lives and property which is the first duty of any responsible government.
“We are fed up with the daily sucking of the blood of our people across Nigeria in the apparent festering of insecurity which now has a very conducive atmosphere in Nigeria.
“We send condolences to Kabiyesi family, the people of Ifon town, Ondo state and the Yoruba nation on this abominable killing.
“To President Buhari it’s a time to get up and secure Nigeria and allow a federal architecture that promotes homeland security. Being the commandeer-in – chief can’t be a title with no responsibility.
“The total collapse of infrastructure in Nigeria reflected in the report that the Oba was abducted by the killers as the vehicle had to slow down in a bad portion of the road. Why are we constructing road to Niger Republic when our own road are literally death – traps?”
Yoruba sociology-cultural organisation, Afenifere has expressed displeasure over the manner in which the Nigeria Police Force is handling investigations into the murder of Mrs Olufunke Olakunnrin, daughter its leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti.
The group in a communique on Sunday, claimed that the police has been treating the case lackadaisically.
“It’s now over two months that Mrs Olufunke Olakunnrin,the daughter of Afenifere Leader ,Chief Reuben Fasoranti was murdered around Ore in Ondo State and we are compelled to speak out over the lackadaisical attitude of the police over the gruesome assassination,” the group said.
According to the statement signed by its spokesman, Mr Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere claimed that there are various signs which suggest that the police has not made any attempt to launch a serious investigation into the murder.
“The first sign we got that there was no attempt to launch any serious investigation into the murder was when the car in which she was killed was released to the family from Ore police station the day after the murder without any forensic investigation into the most prized evidence at the scene of the crime.
“It was when we engaged the police high command that they came to pick the car six days later.The car has now been returned to the family with no report on the examination report.
“Indeed there was no attempt to carry out any autopsy on the corpse until we also demanded one from the police before the burial. One was carried out and only that report was given to the family when they went to collect the car.
“Beyond this,the police has not made any briefing to the family on their investigations into this dastardly act,” the group stated.
The Afenifere said the situation is a troubling one, adding that the group is seeing in Olakurin’s case, all the signs of lethargy that usually attend high profile murders with powerful masterminds in the country.
The group urged all well meaning Nigerians and persons all over the world to join them in asking the police to find find Olakunrin’s killers and bring them to justice.
Below is a full statement of the Afenifere’s position as regards the death of Mrs Olufunke Olakunnrin.
Afenifere expresses displeasure with police over Funke Olakunrin(Née Fasoranti)
It’s now over two months that Mrs Olufunke Olakunnrin,the daughter of Afenifere Leader ,Chief Reuben Fasoranti was murdered around Ore in Ondo State and we are compelled to speak out over the lackadaisical attitude of the police over the gruesome assassination.
Mr Kehinde Fasoranti,the junior brother of the deceased had stated openly a day after the incident that the police in Ore told him the sister was killed by Fulani herdsmen when he went to collect her body the day she was killed and challenged the police to bring out the statement he wrote at their station .They have not contradicted him till date .
The first sign we got that there was no attempt to launch any serious investigation into the murder was when the car in which she was killed was released to the family from Ore police station the day after the murder without any forensic investigation into the most prized evidence at the scene of the crime .It was when we engaged the police high command that they came to pick the car six days later .The car has now been returned to the family with no report on the examination report .
Indeed there was no attempt to carry out any autopsy on the corpse until we also demanded one from the police before the burial .One was carried out and only that report was given to the family when they went to collect the car.
Beyond this,the police has not made any briefing to the family on their investigations into this dastardly act.
There are other bizarre developments that worry us on police investigations into this murder .
For instance ,the driver of the car in which Mrs Olakunrin was killed has not been asked a question by the police till date.
Furthermore ,a few days after the killing ,a staff of the deceased’ husband ,Bankole Olatunbosun was arrested as he was said to be in touch with Mr Olakunrin’s driver,Femi Ajayi who drove the Sienna bus in the deceased convoy. A week after the killing ,Femi was brought into the family house in Akure by police officers in the anti-kidnap unit .
The story from the crime scene was that Femi got down from the Sienna bus and followed the gunmen who killed Mrs Olakunrin .He claimed he was kidnapped but there is no evidence of ransom requested from him or his family.He and Bankole Olatunbosun are now free men. Femi even sauntered into the Fasoranti family house three days ago.
All the above put together suggest to us clearly that the police have not done any serious investigations into this murder .And it worries us that we are seeing all the signs of lethargy that usually attend high profile murders with powerful masterminds in our country.
Afenifere therefore calls on all those who respect human lives in Nigeria and across the world to join us in asking the police and by extension the authors of “where are the cows?”:WHERE ARE THE KILLERS OF FUNKE OLAKUNNRIN?
Yinka Odumakin National Publicity Secretary Afenifere.
“Every generation of human being faces problems and that generation must find ways of solving that problem,” the former president said.
He added, “Every government faces some unique problems. Insecurity has been with us immediately after the civil war.
“That was the first time we experienced armed robbery in Lagos. From armed robbery, it graduated to kidnapping.”
The former president called for the setting up of a separate government agency that will handle the security challenges facing Nigeria.
He traced the history of criminal activities in Nigeria, saying, “The first major kidnapping was described as commercial kidnapping because some money exchanged hands. This happened in 2006 when I was governor of Bayelsa State.
“From commercial kidnapping, it moved to terrorism in the North and now some kind of terrorist attacks are all over the country when people will just come out of the road and spray bullets on innocent people. That is a terrorist attack.
“You have no reason to attack somebody you don’t even know, that is terrorism.”
According to him, every generation and government usually face various challenges which would need to be tackled with diverse approaches.
He called for collaboration between the Federal and the state governments to address the incessant killings in the country.
Spokesperson of the Afenifere Renewal Group, Yinka Odumakin, has called on the Federal Government to enforce law and order across the board and prosecute any group found guilty of committing a crime.
He was reacting on Channels TV Sunday Politics, to the recent killing of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti on Friday in Kajola near Ore, in Ondo State on her way from Akure.
“At this stage in Nigeria, we must enforce law and order across the board, we cannot continue to sheath any group from the law when it commits a crime.
“How long are we going to continue to use our blood to sustain the unity of this country?” he asked.
Mr Odumakin restated the position of the group that Mrs Olakunrin was murdered deliberately.
“It is unfortunate that we have reached a point where human lives are no longer safe in our country. As to what we said about Mrs Funke Olakunrin, we stand by it that she was murdered and all eyewitness account so far, indicate to us that she was murdered by herdsmen.
“When you inspect the car in which Funke Olakunrin was killed, you will see that most of the bullets came from her side of the car, which suggested some targeting.”
He alleged that the police is not doing enough to arrest those behind the killing of Mrs Olakunrin.
“Up till this moment, the way Police are very courteous in anything that involves herdsmen, it has been so in this case. The car in which she was killed, 48 hours ago, is in the compound of Pa Fasoranti.
“We expected that if the police were interested in any investigation, that car will be with them, they will be doing forensics and all.
“In her car, she had money, phones, jewellery and they were all intact, the only person that was abducted from the scene was the driver of her backup car, which as we speak, is still with the abductors,” he revealed.
Nigerian statesmen and leaders under the aegis of top pan-Nigerian groups, the Pro National Conference Organisations (PRONACO) and the Project Nigeria Movement (PNM), have condemned the killing of Mrs Funke Olakunrin and called for an urgent national political dialogue.
Mrs Olakunrin, who is the daughter of Pan-Yoruba movement Afenifere leader Reuben Fasoranti, was murdered on Friday by gunmen believed to be herdsmen, an act that has sparked outrage.
Describing the murder as dastardly, wicked and ungodly, both groups said the murder was unacceptable and unbearable, “as it is capable aggravating the already tensed situation in the Southwest and foisting unwanted civil strife on the country”.
“We, therefore, strongly call on President Muhammadu Muhammadu, Chairman of the Governors Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and National Leader of the ruling APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, among others to urgently put a strong machinery in motion for National political engagements to prevent a breakdown of law and order over the cruel and criminal killings in Southwest by armed Fulani robbers and bandits,” they said in a statement signed by their Joint Spokesperson, Olawale Okunniyi.
Beyond the call to the President and others, PRONACO and PNM notified its allied national leaders, statesmen and heads of nationality and self-determination groups about a possible emergency political convergence next week.
The groups commiserated with the Afenifere leader and prayed for “divine fortitude” for those who have lost loved ones to banditry and kidnapping in the country.
PRONACO is a pan-Nigerian movement initiated under the leadership of the late Chief Anthony Enahoro and the Nobel laureate Professor Wole Soyinka to find solutions to the nation’s challenges, while Project Nigeria Movement is a coalition of civil society groups led by respected Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ben Nwabueze.
Read the full statement below:
PRONACO, Project Nigeria, Eminent National Leaders condemn murder of the daughter of Afenifere Leader, Funke Olakunrin by Suspected Fulani Bandits
Set for Emergency Political Intervention over growing insecurity and Killings in Nigeria
Task Federal Government, APC on urgent National Political Dialogue over political tension in Nigeria
Eminent Leaders of thought and Nationalities in Nigeria under the aegies of Pro National Conference Organisations, PRONACO initiated by Late Chief Anthony Enahoro and Prof Wole Soyinka and Project Nigeria Movement, PNM led by Prof Ben Nwabueze, SAN condemn, in an unequivocal terms, the dastardly and wicked murder of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Afenifere Leader, Pa Reuben Fashonranti yesterday by suspected Fulani armed Kidnappers and Robbers operating on Nigeria’s Highways
We wish to state categorically that yesterday’s criminal murder of the daughter of the Leader of the pan Yoruba movement, Afenifere, is wicked, ungodly and remains unacceptable and unbearable to our Pan Nigerian political platforms, PRONACO and the Project Nigeria Movement as it is capable aggravating the already tensed situation in the Southwest and foisting unwanted civil strife on the country
We, therefore, strongly call on President Muhammadu Muhammadu, Chairman of the Governors Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and National Leader of the ruling APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, among others to urgently put a strong machinery in motion for National political engagements to prevent a breakdown of law and order over the cruel and criminal killings in Southwest by armed Fulani robbers and bandits
The Joint National Secretariat of Project Nigeria Movement and PRONACO however wish to use this unfortunate occasion to put all its allied Eminent National Leaders, Statesmen and Arrow heads of Nationality and Self determination groups on notice about a possible emergency political convergence next week to address the tensed situation created by menacing and marauding armed Fulani bandits in the country, especially the cruel murder of the daughter of Afenifere Leader yesterday
Finally, our sympathies and commiserations, at this sad moment, go to Pa Reuben Fashonrati, Yoruba Leader and his family and to the entire Yoruba people, who have lost thousands of their folks and loved ones to armed Kidnappings and Robbery coordinated by heartless ransom taking and blood thirsty Fulani marauders in the last one year. We, therefore, pray for divine fortitude for all those who have lost their loved ones to this alien armed banditry and kidnapping in Nigeria
Signed Olawale Okunniyi Joint Spokesperson For: PRONACO/PNM