Afenifere Renewal Group Mourns Fasoranti’s Daughter, Demands Justice

Afenifere Renewal Group Mourns Fasoranti’s Daughter, Demands Justice

 

The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has mourned the daughter of the national leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, killed by armed men suspected to be herdsmen.

Mrs Funke Olakunrin was shot on Friday afternoon while travelling along the Benin-Ore Expressway in south-western Nigeria.

In a statement on Saturday by its chairman, Olawale Oshun, the group condemned the killing of Mrs Olakunrin and commiserated with her family.

READ ALSO: Daughter Of Afenifere National Leader Killed By Suspected Herdsmen In Ondo

It said, “ARG shares in this colossal loss and condole with the bereaved family, especially Pa Fasoranti and Mrs Olakunrin’s nucleus family.

“This loss is a burden too heavy and a steep price to pay for steadfastly serving this nation and our people.”

The group blamed the death on “savage herdsmen” and warned that whatever the plot they have against Yorubaland, “it will consume the perpetrators and their collaborators”.

It challenged the governors in the south-west and the socio-political leadership to rise up in defence of the people in the region.

ARG said, “It would now seem that the central government and its clinging to central policing has failed woefully in providing Nigerians the needed security.

“Our governors must realise that they shall be held responsible, individually and collectively, should they fail to prioritise and support one another in securing their people. The time to act is now.”

The group described Mrs Olakunrin as the latest victim of what it called the nation’s wobbling and ineffective unitary governance structure.

It, therefore, demanded that the issues of kidnap, rape, and killing that “emanate daily from Yoruba land” be stopped by whatever mean possible.

ARG asked that the ‘Unitary Constitution’ be replaced with a truly Federal Constitution and called on the south-west governors to rise to the challenge.

“They can count on the support of our people in their bid to drive out these senseless criminals from our land,” it said.

The group explained that this would ensure that Mrs Olakunrin and all others killed by suspected herdsmen do not die in vain.

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”.

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.”

#StellaGate: Afenifere Demands Probe Into Other Agencies’ Pockets

Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently set up a judicial panel of inquiry that will investigate the cost of governance since 2009 when late President Umar Yar’Adua took ill.

The group, in a statement signed by its National Chairman, Olawale Oshun, argued that the ongoing investigation into procurement of armoured vehicles by the aviation ministry ought to be extended to other ministries, departments, and agencies of government, including the presidency and legislature.

“We are convinced that the revelations coming out of our aviation ministry represent only a tip of the iceberg, a fraction of the widespread disregard for probity and budget-based administration in our public service,” Oshun said in the statement.

The group described the media frenzy about the #Stellagate controversy as “undue focus” and stated that such would only serve to “cover up similar abuses in other Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and also the legislative house in Abuja. Our suspicion is that many other ministers and top government officials are beneficiaries of similar unusual gifts.”

“Just recently, the House Committee Chairman on Public Accounts cried out that budgetary performance of capital expenditure stands currently at 28 per cent; that of recurrent expenditure stands at 72 per cent; while that of the N1.6tn Service Wide Vote, a nebulously defined allocation spent at the President’s discretion, stands at 90 per cent.

“We must not, as a country, fail to extend the ongoing investigation into other MDAs, going by the recent revelation that 2013 budget performance is less than 40 percent and the disclosure of Comptroller-General of Nigerian Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko Inde, before the Joint Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriation that Nigeria has lost N603.2bn to waivers and exemptions between January and September alone. Waivers were even granted for importation of petroleum products to the tune of N263.8bn.

“We suspect that profligacy of the worst degree since 1999 is staring us in the face and it serves no nationalistic purpose to devote national resources in the presidency and legislature to probe a mere fraction of the problem. What the country needs now is a holistic probe, the type that can engender a comprehensive reform in cost of governance.”

Oshun said a judicial inquiry is necessary to “enable the introduction of proper reforms that would prevent Oduahgate in future.”

“To mindlessly concentrate on the Oduah issue without externalising the inquiry would only short change the country and our search for probity. We urge Nigerians not to wait for another shocking revelation of corruption but to demand for holistic reform of governance,” the statement read.

 

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?”

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.”