Afenifere accuses Police of foul play in its handling of Ile-Ife communal clash

The pan-Yoruba socio political group, Afenifere, has accused the leadership of the police of being sectional in its approach to the crisis that erupted in Ile Ife, Osun State, between the Yoruba and Hausa Fulani ethnic group.

The group at the end of its monthly meeting in Akure, Ondo State capital, yesterday condemned the action of the police, especially the arrest of 20 Yoruba people. The group accused police of bias in the way they handled the matter.

It stressed that those arrested by the police over the crisis have been ridiculed, harassed and coerced while there was no single Hausa Fulani among those arrested and paraded at Abuja.

“We condemn unequivocally the attempts being made by the police high command to intimidate, harass, coerce, ridicule and dehumanize Yoruba elements in Ile Ife, who have been called suspects and who were arrested at Ile Ife.’’

But the group maintained that, “Those that have been criminalised by the police have not committed any treasonable felony or accused of any financial crime to warrant the Federal Government taking over the case and possible trial and eventual arraignment before the Federal High Court.

The group called on the police authorities to desist from adding ethnic colouration to the crisis.

 

Source: The Guardian

Afenifere gives Buhari ultimatum over Onnoghen’s confirmation as CJN

The pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has given President Muhammadu Buhari a nine-day ultimatum to forward the name of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Nkanu Onnoghen to the Senate for approval.

At its meeting held in the house of the leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti yesterday in Akure, Ondo State, Afenifere also asked the Federal Government to constitute a committee that will restructure the country.

The position of Afenifere has intensified the call for the confirmation of Onnoghen before his acting period expires.

According to Afenifere, the unity of the race must be paramount irrespective of religious inclination, political affiliation and social background.After over five hours of meeting, the group called for the implementation of the report of the 2014 National Conference to tackle the problems threatening the existence of the country.

Reading the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, Afenifere spokesman, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said the Yoruba leaders were displeased with the government’s refusal to send the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to the National Assembly for confirmation.

Afenifere which lamented that the three months of acting capacity of Onnoghen, as allowed by the constitution, is about to expire, urged Buhari to comply with the recommendation despite the few days left for his tenure to expire.

“We see this as an assault on the constitution if the three months expire and he is not confirmed as CJN of Nigeria. It will be an assault on our constitution and an attempt to crudely end a career of a worthy Nigerian.

“Therefore we call on Mr. President to within the few days left to the expiration of the acting tenure of Justice Onnoghen send his name to the Senate for confirmation as Nigeria CJN, as he is the man in line because that is what the constitution says.”

Afenifere also expressed worry about the mass killing in southern Kaduna, Middle Belt communities, Igboland, Oke-Ogun in Oyo State and other parts of the country where there were clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

Odumakin said: “The meeting was elated that the Yoruba have closed ranks as witnessed in the historic gathering which represents a new beginning for the race.

“It is high time the Yoruba nation put aside partisan differences and come together and make Yoruba land and redirect the affairs of Nigeria the way the Yoruba did in the years before independence, when we worked with our friends in Nigeria to negotiate the federal constitution which brought our independence.

“The meeting observed that the state of Nigeria at the moment is very frightening and worrying and uncertainty looms in the air.

“We are worried about the mass killing going on in southern Kaduna and all over Nigeria, and the states appeared to be helpless and sometimes unwilling to curb the excess of these killers.”

Alluding to President Buhari, who is currently in a foreign country for medical treatment, Afenifere emphasised that “Nigeria today lies prostrate in the intensive care of sick countries because we have refused to run Nigeria, the multi-ethnic state, along federal lines.”

The socio-political group resolved to set up a committee to rouse the Yoruba nation and to network with its friends and like-minds across Nigeria to make the country work.

“This country must be restructured before we go for another election because we cannot afford to continue to slide dangerously on the part of anarchy.

“The main focus is to get all hands on deck for the mobilisation towards the implementation of the recommendation of the 2014 National Conference which was submitted to the Federal Executive Council, that is the minimum we demand,” the group said.

Also yesterday, Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, sued President Buhari, at the Federal High Court, Lagos, praying for an order to preserve the office of the CJN.

Other respondents in the suit are the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), the Senate, the NJC, Onnoghen and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).

The plaintiff is asking the court to direct the president, and in his absence the vice-president, to forward the name of Justice Onnoghen to the Senate for confirmation as the CJN.

He is also asking for an order of injunction to restrain the president and the vice-president from appointing another candidate for presentation to the Senate, for the office of the CJN, apart from Justice Onnoghen, who is the most senior justice of the Supreme Court and who has already been selected and recommended by the NJC.

In addition, the plaintiff wants the court to stop the Senate from accepting, entertaining, deliberating upon or considering the nomination of any other candidate that may be forwarded to it by the president and the vice-president, apart from Onnoghen.

Adegboruwa also prayed the court to direct Onnoghen to assume and take over and be performing and discharging the duties and functions of the office of the CJN, until such a time that the president would agree to forward his name to the Senate for confirmation or until he retires at the mandatory age of 70 years.

Adegboruwa accused President Buhari of bias against the judiciary which he had allegedly declared as his headache, stressing that the president is deliberately withholding the appointment of Justice Onnoghen in order to destabilise the judiciary and to force him into compulsory retirement, being a Christian from the southern part of Nigeria.The lawyer accused the president of a hidden agenda to perpetrate civilian dictatorship and to implement his ethnic and religious agenda, by frustrating the first CJN from the south in the past 30 years.

He accused the vice-president of failing to act decisively as he did with the case of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) acting chairman, whose nomination he forwarded to the Senate in the absence of the president.

No hearing date has been fixed for the suit.

Afenifere rejects LG as basis for recruitment of police personnel.

The Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has raised the alarm over the danger in using local council as basis for recruitment into the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

It said recruitment into the armed forces must follow the laid-down Principle of Federal Character, which is the basis.

The group’s reaction cameon the heels of the simmering crisis between the Senate Committee on Police Affairs and the Police Service Commission (PSC), which ultimately led to the suspension of the recruitment of 10,000 personnel into the force in September.

The National Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, noted that while the PSC was insisting that the process should follow the constitutional provision of equality of states in line with the Principle of Federal Character, the Senator Abu Ibrahim-led committee wanted the recruitment to be done on the basis of local councils. He also said that the Senate committee insisted that the police force should supervise the exercise as against the service commission, which is statutorily saddled with such responsibility.

He said: “The suspension of the exercise was to allow President Muhammadu Buhari mediate in the dispute between the two bodies but to the consternation of all, the Senate committee recently announced that the President has ruled in its favour.

“We reject this blatant violation of the Principle of Federal Character and the constitutional process on the alter of political and sectional expediency.”

The group said the implication of what is about to happen is that Lagos State having just 20 local councils with a bigger population than Kano State, which has 44, will have fewer representatives in the force.

It also observed that an oil-bearing state like Bayelsa State contributing substantially to the federation pool from which the recruited officers would be paid has only eight local councils and will have just 72 men against Jigawa State, which hardly contributes to the pool but will have 234 men based on its 26 local councils.

It added: “There is nothing that justifies the disparities than the politics of domination and conquest that is at the heart of the volatile injustice embedded in our prebendal politics in Nigeria.”

Afenifere wants Buhari’s ministers accused of corruption to resign.

Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere has asked serving ministers who were fingered by some arrested judges for alleged corruption should resign.

The group said this in a communique issued at the end of its monthly meeting in Akure.

Afenifere said, “For the ministers who have been mentioned for attempting to pervert the course of justice , we are asking that such ministers should step aside immediately as ministers of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“After that, they should go through due process of the law to either ascertain their innocence or not, they should be punished according to the laws of the land . So we cannot be saying only judges that have accused should be investigated. Ministers too, who have been accused should step aside and face prosecution.”

Afenifere Rejects Grazing Commission Bill

Pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, has rejected the Grazing Commission Bill proposed by the National Assembly to address the burning issue of farmers and Fulani herdsmen clashes erupting in different parts of the country.

Afenifere described the bill as “anti-people.”

The bill proposes the establishment of the National Grazing Commission which will preserve and control the national grazing reserves and livestock routes and other matters related to it.

The group’s leader, Reuben Fasoranti, while addressing journalists in Akure, said the bill, which empowered the commission to acquire any land anywhere in the country, would violate the subsisting Land Use Act and traditional means of land holding if enacted.

He noted that the bill was being proposed allegedly to favour the business of the Fulani herdsmen at the expense of the farmers whose farms were always destroyed by the Fulani’s cows in some other parts of the country .

” We reject any law that would rob the citizens of their possessions and award to another set of citizens as this offensive bill attempts to do. That is against the principle of natural justice, ” Mr. Fasoranti declared.

“It is also against federal principle for the government of the federation to therefore want to violate the rights of other sections of the country to please a group from an ethnic unit over and above the interest of other over 400 ethnic groups. ”

He called on all federal lawmakers from the south and Nigerians in general to join Afenifere in rejecting the bill.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Afenifere Meets On New Leader In Akure

Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, will hold an emergency meeting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, today to discuss the resignation of its leader, Pa Rueben Fasoranti, and the appointment of his successor.

According to reports, those in the race to succeed Fasoranti include 91-year-old Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Olu Falae, Chief Cornelius Adebayo and Dr. Amos Akingba. All but Adebayo were delegates to the last National Conference in Abuja.

The organisation, which has no written constitution, will rely on convention to select another leader. Sources said the meeting will take place at Fasoranti’s residence at Ijapo Estate. Chieftains are expected from the six Southwest states of Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, and Oyo, and Kwara and Kogi states.

A member from Lagos State said the chieftains would deliberate on the resignation and other important matters. “A new leader may emerge after the meeting,” said the chieftain, who pleaded for anonymity.

Reporters were not allowed into Fasoranti’s residence yesterday. One of his aides said the octogenarian politician has been indisposed for weeks, adding that he was not willing to speak with anybody.

According to sources, opinion is still divided on the resignation because of its implications for the group. “We are going to meet in Akure today. People will make suggestions. Some members still want Fasoranti to continue. Although the job is rigorous, but there are people around him who can assist him in the discharge of the duties. But, if a new leader is to be picked eventually, we will discuss it together. That is the situation,” a chieftain said.

A source said those in the race to succeed Fasoranti include 91-year-old Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Olu Falae, Chief Cornelius Adebayo and Dr. Amos Akingba. All but Adebayo were delegates to the last National Conference in Abuja.

However, some members of the group are agitating for generational shift. In their view, a young, energetic leader should succeed Fasoranti while the elders should guide and support him.

A foremost Awoist, Ajayi is a prominent lawyer and founding member of the defunct Action Group (AG), led by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He served as Commissioner for Education in the defunct Western Region.

In the Second Republic, he was a chieftain of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). Following the annulment of the historic June 12, 1993 presidential election won by the late Chief Moshood Abiola, Ajayi fought for the reversal of the annulment along with compatriots in Afenifere and the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). In his books, the seasoned author has always defended the interest of Yoruba.

When Fasoranti’s predecessor, Senator Abraham Adesanya, was indisposed, many chieftains perceived Ajayi as the natural successor. But, younger elements, including Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Prince Dayo Adeyeye and Mr. Yinka Odumakin, advised the ailing leader to appoint Fasoranti as acting leader to erase the insinuation that Yoruba leaders of Ijebu and Remo origin were dominating the affairs of the organisation.

Adebanjo is a combative political warhorse. Although he is 87, he is energetic, bold, brave and unapologetic. He is a pioneer AG Organising Secretary and close associate of Awolowo. He was with Awo during the treason felony trial, following the allegation that he was among the boys being trained in Ghana to overthrow the Balewa Government. Although the lawyer has not won any elective position throughout his long political career spanning almost six decades, he was perceived as a consistent politician; principled and fearless.

His support for former President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term ambition took many by surprise. Many Afenifere chieftains in the Senator Ayo Fasanmi faction have criticised him for making inflammable statements that contributed to the split in the organisation and made reconciliation impossible.

Falae joined the political family when he entered politics in the aborted Third Republic. A brilliant economist, the Olu of Ilu-Aabo is a one-time Secretary to Federal Military Government and Minister of Finance. His presidential ambition crumbled twice when he sought for the ticket in the proscribed Social Democratic Party (SDP) and when he later ran on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy/All Peoples Party (AD/APP) in 1999. He was a prominent NADECO chieftain; vocal and analytical.

Adebayo is a former don. He was also a commissioner in the old Kwara State. In 1979, he became a senator on the platform of the UPN. Four years later, he became the governor. In 1999, he declined to join the AD, although he remained a credible member of Afenifere. Adebayo served as minister in Obasanjo administration. When Pa Adesanya took ill, some chieftains wanted him to act for the leader. But, he politely declined for personal reasons. Although the anti-graft body was after him after he left government, many Yoruba perceive him as a man of honour and integrity.

Fasoranti forwarded his resignation letter to Afenifere secretary Basorun Seinde Arogbofa last weekend, citing old age as reason for stepping aside. However, he took the decision without hinting his closest associates. Thus, the resignation took the group by surprise.

In the last two years, Afenifere has been passing through storm and stress. Its former secretary, Senator Femi Okunrounmu resigned. A source said the former university don had urged Afenifere to embrace the Unity Forum as the umbrella organisation for Yoruba. But, his suggestion generated controversy in the organisation.

Some chieftains, the source added, decided to distance themselves from the organisation when it admitted some PPD chieftains and endorsed their political aspirations. A prominent chieftain said the decision to support former President Jonathan was not the collective decision of the group.

 

 

Credit : The Nation

Afenifere Blasts Kwankwaso Over Fulani Herdsmen Comment

The pan-Yoruba socio-political and cultural group, Afenifere, has slammed the former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, over his recent comment on the menace of Fulani herdsmen in the South-west.

Kwankwaso, who was in Ibadan, Oyo State last weekend, had picked holes in the threat by Yoruba leaders to sack all Fulani herdsmen from the zone due to the criminalities of some of them.

Reacting to the Afenifere’s threat, which was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a summit in Ibadan, following the kidnap saga of the former Secretary to the Federal Government, Chief Olu Falae, the former governor said such should not be contemplated as ‘Nigeria is home to all.’

But in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, entitled, ‘of Criminal Fulani herdsmen and uncultured Kwakwaso,’ Afenifere described Kwankwaso’s statement as ‘uncouth, rude and insensitive.

“In all his ramblings in Ibadan, Kwakwanso did not condemn the abduction of Chief Falae, the killing of innocent farmers, raping of women and destruction of crops and farmlands in the course of the grazing activities of Fulani herdsmen. He only tacitly justified their activities by offering excuses for their criminal conducts,” the statement read in parts.

Afenifere said it was irritating for Kwankwaso to be justifying the criminal activities of the Fulani herdsmen on the ground of not having opportunity to go school as if it was the Yoruba that actually denied them the opportunity.

Credit: SunOnline

Afenifere, OPC Have Lost Their Relevance- Agbekoya

The dreaded Yoruba-farmers’ group, the Agbekoya has declared that the  role played by  the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere and the the Odua Peoples Congress, OPC, in the just-concluded general elections has made them lose credibility in Yorubaland. The Secretary of the Agbekoya, Dr. Ade Ogunlana in a statement he jointly signed with the Ambassador of the society, Chief Ajibola Salau said the role played by the two Yoruba groups during the polls left much to be desired.

The Afenifere and the OPC had thrown their weight behind President Goodluck Jonathan and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party during the elections. The Agbekoya alleged that since the demise of the former Afenifere leader, Chief Abraham Adesanya, the Afeniifere had become factionalized and used by unscrupulous persons to “sell out” the Yoruba people.

The Agbekoya also accused the OPC of falsely claiming to be fighting the cause of the Yoruba while in actual fact, it was only interested in pursuing its own agenda. The Agbekoya therefore stated that the Afenifere and the OPC had become a “disgrace” to the Yoruba race. The group added that their allleged involvement in partisan politics had cast doubts on their integrity as organizations fighting the cause of the Yoruba race.

The Agbekoya however, declared itself as the only group still demonstrating genuine concern for the entire Yoruba. The group stated that it had continued to maintain its stance since its establishment in 1938.

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Afenifere Warns Buhari Against Selective Corruption Fight, Asks Him To Implement 2014 Confab Report

The Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has charged President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, not to be selective in his fight against corruption. The group also called on him to ensure the implementation of the confab report as a way out of corruption and the complexities of Nigeria’s federal system.

In a communique issued on Wednesday in Akure after a meeting held at the home of its leader, Reuben Fasoranti, Afenifere admitted that corruption was pervasive and systemic in the country’s polity and therefore required a decisive approach if the country must move forward.

The communique stated, “In our view, devolution of power is the panacea to issues of corruption, generation of electricity, qualitative education, issues of security and other policies that will ensure a fair society.”

While commending President Goodluck Jonathan’s acceptance of results of the last polls, Afenifere described his gesture as a patriotic action that saved the country from possible crisis.

The group, which said it was fully aware of the misunderstanding of its position in supporting President Jonathan in the 2015 election, ?added that the position was taken in the overall interest of the Yoruba race and the country. “For the avoidance of doubt, the ?President-elect, General Buhari (Rtd) himself would attest to our not being induced in supporting him in 2007. We were certainly not induced to support President Goodluck Jonathan.

“Our decision was based on our age-long commitment to support a presidential candidate committed to restructuring of Nigeria.

“?Afenifere supported Buhari in 2007 when he agreed with Afenifere that he would restructure Nigeria and President Jonathan in 2015 because of his support for the National Conference and devolution of power.

“We will continued to make representation to the President-elect to ?implement the 2014 Conference resolutions, particularly with regards to restructuring and reduction of recurrent expenditure.

“We call on Yoruba people irrespective of their ?political leanings to continue to pursue the implementation of the report,” the Afenifere stated.

It restated its support for the Social Democratic Party, (SDP) as its own platform for political power attainment and called on its members to continue with its principled philosophy of being the conscience of the nation. The group congratulated all SDP members who won legislative seats ?in the various states of the federation, but admonished those who lost not to despair.

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Yoruba Elders Reject Jonathan’s Endorsement

The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has dissociated itself from recent endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan in the  February 14 presidential election by another Yoruba political cum cultural group, Afenifere.

YCE, which is also known as’ Igbimo Agba Yoruba’, made the declaration after its national executive committee met at its office in Ibadan, Oyo State on Thursday. The meeting, presided over by Major General Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd), described YCE as apolitical, saying Afenifere is a political party.

Prof. Bayo Olateju, YCE spokesman, who read out the group’s communique at the end of the meeting, said the presidency should go to the best candidate who has the vision and mission of taking Nigeria and Nigerians from poverty to wealth.

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Declare To Everyone You Have Joined APC , Stop Destroying PDP – Yoruba Group Tells Obasanjo

A group under the aegis, Afenifere Renaissance Youth Congress (ARYG) has condemned former President Olusegun Obasanjo for criticising President Olusegun Obasanjo openly when he has unfettered access to the Presidential Villa, describing the lampoon as unstatesmanlike.

Speaking against the backdrop of the recent attacks by Obasanjo on President Jonathan, on behalf of the Yoruba youth group, leader of the group, Mr Abimbola Owolabi in Abuja noted that it was difficult to believe that Obasanjo was still a member of the PDP, however urged him to formally dump his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the opposition, the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The group which alleged that the former Chairman of PDP Board of Trustees, BoT was working to damage the PDP from within, however called on him to move out of the PDP and pitch his tent with the APC now that he has donned the garb of an opposition element, adding, “Obasanjo is a war General; he should be bold enough to show to Nigerians his APC membership card. He is too old for this chicanery and the hide-and-seek game he is playing within the PDP.”

The group, which comprises many members of the PDP in the South-west zone, wondered why Obasanjo cannot respect the provisions of the Constitution of the party, especially the section that frowns at bringing the name and image of the Party to disrepute.

Source – Vanguard NGR