Afenifere to Buhari, NASS, others: Return Nigeria to true federalism now

Buhari confers with the Senate President Ahmed Lawan and Reps Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila during the former's previous visit to the National Assembly

Afenifere, the pan Yoruba socio-political organisation has asked President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly, the state legislature and all other stakeholders to ensure restructuring takes place within the remaining part of this year.

Afenifere stated this in Ibadan Sunday in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi.

The position formed part of the outcome of the executive council of the group at the end of its meeting at the residence of its acting leader, Chief Ayo Ayobanjo, last week.

 The body said: “Nigeria is now at the brink of an avoidable catastrophe that requires urgent actions and that the most potent recipe to prevent the catastrophe is restructuring that would return the country to true federalism.”

Afenifere further called for “its implementation in terms of true federalism in finance, security, social welfare etc. must commence before the middle of next year.

“After reviewing recent developments in the country, Afenifere Executive Council said that the signs are ominous, requiring steps to prevent the country from apocalypse.”

On the southern governors’ meeting and their resolutions, Afenifere endorsed the governors’ positions, especially that of placing a total ban on open grazing and having state police.

“Afenifere is in full support of the governors to have laws banning open grazing latest by September 1, this year.

“We notice that some states already have this law enacted. We urge the remaining states to enact the law expeditiously. Beyond the enactment however, we call for immediate enforcement of the law so as to put an end to various vices that the act of open grazing is engendering,” it said.

On the disapproval of the governors’ stance by some northern groups, it said “of what intrinsic benefits has open grazing been in the recent past going by various studies that have been done?

“It is on record for instance that open grazing is one of the major causes of desertification that is occurring in the northern part of the country. It is also on record that cows reared in a ranch are far more productive, healthier and are less tasking for the rearer compared to the ones being driven from one place to another in search of food and water. And certainly those in ranches constitute less risk to neighbouring communities compared to the ones migrating from one place to another.”

Afenifere maintained further that the seeming intractable security challenges in the country were due largely to the restraint put in the way of state governors.

“The governors are described as chief security officers of their respective states, yet they have no security agency that can be deployed to where crimes are being committed with arms,” they further said.