By Clifford Ejenavi
The Afenifere Group in the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe has warned the Federal Government of Nigeria against politicising agitations for division ravaging the country particularly as the activities of Fulani herdsmen creates insecurity across board.
The Group demanded that only restructuring can avert eminent calamity.
The Group in a statement signed and issued by its Secretary, Engr. Anthony Ajayi, said using uniform men to protect killer herders in the country particularly South West region is worrisome and unacceptable.
The statement said some quarters of the Yoruba people agitating for Yoruba Nation maybe right if the killings of Yoruba people continues.
The statement read, “On February 12, 2021, there was a reported clash between Yoruba and Hausa/Fulani at Shasha under Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State, where three Yorubas died, houses burnt down and trucks destroyed.
“The pathetic thing in this crisis was that the security agencies, including Operation Burst, the police and soldiers have allegedly taken side with the Hausas. They stood watching as Hausa burnt houses belonging to Yorubas in the community. This is the height of insensitivity by the Federal Government who controls security agencies in the country.”
The Group also mentioned the recent clash between Amotekun and herdsmen in Ondo State where two Yorubas were reportedly killed.
“Few days ago, herdsmen clashed with the Ondo State security outfit, Amotekun at the government forest reserve located at Ago Sanusi along Ute road in Owo area of the state.
“It was reported that the herdsmen laid an ambush for the security personnel while acting on security report stormed the forest reserve to fish out suspected criminal element reported to have abducted a farmer identified as Lanre.
“Lanre’s corpse was later reportedly found in the forest reserve by the security personnel with both hands chopped off.
“We learnt that another member of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria who joined the Amotekun in the operation was shot in the head by the herdsmen.
“We learnt that the herdsmen were armed with AK47, dressed like militia men with live ammunition wrapped around their shoulders. The question is, how do they get these weapons and who supplied them？
“Some gunmen recently shot dead a popular herbal manufacturer, Fatai Yusuff, popularly known as Oko Oloyun in Oyo State. Dr Fatai Aborode was also murdered. These are few recent cases.
“Hausa/Fulani herdsmen have killed about 4,000 Yorubas in South West in the last six years and no one person is facing punishment for all these crime.
“The Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed speech last week, was to further encouraged violence by asking the herdsmen to carry illegal AK47 that is not authorised. He went further that nobody owned a land in Nigeria and that all the land belonged to the Federal Government. This is a shame that a Governor would be seen encouraging violence”.
On restructuring, the Group said, “The Senate has called on the Federal Government to direct states on the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan, which is aimed at establishing ranches and eliminating open grazing.
“The National Assembly also berated Governors negotiating with bandits, saying such negotiations were fuelling banditry. These are part of the restructuring we are agitating for.
“There are factors that led to the agitation for restructuring, salient issues raised and the constitutional basis for restructuring. The agitation did not only revolves around resource control, it revolves review of revenue sharing formula, devolution of power, return to regional federal system of government based on six geo-political zones, return to parliamentary system of government, removal of immunity clause from the constitution, creation of state police, role of traditional rulers among others.
“Restructuring is necessary in order to enhance national unity, peaceful co-existence, political stability and balanced national development.
“Countries in the world over adopt political arrangements that best suit their nature, context and composition.
“In some cases, this arrangement facilitates a substantial amount of co-operation among the various segments and institutions all in a bid to achieve the desired end of the good life for the citizens.
“We consider restructuring the country as a matter of urgency to stop people from self defence and groups asking for Yoruba Nation or Biafra Nation”.