Posts Tagged ‘Afenifere’

Restructuring: Take your case to National Assembley, Northern leaders tells agitators

Image result for nigerian flagStrong denunciation of the collaboration between the Middle Belt and the South came from the core North, yesterday, with a challenge to advocates of the restructuring of the country to use the National Assembly to push their case. In the same vein, the spate of laws by State Houses of Assembly prohibiting open grazing of cattle was flayed in the same quarters as an infringement of the freedom of movement of herdsmen which they affirmed would sooner than later be annulled by the courts. The Northern insistence on the status quo was rebuffed by advocates of restructuring from the Middle Belt and the South who affirmed that Nigeria cannot continue on the present framework which they said was discriminatory and oppressive. Northern leaders, including Tanko Yakasai, Balarabe Musa and Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, spoke in open rebuke of the Southern and Middle Belt leaders who were also accused of lacking the democratic platform to speak. Southern leaders from all three geopolitical zones, last Saturday, took a position with Middle Belt leaders during which they canvassed the immediate restructuring of the country to reflect fiscal federalism, and the prohibition of open grazing among others. Reacting, yesterday, Kano-based elder-statesman Yakassai, who served as adviser on National Assembly Affairs to President Shehu Shagari, in dismissing the collaboration of the South and the Middle Belt said:  “None of them was elected by their people to speak on their behalf. To the extent that this country guarantees freedom of speech, they are entitled to their opinion. “My quarrel with the people who are advocating this restructuring is that they failed to give the details of the restructuring. If Nigeria is restructured, every Nigerian will be affected. So it is incumbent upon anybody who is campaigning for this to spell it out so that Nigerians can look at it. But to just go about shouting slogans without giving the actual details is nonsensical. “Every one of them is represented in the state assemblies or the House of Representatives or the Senate. Every one of them knows that the way to change our Constitution is defined in our Constitution and our Constitution empowers our legislators, federal and state, to change the Constitution the way they deem appropriate. “So I challenge them to sponsor a bill through their elected representatives so that the bill can take its natural course. If the majority support it, it will be implemented. “I don’t know why they are ignoring the democratic institutions that we have? Why can’t they make use of the democratic institutions? Why are they avoiding the legislature? “Why do they think that press conference is a substitute for our elected representatives? In a democracy, you channel your views through your elected representatives if you are serious.” Yakasai responding to the position of the Southern and Middle Belt leaders on the rampage of herdsmen, said:  “The problem of herdsmen has been with us, even long before the British came and there was a process of handling it. If they strayed into your farm and destroyed your crop, usually, the local authorities would get them to compensate the victim. The right to move freely “As long as they are Nigerians, the Constitution of this country has guaranteed their right to move freely. The only thing is that where their livestock stray into other people’s land and damage their crops, they should be made to pay. “Any state assembly that makes a law to stop people from moving their cattle about is attempting to deny people their constitutionally guaranteed rights, and once the matter is taken to court, it will be declared a nullity,” the elder-statesman said. Alhaji Balarabe Musa, who served as governor of Kaduna State at the commencement of the Second Republic, on his part, was dismissive of the gathering. He said: “I have already said enough on this, and I don’t want to waste my time talking on this again. How different are they from those rascally northern youths who gave the southerners the quit ultimatum? How different are they from them, so I don’t want to waste my time.” Tsav, a retired commissioner of Police from Benue State in the Middle Belt, on his part, dismissed the Southern and Middle Belt leaders as opportunists. He said: “They are opportunists because they are trying to create a situation that will benefit them. Their coming together seems as if they want to go into Biafra. “The ordinary man does not know the meaning of restructuring. It is the politicians who are pushing for it. When there is a government that favours them, they don’t do anything but when they are not getting anything they embark on the type of thing they are doing. “I don’t agree with their demands. Some of these people are vying for the Presidency, and they feel they can get supporters from the South by supporting calls for restructuring.” The Yoruba socio-cultural body, Afenifere, which was strongly represented at the Southern-Middle Belt summit in reiterating the call for restructuring, said through its spokesman, Mr. Yinka Odumakin yesterday:  “That call was made by a majority of Nigerians. It behoves on the Federal Government to listen to the requests, so it does not appear to the world that it is serving the minority like the apartheid regime in South Africa. “The polity is so fragile at the moment, and the government must promote inclusiveness to restore some level of confidence.” Mr. Akin Osuntokun, who served as Political Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo in his second term said:  “It is consistent and valid, but I would have wished that the coalition encompasses the whole of Nigeria, including the far North. “The consolation is the weighty and open support and identification of eminent political leaders like Ibrahim Babangida and Atiku Abubakar. Bias, nepotism, and discrimination are inherently built into Nigeria, and until the country is restructured, it will continue to be plagued by this dilemma. “The meaningful solution is devolution and decentralization of power which divests the centre of its oppressive and over-centralized powers.” Mrs. Esther Gonda, a retired permanent secretary in the Federal Civil Service from Plateau State, who was also a member of the 2014 National Conference on her part, said restructuring was inevitable on account of the structural dislocations in the polity. “Restructuring is a positive word, you restructure an organization to make it more efficient, and I think it is time that we did that in this country, given the agitations that are all over the place to look at what needs to be done to make it workable. “Nigerians all over the place are excelling, but for some reasons, as we are configured, there is a lot of vices that are being generated. So it is good to face it squarely and see what we need to do. “During the national conference, we talked about so many of these items, and we know it is time for us to sit down and face our dragon squarely.”

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Arewa Youths threatens Southwest leaders over Buhari

A group of northern youths, yesterday, claimed that a plan to oust President Muhammed Buhari on account of his ill-health had been launched.The group fingered the South-West as being behind the alleged plan.  The claim came amid the ripples generated by the notice issued to the Igbo people by a coalition of northern youths to leave the North by  October 1. The group of northern youths, under the aegis of Arewa Youth Forum, spoke on a day the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) asked those taking advantage of Buhari’s ill-health to make political case for themselves, to stop their activities forthwith. NEF spokesperson, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, also announced the emergence of Paul Unongo, Second Republic politician, as the group’s leader following the demise of the convener, Alhaji Maitama Sule. Arewa Youths The Arewa Youth Forum, in a statement obtained by  Sunday  Vanguard, yesterday, also warned that the North will not accept anything other than the region retaining the presidency in 2019, with or without Buhari. In the statement released by their National President, Alhaji Gambo Ibrahim Gunjungu, in Abuja, the youths said they were aware of the “political games” some political leaders in the South-West were playing over the health of the President to edge him out and take over. The Arewa youths accused the South-West politicians of using Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose and a PDP chieftain to champion their cause, insisting that the North would resist any attempt to take over power from them now or in 2019. They particularly challenged Fayose to produce the eleven pictures which he claimed to show the President on life support or refrain from any commentary on the health of Buhari. Their words, “These South-West people think that we do not understand the politics they are playing but we want to assure them that we perfectly understand their game and will shock them when the time comes. “It is annoying and disappointing that while we in the North are making efforts to stabilize the country against the backdrop of the recent call for the expulsion of those from the North, some people want to show us that they understand the game of politics more than us. But they are in for a surprise. “Let us reveal that after our recent meeting in Kaduna, a delegation was sent to London. We sent that delegation because we wanted to to know the truth of the situation. “We met with the President and he told us some things. All we can say now is that our President will soon be back and people would witness drastic changes in the country. Many people will be surprised when he comes. “Also we want it on record that youths from the North will not accept a repeat of what happened during the late Umaru Musa Yar’adua presidency. In 2919, the North must complete its eight years. This region can no longer continue to be taken for a ride.” The youths lambasted northern governors for keeping quiet and even jostling for the Vice President’s slot, insisting that was time to stand up and defend the region and Buhari.

(Politics) On Jonathan We Stand, Yoruba Leaders Insist. Calls Tinubu A Traitor_@Richard

Pa  Ayo Adebanjo, a leader of the Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has given reasons the group decided on behalf of the Yoruba nation to support the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan. He said that for the country to move forward, President Jonathan must be re-elected for sake of peace and unity of the country. He maintained that for the country to move forward, things must no longer continue on the path it has been since independent where one section of the country believes its their right oppress and lords it over other section. He also said that another reason Afenifere decided to support Mr President is the implementation of  the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference if elected.

According to the Punch, Adebanjo said on Friday that the president had shown commitment to the call for the restructuring of the country by convening the conference. The leader believes that Nigeria needs to be restructured.

He said, “Some other parties did not believe in the exercise. We have talked about the many problems confronting Nigeria but the main one is to restructure. We need to restructure the country.’’

The Afenifere leader noted: “When we talk about corruption, good governance and the reduction in the salaries of members of the National Assembly, among others, they were addressed in the report. That is why we are insisting on its implementation. This is our demand and he has promised to implement it because he believes in it.”

According to the spokesman for the group, Yinka Odumakin, who spoke with journalists on Tuesday in Akure, Ondo State after Jonathan visited a leader of the group, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, “Afenifere supports the President’s re-election because he had the courage to convoke the national conference and we hope that he will implement the report”. Details

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