The Punch

Afenifere insists on restructur­ing, demands state police

- Olufemi Olaniyi, Ibadan

The pan-yoruba socio-political organisati­on, Afenifere, has said that Nigeria is on the brink of avoidable disaster.

The group called on the President, Major General Muhammdu Buhari ( retd); the National and state assemblies to restructur­e the country to avoid impending doom.

The National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr Jare Ajayi, said in a statement on Sunday that this was part of the resolution­s of the meeting held at the residence of the acting leader of the group, Chief Ayo Adebanjo.

The statement read, “The President, National and state assemblies and all other concerned authoritie­s should ensure that restructur­ing take place within this year. Its implementa­tion in terms of true federalism in finance, security and social welfare must begin before the middle of next year.

“The Nigerian nation is at the brink of an avoidable catastroph­e that requires urgent actions. And the most potent recipe to prevent the catastroph­e is restructur­ing that would return the country to true federalism.

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

The meeting also endorsed the resolution­s of the southern governors of southern Nigeria with regards to placing a total ban on open grazing and endorsemen­t of 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. 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.

“The pan Yoruba organisati­on frowned on the disapprova­l being expressed by some northern elements to the position of southern governors.

“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,” It added.

On state police, the group said, “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. A security agency that can arrest, investigat­e and prosecute.

“Those of them who came up with some security apparatus like Amotekun are disempower­ed because they could not bear arms.

“The state security body has no control anymore since the police is a federal agency which does not take order from the governor. This must change. State police, down to the level of local government, must become operationa­l immediatel­y.”

Among those at the meeting presided over by Adebanjo were the Deputy Leader, Oba Oladipo Olaitan, the Secretary General, Chief Sola ebiseni, the Treasurer, Chief Supo Sonibare, the National Organising Secretary, Abagun Kole Omololu, the Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, the Secretary for the Diaspora, Adebayo Adenekan, the Director of Research, Dr Akin Fapohunda and Mogaji Gboyega Adejumo.

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