By Stephen Asaba-ase, Warri
The pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, on Wednesday 24th January,2024, void the office of the acting leader of the group, that was occupied by Pa Ayo Adebanjo.
The leaders called for the formation of state police amid the intensifying insecurity in the country.
The socio-cultural group, Afenifere which appointed Adebanjo as interim leader of the group in 2022, said the position had been annulled and come up with a new formation called Afenifere Elders Caucus, with Adebanjo a member and Fasoranti as leader.
This was contained in a statement issued at the end of the monthly gathering of the group held at the residence of its National Leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, on Wednesday. The statement was read by the Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr Jare Ajayi.
The bulletin read, “In the events of recent happenings and the demanding need to restructure and revive Afenifere, it has been decided that the position of the Acting Leader and Deputy Leader have now been terminated.
“The authority and responsibilities of admonishing the Leader of Afenifere and Asiwaju, its now vested in the Afenifere Elders Caucus, which is hereby constituted.”
According to the bulletin, Fasoranti is the Chairman of the Elders Caucus while the members of the group include Adebanjo, Oba Olu Falae, Senator Cornelius Adebayo, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, Basorun Seinde Arogbofa, Senator Kofo Bucknor-Akerele, Archbishop Prince Ayo Ladigbolu, Lt. Gen Alani, Akinrinade (retd), Maj. Gen. Olu Bajowa (retd), Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, Prof Banji Akintoye, among others.
Speaking at the meeting, the group also expressed its sadness over the state of the nation with particular reference to the socio-economic and security situations in the country, saying it is time to restructure the polity of the country as a means towards a new life and a better Nigeria.
“There is an existential need to reshape the security architecture of the country to ensure that Nigerians are able to live better life without the fear of being kidnapped or harassed. Such re-engineering should include giving states and local government councils to establish their own police services with all the requisite powers to function as such. Doing so instances of kidnapping and various banditry groups that is holding the country in ransom would stop.”
They also pointed out the unfortunate blast in Ibadan which clearly underscore the need to let the federating units in the country to control their resources in their respective state with particular reference to mining and exploration.
“The reasoning behind this was that had it been that states were in control of mining, for instance, the Oyo State Government was likely to know how explosives were being moved around. Such would have prevented last week’s horrendous blast that claimed many lives, traumatised hundreds of people and destroyed properties running into billions of naira. “
While reiterating leadership of Afenifere express their demand for restructuring the country, the group urged President Bola Tinubu to set the machinery in place for the agitation
“The socio-cultural group (Afenifere) said that, they are also aware of the fact that the President, His excellency Mr Bola Amhed Tinubu is a known democrat and federalist and would thought it wise to quicken the country’s quest for true federalism in which, people would have self-determination within the context of one nation, one Nigeria that is genuine spirit of democracy and fiscal federalism ” it said.