Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, has expressed deep concern over the escalating insecurity in certain regions of Nigeria, attributing it to attacks by armed herdsmen on farmers. In a communiqué issued at the residence of its leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, the group underscored the necessity for state police to bolster security at the grassroots level.
The Secretary-General of Afenifere, Chief Sola Ebiseni, conveyed the group’s distress regarding criminal activities by armed cattle herders, emphasizing the need for a robust response to protect farmers and communities. The communiqué highlighted instances of violence, including killings, maiming, and rape, perpetrated by these armed groups.
Afenifere, while recognizing the constitutional rights of Nigerians to reside anywhere in the country, stressed the importance of fostering peaceful coexistence with host communities, respecting local cultures, and supporting economic prosperity. The organization reiterated its opposition to open grazing and advocated for ranching as the globally accepted practice of animal husbandry.
The group called for greater involvement of state governments in ensuring the security of their states by establishing internal policing mechanisms. It urged a departure from the military constitution of 1999 and recommended the adoption of the 2014 Confab report or the Nasir El-Rufai Committee on Federalism to bring about constitutional restructuring.
Afenifere emphasized the failure of Nigeria to evolve into a united nation due to deviations from foundational principles of federalism. The group insisted that true federalism, encompassing inclusiveness, fairness, egalitarianism, justice, and a sense of belonging, is crucial for national cohesion.
In alignment with the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, Afenifere endorsed the call to restructure Nigeria using the 2014 National Conference and the APC/El-Rufai Committee on Federalism reports as the essential framework. The group urged civil society and concerned Nigerians to collaborate in pushing the Federal Government to initiate the necessary steps for constitutional reform.