Afenifere, a Pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, has tackled President Muhammadu Buhari over his speech last Friday on the floor of the United Nations asking him to put into practice what he said about justice, fairness and equity.
In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, Afenifere stated that ethnic nationalities and other concerned stakeholders in Nigeria have been calling for dialogue to resolve ‘Nigeria issues’ for long, but the federal government under President Buhari has not only been ignoring them but hounding those calling for such dialogue.
Buhari, while calling for the reform of the UN has said that “without justice, the legitimacy (even efficacy) of our organization is called to question.” He also called for dialogue between Israel and Palestine to resolve their differences adding that the skirmish between the duo borders on “the question of justice, fairness and equity”.
He also talked about the commitment of his administration to respect of human rights.
Afenifere added that the Reform that Buhari advocated for the United Nations is the same thing those calling for dialogue at home are calling for.
“Why and how our president considered reform and dialogue as necessary at the global level but consider same as anathema in Nigeria beats one’s imagination. It is called Reform at the global level and Restructuring at home”, they noted.
On internal security, Afenifere asserted that the reality on ground belies the president’s claim adding that the president, in his speech, had given the impression that terrorists have more or less surrendered to the Nigerian army.
“It is interesting, perhaps comforting that the Nigerian authority realizes that dialogue is the way to go in resolving knotty issues. It is however hypocrisy of the highest order for this same authority to be prescribing this to foreign authorities while describing those calling for the same thing at home as ‘hate speech makers’ and separatists.”
“We, as Afenifere, commends the heroic efforts of the Nigerian army but it is a fact that activities of terrorists appear to be more expanding rather than receding going by the submission of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, that over 330,000 Nigerian refugees are languishing in neighbouring countries due to insurgency and armed banditry in the North East and North West as well as Kaduna State Governor El Rufai that advocated for the military to be decentralized”, it noted.
Speaking on page 56 of the NYSC pamphlet titled; “Security Awareness and Education Handbook For Corps Members and Staff,” where both corps members and staff travelling on “high-risk” roads were advised to alert their “family members, friends and colleagues to have someone on hand to pay off the ransom that could be demanded” in case they are kidnapped.
Afenifere said that “The level of insecurity in the country has gotten so bad that the authority of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) advised youth corpers to always let their people prepare ransom to be paid in case they are kidnapped in course of travelling from one point to another while in service.
“What else could underscore the unfortunate level to which insecurity in the country has fallen/ It is in this respect that Afenifere calls for the NYSC to allow youth corpers to serve the nation in their respective states at least for now.
“Since it has been admitted even by federal government agency that we may need to live by kidnap syndrome as indicated by this NYSC tip, the minimum that the government owes parents and corpers in this regard is to let the youths serve their nation in their respective states.
“That way, their chances of being kidnapped would greatly be minimized.
“We call on the government to immediately allow states to transform their respective security networks into state police with all the powers appertaining thereto”.