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Afenifere condemns attack on Olubadan, calls on Ajimobi to bring hoodlums to book



THE Pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere on Tuesday, condemned the attack on the palace of Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, during the installation of mogajis and baales in his palace on Monday.

The group who stated this in Akure, Ondo State capital, after its monthly meeting at the residence of its leader, Pa Reuben Fasonranti, described the attack as barbaric, uncultured and a direct attack on Yoruba traditional institution.

Reading the group’s positions in a communique, the Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr Yinka Odumakin, said the group “received with sadness the desecration of the palace of Olubadan of Ibadanland by hoodlums who invaded his palace and perpetrated violence during the installation of Mogajis in Ibadan.

“This is not direct attack on Olubadan but attack on the sacred institution in Yorubaland, the value and our culture and this is not acceptable, it so condemnable.

“We call on the government of Oyo State and the governor, Abiola Ajimobi, to immediately make the effort to get the hoodlums and ensure that they are punished so that it will be a deterrent to others.”

The group also called on the Ondo State governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, and his Osun State counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola, to nip the impending crisis between political gladiators from the two state in the bud.

The group said “We are also worried by the brewing conflicts between the Ondo State and Osun State which has seen a commissioner attacked in Ondo State and a retaliatory attack on the Sunshine football club in Ogun State.

“We see this as a brewing crisis that must be a nip in the bud. We can only know the beginning of a development like this, nobody can predict the end. We don’t want a war between two states in the south west and therefore called on the two governors to quickly meet and nip the crisis in the bud.”

The group also warned the Federal government against the deployment of the military to any part of the south-west region because of the activities of the Badoo cultist group or any form of criminality in the zone, saying the police should be left to handle the basic group and not the military.

Afenifere also described the deployment of military personnel into different parts of the country as an invitation to military dictatorship and urged the federal government to stop encouraging the military to take over power

The communique read “Meeting also considered the recent announcement by the military to launch Operation Crocodile Smile in the Southwest region of the country after the Python Dance in the South East which has been largely condemned locally and internationally.

“The operation ostensibly they said is to confront the badoo menace. We stated as follows: the badoo gang has been decimated by the Nigerian Police and the OPC in the area where it occurred, and we think if the group resurgence, it is the duty of the police to deal with it without causing tension, invasion and harassment as it happened in the South East during Operation Crocodile Dance.

“We insist that the military has no duty in going after badoo even if it comes back. We want the federal government to be careful at the spate at which they deployed soldiers all over the country. The other day, the Speaker of the House of Representative lamented that 28 out of 36 states of the country are under one military operation or the other.

“The south-west has been adjudged the most peaceful area of the country and to now bring military here is to say that the entire country is not safe. They are sending a wrong signal to foreign investors and more importantly, the federal government should be reminded before the coup of 1966, this is was how Balewa government started to transfer civil duty to military and the military now said they can take over themselves.

“The government should be careful. We urged the federal government to tell the military not to bring any operation to Southwest and to end the Operation Python Dance in the South East and allow the police to do their duty and no crate militarisation across the country.”

The group also maintained that the only way out of the challenges confronting the nation is to embrace restructuring, urging the government to do the needful to actualise restructuring of the country.

The meeting condemned statement credited to some elders from the North over restructuring saying that “meeting frowned at the comments credited to some elders in the North who said though they do not oppose to the devolution of powers, the North would not easily give up over their advantages in Nigeria.

“This is an unfortunate statement because we are not in apartheid South Africa where a section of the country will be talking about the advantages it holds over another section of the country.

“We wish that no sincere Nigerians should have made such statement. However, we want to say that our reason for restructuring is that we want a society where no section of the country would hold any advantage over another section rather every section of the country will have equal opportunity to use their resources which we know that are abundant in Nigeria, to develop on their own pace and develop their people and tolled the development paradigm as obtained in Nigeria before the 1966 coup.

“This is what restructuring and true federalism are all about. Therefore, we must pursue this and nobody should be talking about the advantages over another section of the country.”

Afenifere commended Yoruba leaders and groups for throwing their weight behind restructuring of the country during the last Yoruba summit in Ibadan saying “we pray that this spirit of understanding would continue until we see Nigeria of our dream”

At the meeting were Bashorun Seinde Arogbofa, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Kole Omololu, Olu Falae, Korede Duyile, Supo Sonibare, Dr Bakitta Bello and Bola Ajimuda among others notable Yoruba leaders

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