Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere says it will not sacrifice the interest of the Yoruba people in a bid to keep Nigeria one.
The group stated this in a communique issued at the end of its meeting held at the home of its acting leader, Ayo Adebanjo in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
Afenifere in the communique signed by its Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi said it is convinced that no matter which party takes over the government in 2023, the problems confronting Nigeria will remain.
It further said the two options open for Nigeria is either to go back to the 1963 Constitution or convene a meeting of ethnic nationalities and related stakeholders.
It said, “For sure, Afenifere believes in the unity of Nigeria but not at the expense of Yoruba interest. To us, the truism, ‘charity begins at home’ means so much to us.
“Afenifere seriously and comprehensively considered the current political trajectory of the country. The meeting was in no doubt that most, if not all of the problems bedevilling Nigeria would not have arisen if the original constitution agreed upon by our founding fathers had not been jettisoned.
”The country should go back to the 1963 Constitution that was abrogated by the military or in the alternative, the meeting of ethnic nationalities and related stakeholders should be conveyed. Such a meeting would provide an opportunity for all of us to redefine the basis of staying together. We are still very much convinced that it is in either of the two propositions that solutions to numerous problems afflicting Nigeria lie.”
Afenifere further said the 1999 constitution should be replaced and the country restructured before the 2023 general elections
It added, “Restructuring that berths true federalism must take place before the 2023 elections. We recall that many issues that Afenifere initiated could be unpopular at the beginning. For insisting on true federalism, we were dubbed as separatists.
“But we are not perturbed. For, we were usually vindicated at the end of the day whenever we take a principled position. We have no doubt whatsoever that no matter the party that takes over in 2023, the problems of Nigeria will remain, if not aggravated if the present Constitution is not changed to devolve power with true federalism entrenched.”
The group called on the Nigerian Government to declare kidnappers and bandits as terrorists and be treated as such
“It is unfortunate that attitude of the authority on the issue of security in the country has not succeeded in stemming the increasing spate of insecurity in the country.
“On the contrary, bandits and terrorists kept getting emboldened to perpetuate their nefarious activities. It is ironic that some individuals could be seeking clemency for terrorists who are maiming and killing the people without any thoughts for the victims.”
Those at the meeting were the Deputy Leader, Oba Oladipo Olaitan, the Assistant Secretary-General, Leke Mabinuori, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Chief Supo Sonibare, Abagun Kole Omololu, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, Senator Gbenga Kaka, Chief Dayo Duyile, Dr Yomi Atte and Prof Opeyemi Agbaje among others.