Afenifere, a Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group has described the wave of killings perpetrated by herdsmen across Nigeria amounts to ethnic cleansing by the minority Fulani .
Afenifere condemned the “huge killings field” Fulani herdsmen have turned Nigeria into, citing especially the New Year massacre in Benue State. The group also stated that “the killings and arson attacks now wear the garb of state-approved expeditions, given the loud silence of the president.”
Adding that “Nigeria has become a primitive and barbaric enclave, as the state is either complicit or unwilling to stop these dastardly acts.”
The group made the observation at its General Assembly and public hearing, held at the house of its leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure, Ondo State on Tuesday, January 30, 2018.
“It is not a religious issue. It is a racist tendency, to achieve ethnic cleansing, putting other ethnic groups at risk,” Charles Adisa, a guest speaker, noted that the methods of the Fulani contradict global best practices.
Afenifere also called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to “immediately reorganise the country’s security architecture to reflect diversity,” noting that the current situation “where 16 out of 17 service chiefs are from a section of the county is unhealthy and promotes clannishness in dealing with security issues in a multi-ethnic set up.”
It demanded the “immediate removal” of the Minister of Defence, Brig. Gen. Mansur Dan Ali, accusing him of “insensitivity and sanctioning of the killings of Nigerians.” It stressed: “This is the only way to show that the lives of Nigerians still count.”
It called for the immediate restructuring of the country into a proper federation with units having their own police forces, to guarantee security and law enforcement.
The organisation rejected the move by the Federal Government to establish cattle colonies, saying the concept is offensive, repugnant and an affront to the rights of non-Fulani communities whose lands would be forcibly acquired and subjected to an alien culture under the guise of cattle rearing.
“Yoruba people would not allow any colony on their land, as we are a free people. Anyone who wants to raise cows within our space should do ranching,” the group said.
It added: “We call on the government to put a halt to the culture of repression going on in the country and realise that we are in a constitutional democracy where the rule of law should prevail.
“Lastly, we call for a collective rescue effort by patriots in organising and mobilising effectively for a movement around federalism that can save the republic from collapse and put Nigeria back on track and guarantee the security of life and property and prosperity for all.”
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