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Afenifere To Tinubu: No More Excuses, Go After Terrorists

Afenifere has identified a pattern to create chaos, destabilise government, and embarrass the president out of office.

Disturbed by the growing insecurity in the country, a pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, on Monday, asked President Bola Tinubu to go after the terrorists operating across the country and stop making excuses.

Afenifere, in a statement jointly signed by its Publicity Secretary, Gboyega Adejumo, and Assistant Publicity Secretary, Justice Faloye, warned that Tinubu could not afford to fail in the critical national assignment, like his immediate predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari.

In yet another indication of the worsening insecurity in the country, no fewer than seven persons were shot dead on Sunday at an evening market in Zurak, Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State, when suspected bandits invaded the market.

Reacting to the state of the nation, Afenifere said now was the time for the president to demonstrate political will and courage to annihilate the monstrous individuals killing and abducting people in their hundreds, particularly innocent school children, and giving Nigerians heartache and sleepless nights.

The group said it would be disastrous and disappointing if Tinubu would, like his predecessor, treat the blood-squealing terrorists with kid gloves, when he ought to deal with them head-on with a view to making the criminals pay for their heinous acts.

Afenifere also called on Tinubu to commence restructuring of the country to operate regional governments under a parliamentary system, while his recent pronouncement on state police should be allowed to have its foothold.

The group bemoaned the unbearable economic hardship Nigerians were currently experiencing under Tinubu, saying the naira has suffered the worst devaluation of 35 percent, the very first massive devastation of the naira in history, in just the first nine months of his administration.

On the recent killings in Plateau State as well as abduction of over 100 school children in Kaduna, Afenifere said the agents of destabilisation, who had dealt severe blows to the past administrations, had just begun to test Tinubu’s willpower.

It said the earlier the president let them know it was not going to be business as usual the better it would be for his government and Nigerians.

The statement said, “The recrudescence of this human tragedy is as clear to the Afenifere as the daylight is distinct from the eventide. Since this democracy took off, this pattern remains constant, ever present; create chaos, destabilise the government, embarrass the president, finally, disgrace the president out of office.

“No president since 1999 has escaped this scourge, coming with the political Sharia against Obasanjo, the Niger Delta violent political agitation of Obasanjo and Yar’Adua and cleverly solved by the duo.

“The Boko Haram religion-later-turned-political instrument to embarrass a sitting southern Christian president as it was with Jonathan, who was told to convert to Islam, followed by the kidnapping extraordinaire of the Chibok girls type, the final shuck that shocked Jonathan out of office.

“This ‘Àbíkús’, coming once a regime and for repeated times from as far back as the Zango Kataf crisis, come with land grabbing, human displacement and subjugation of a people over another, often planned, aided, lauded and prompted by those self-styled as owners of Nigeria.

“President Buhari openly displayed and practised the five “P”s: He prevaricated to them. He pampered them. He protected them. He paid them. He played along with them.

“They were terrorists; Buhari curiously preferred to call them bandits. Their acts as aggressors, killing farmers, destroying their produce, stealing indigenous peoples’ lands, clearly marked them as terrorists.

“Buhari’s government would rather term these acts as farmers/herders clashes. The most disturbing expository, elucidatory, explicative realities about the whole saga is that these terrorists are known to government.

“Kabiru Sokoto, the Christmas Day bomber in a church in Abuja, in 2012, was found hibernating in the guest house of the then former governor of Borno, now the Vice President of Nigeria. Hermeneutic.

“A former Director of the Presidential Campaign Council of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Hajia Naja’atu Mohammed, fired her former party, alleging that the then vice presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima, now the vice president, is a sponsor of terrorism. The former APC chieftain said this during a television interview on Arise Television.

“Sheikh Gumi openly goes into the dense forests to meet terrorists in the company of those trained to eradicate terror, but rather than arrest them, the Sheikh openly gives the terrorists money.

“For a job well done or for the future jobs yet to be done in the name of terror, for it never takes long after the monies were openly paid that yet another terror act is carried out. It never ever served as a determent. It was always to the country’s detriment.

“Former Governor Ortom of Benue suffered the most. After hundreds of Benue indigenes were killed and their ancestral lands taken away from them, the terrorists had the nerve to drop a note, a promissory note that they will yet be back on New Year’s day to ‘finish the job’.

“The then governor did what a sensible governor would do, took the letter to Buhari. The president, after studying the said letter, told the governor to ‘go and make peace with his neighbours,’ only a complicit does that.

“Mr. President, you have to be brutally reminded of these recrudescence in history, a disease constant, an Àbíkú, real, clear and present.”

Afenifere recalled how the leaders of the Southern and MiddleBelt Leaders Forum, under the leadership of Chief Ayo Adebanjo, had in an open letter after the 2023 Christmas eve massacre in Plateau State, when over 300 people were killed, told the president that he could not afford to be “another Nero who fiddled while Rome burnt.”

The group explained, “On Christmas Eve in 2023, there was a massacre on the Plateau. Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Leader of Afenifere, led other leaders that make up the four zones from the South-west, South-east, South-south, and the Middle Belt on a condolence visit to the governor and to the Gwom Gwom Jos and to the entire people on the Plateau.

“About 300 humans were slaughtered like rams. An open letter written, jointly signed by the leaders of the SMBLF, (Southern and MiddleBelt Leaders Forum) in which you were tasked, specifically to turn yourself into a Hero and not a Nero, the one who fiddled while Rome burnt.

“That letter will always be constantly ringing in your ear, never to go away. A hero makes history, is not afraid, does not turn a blind eye. Mr. President, arrest these perpetrators now! No more excuses Mr President.”

 John Shiklam, Seriki Adinoyi and James Sowore

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