The apex Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, on Saturday raised the alarm that Nigeria is fast becoming a dictatorial and tyrannical state.
The organisation also said it was forced into what it called this unsavoury conclusion in view of various actions and pronouncements of the federal government in recent times.
It made this conclusion in a statement its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Jare Ajayi issued yesterday on behalf of its Acting Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo.
Adebanjo said the dictatorial tendency of President Muhammadu Buhari could be seen in his insistence to go ahead with re-opening grazing routes and establishment of ranches in the country when the preponderance of opinions across the country is to do away with open grazing.
He said: “We vividly recall that on February 9, 2021, the 19 governors in the North at their meeting resolved that open grazing could no longer be sustained.
“They resolved to encourage herders in their areas to go into modern way of rearing cows which is ranching. On May 11 of this same year, their counterparts in all the 17 states in the South met in Asaba, Delta State and placed a ban on open grazing.
“This was backed up with legal instruments through the enactment of an enabling law as passed by the respective Houses of Assembly as shrined in Section 4 and in Part 2 of the Second Schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“Also, against the wishes of the majority of Nigerians, the President went ahead to sign the PIB into law despite the obvious injustice contained therein and to which the attention of the government was called beforehand.
“Same goes for the insistence on going for the non-transmission of elections results electronically when doing so was what majority of Nigerians wanted and asked for,” Adebanjo said.
Afenifere said only a government with dictatorial tendencies behaved in that manner, saying this could be further seen in how Buhari administration “is hard on those agitating for a better life for their people while it is soft on bandits, kidnappers and herders who are imperilling the lives of farmers.”
Afenifere regretted that on several occasions, the administration of President Buhari “has taken measures that were totally against the interests of the Nigerian populace.
“Contrary to the promises made during the electoral campaigns by the President and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), the prices of commodities and services have skyrocketed while social services delivery and infrastructure kept receding.
“The worst aspect of all these is the level of insecurity in the country today. At no time in the history of this Nigeria was life so cheap and living so precarious as they were presently.
“Unfortunately, those who should act are expressing their helplessness as exemplified by the call of Katsina State, Governor Bello Masari, on the people of the state to find the means of securing themselves against bandits who have literally taken control in many parts of the state”, it said.
“Masari was not the first official to make such a call, stating that his was very significant not only because he belongs to the same political party with the President but also because he is the governor of the President’s home state.
“Rather than confronting the challenges in various issues that have direct bearings on the life of the people, the federal government preferred to go for the less impactful things such as regulating the media, going after those who are peacefully expressing displeasure over what is going on in the country and concerning itself with where and how cows are to be grazed in the country.”
Adebanjo said this attitude on the part of President Buhari called to one’s mind, the story of the Roman Emperor Nero who was busy on the fiddle when his empire was burning’.
He asked the President to embrace democratic ethos immediately by pursuing only policies that are in the best interests of the people.
It also reiterated its call for an urgent restructuring of the country, saying “the only panacea to the multi-various problems bedevilling the country now “is for the federal government to shun nepotism, confront insecurity and restructure the country immediately.”
Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan