Afenifere, a Pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, warned Tuesday that Nigeria is on the verge of becoming authoritarian and tyrannical, urging the Federal Government to avoid nepotism, fight insecurity, and reorganize the country.
In a statement by its acting Leader and National Publicity Secretary, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Comrade Jare Ajayi, Afenifere said it was forced into this unsavoury conclusion in view of various actions and pronouncements of the Federal Government in recent times.
“The dictatorial tendency of the President can 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”, the statement said.
“We vividly recall that on February 9, 2021, the 19 states’ 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 enshrined 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.
Afenifere maintained that only a government with dictatorial tendencies ‘behave in that manner.
“Still on the issue of tyranny, this could be seen in how the 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 imperiling the lives of farmers.
“Afenifere regretted that on several occasions, the administration of President Buhari had 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 Nigeria had life been so cheap and living so precarious as they are presently. Unfortunately, those who should act are expressing their helplessness, as exemplified by the call by Governor Bello Masari of Katsina State, 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.
“For sure, Masari was not the first official to make such a call. But 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.
“This attitude on the part of President Buhari recalls to one’s mind, the story of the Roman Emperor Nero who was busy on the fiddle when his empire was burning’.
“We call on President Buhari to redirect its administration adroitly and embrace democratic ethos immediately by pursuing only policies that are in the best interest of the people.
“The only panacea to the multi various problems bedeviling the country now is for the Federal Government to shun nepotism, confront insecurity and restructure the country immediately.”