The pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, yesterday, raised the alarm that the country has become ungovernable and on the brink of collapse.
This came on a day Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State said President Muhammadu Buhari has an opportunity to address the demands of the people or set the country ‘on fire’.
Afenifere expressed this worry at its monthly meeting, held at the country home of its National Leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure, Ondo State. In a communiqué by its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere said: “The truth is that the country has virtually become ungovernable and unless we restructure and restore Nigeria to federalism, the country is on the brink of collapse, and God should save us from the worst-case scenario.
“Nobody should take this country on any childish ride. We should just implement the report of the 2014 conference now.
“As Nigeria enters the worst recession in 33 years and the second in five years of President Muhammadu Buhari, we are equally besieged by attendant poverty, as well as worsening insecurity across the land, with kidnappers, armed robbers and bandits on the prowl, and the government is helpless and unable to govern effectively.”
On the EndSARS protests, Afenifere said: “The meeting reviewed the recent protests by young people against police brutality, under the ENDSARS movement and the unfortunate bloody resolution by the repressive Nigerian government.
“To start with, ENDSARS was a by-product of a unitary rule which promotes single policing that does not allow policemen to relate with their culture and in the process violating people’s rights because of clash of culture in the way SARS profile young people whose culture they don’t understand as criminals because they wear some haircuts and by the way they dress.
“It was the peak of beastility to open live bullets on peaceful protesters singing the national anthem and holding the national flag as it happened at Lekki Toll Gate on 20/10/20.
“It has become more disheartening that the Nigerian government continues to tell all untruths about the massacre despite the CNN revelations and the Lagos coroner advertising unidentified dead bodies dumped in its mortuaries from 19-27 Oct 2020.
“It smacks of absolute lack of conscience for anybody to still be talking of “massacre without dead bodies. We are not sure that the current investigation is capable of unraveling what happened in Lekki.
“We commend the UK Parliament for their bold debate on the malady in Nigeria and welcome their decision to recommend sanctions against top officials of a supposed democratic government in Nigeria behaving like a junta.”
The group also faulted the opening of the nation’s borders for use to Dangote and BUA saying “While the Seme and other Southern borders have been closed for a year now against our people and recently opened for the use to Dangote and BUA, “We reject this apartheid policy and demand the reopening of Seme and other southern borders now.”
FG may set Nigeria on fire, if…, says Wike
Meanwhile, Governor Wike, who spoke on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said: “We must understand in this country that political leadership is very key.”
His comment comes two days after the federal government met with leaders of the South-South region. His words: “Having the political will to implement what the people want is very serious.
“I don’t want to talk about the issue of distrust or no trust in government. People have raised such issues, that they don’t think that nothing will come out of all this dialogue.
I don’t agree with that. I believe that if the president does not do, given the opportunities he has now, then, he will be putting Nigeria on fire.”
Governance Not Politics
Also responding to a question about concerns raised by Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, the governor described the criticism as a politicisation of governance adding that “The problem is that we play politics in everything.”
Omo-Agege, on Tuesday during the Federal Government’s meeting with South-South leaders, had criticised the bloc’s governors for not consulting with federal representatives from the region before coming up with their demands.
But Wike said: “Unfortunately, you have the South-South zone, where you have PDP governance. It is unfortunate. Now, as I speak to you, I have a Minister, he has never one day said ‘what do we do for the state, look what I’m thinking’.
“So that opportunity has not been there, we are playing politics, saying these Governors are not members of my party, and so I don’t need to talk to them. And that’s the problem we have always had.”