Afenifere warns FG against military take over of southwest region
- The Pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has warned the federal government against militarisation in the southwest region
- The group gave the warning after its meeting in Akure, Ondo state on Tuesday, September 26
- The meeting was held at the home of one of the leaders of the group, Pa Reuben Fasonranti
The Pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has warned the federal government against deploying soldiers to the southwest region due to the activities of the Badoo cult group.
In a communique read by the publicity secretary of the group, Mr Yinka Odumakin, they opined that the police should be left to handle the cult group and not the military.
Afenifere described the deployment of military personnel into different parts of the country as an invitation to military dictatorship and urged the federal government to stop encouraging the military to take over power.
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Part of the communique read: “Meeting also considered the recent announcement by the military to launch Operation Crocodile Smile in the southwest region of the country after the Python Dance in the southeast which has been largely condemned locally and internationally.
“The operation ostensibly they said is to confront the badoo menace. We stated as follows: the badoo gang has been decimated by the Nigerian Police and the OPC in the area where it occurred, and we think if the group resurgence, it is the duty of the police to deal with it without causing tension, invasion and harassment as it happened in the southeast during Operation Crocodile Dance.
“We insist that the military has no duty in going after badoo even if it comes back. We want the federal government to be careful at the spate at which they deployed soldiers all over the country. The other day, the Speaker of the House of Representative lamented that 28 out of 36 states of the country are under one military operation or the other.
“The southwest has been adjudged the most peaceful area of the country and to now bring military here is to say that the entire country is not safe. They are sending a wrong signal to foreign investors and more importantly, the federal government should be reminded before the coup of 1966, this is was how Balewa government started to transfer civil duty to military and the military now said they can take over themselves.
“The government should be careful. We urged the federal government to tell the military not to bring any operation to southwest and to end the Operation Python Dance in the southeast and allow the police to do their duty and no crate militarisation across the country.”
The group also condemned the attack on the palace of Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, during the installation of mogajis and baales in his palace on Monday, September 25.
They described the attack as barbaric, uncultured and a direct attack on Yoruba traditional institution.
“This is not direct attack on Olubadan but attack on the sacred institution in Yorubaland, the value and our culture and this is not acceptable, it so condemnable.
“We call on the government of Oyo state and the governor, Abiola Ajimobi, to immediately make the effort to get the hoodlums and ensure that they are punished so that it will be a deterrent to others,” the group said.
Afenifere commended Yoruba leaders and groups for throwing their weight behind restructuring of the country during the last Yoruba summit in Ibadan.
At the meeting were Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Olu Falae, Chief Supo Sonibare and other notable Yoruba leaders.
Meanwhile, rights group, Amnesty International (AI), has said that it is investigating the clash between the Nigerian army and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in Umuahia, Abia state.
In a statement sent to journalists on Friday, September 15, the director of the organisation, Osai Ojigho expressed concerns over the conduct of the Nigerian military.
“We are investigating all allegations of human rights violations and urge the authorities to investigate and quickly bring those suspected of unlawful killings and other serious violations to justice,” the group said.
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