Afenifere chides northern governors, backs southerners on power shift, VAT collection
• North’s rejection of rotation not surprising, says Akinyemi
• Middle Belt Forum cautions against break up of Nigeria
The apex Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, yesterday, said it would stand by the southern governors in their resolution on anti-grazing laws, Value Added Tax (VAT) and southerner becoming the President in 2023.
In a communique signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi, after a well-attended meeting held at Ijebu-Igbo’s residence of the Acting Chairman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, the group urged the Federal Government and security agencies to stop the kid glove treatment with which terrorists and kidnappers are being handled.
The group, which chided the northern governors and traditional rulers over their resolution on power shift and VAT, said that terrorism and related vices, including kidnapping, were on the increase because of the double-standard being played by the Federal Government and security agencies on those matters.
Afenifere reiterated its position that restructuring remains the panacea to solve the multifarious problems challenging the country.
SIMILARLY, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, yesterday, said nobody should expect the northern governors to back their southern counterparts in the quest to shift power to the South in 2023.
He posited that the knotty issue could be resolved through negotiations, if the two opposing sides were sincere, failure of which could lead to disaster or destruction.
Akinyemi, who is also a former Director-General of Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) and member of the 2014 National Conference, stated this in reaction to northern governors’ and elders’ decision that the region would still hold on to power beyond 2023 and would not surrender it to the South.
MEANWHILE, the National President of Middle Belt Forum (MBF), Dr. Bitrus Pogu, yesterday, warned that northern governors are seeking the break-up of the country by their resolve at Kaduna meeting that power would not shift to the South in 2023.
Pogu, who told newsmen in Makurdi that the position of the northern governors was a threat to the unity of the country and a dangerous signal that could threaten the very foundation of the country, also reminded them that they were not speaking for the people of the Middle Belt who should not be classified as northerners as there was nothing like a monolithic North anymore.