Afenifere condemns killing of soldiers in Melete, seeks removal of service chiefs
• Wants probe of defence allocations
• Cautions against using Fasanmi to cause division
The Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, has condemned the massive killing of soldiers by the dreaded Boko Haram dissidents in North-East, lamenting the alleged outcry by soldiers over poor military equipment.
It also canvassed creation of state police to curtail insecurity and kidnapping in the South-West, especially the herdsmen and kidnapping menace in Ondo State.
The group, in a communique issued at the end of its General Assembly yesterday in Akure at the house of the leader, Pa. Reuben Fasoranti, demanded a probe of the $1 billion expended on military equipment. The Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, who expressed dismay at the “killing of over hundred Nigerian soldiers in Melete a week ago by the dreaded Boko Haram terror group, said: “The massacre of our ill-equipped troops by the evil sect raises serious concern about the state of our armed forces combat readiness in spite of the non-appropriation of $1 billion the government claimed it disbursed months back to equip our military against insurgency.”
Odumakin, who condoled with the bereaved families of the victims, decried the nonchalant attitude and insensitivity of the Federal Government towards what he described as “a monumental loss.”
“Federal Government should have declared national mourning for the high casualties recorded, which many countries never matched in wars that lasted for several years.
“Afenifere demands as a first step the immediate removal of the service chiefs who are already in their retirement years but are still being kept in service by the President.
“The sack of the service chiefs should be followed with a probe of what has happened to defence allocations as we as a people cannot reconcile our extremely vulnerable troops and wailing soldiers in the forest with the heavy spending the government claimed it had committed to security,” the group said.
Besides, the pan-Yoruba group has disclaimed a report in the media ascribing Fasanmi as leader of Afenifere, accusing the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of divisive tendencies. “We ordinarily would have ignored the antics of some APC politicians who are using the name of Senator Ayo Fasanmi to prosecute divisive agenda as they normally do at election seasons in recent time.
without regards to what they are doing with old age.“We are constrained to make this once and for all clarification: Senator Ayo Fasanmi has not been active in Afenifere for some years and could therefore not be the leader of the group as being wrongly disseminated by a section of the media,” it said.