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Afenifere urges Buhari to match words with actions on security

By Kehinde Olatunji (Lagos) and Rotimi Agboluaje (Ibadan)
05 May 2022   |   4:12 am
The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, yesterday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to match his words with actions regarding various indices of governance, particularly insecurity.

Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP

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The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, yesterday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to match his words with actions regarding various indices of governance, particularly insecurity.

In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Jare Ajayi, and made available to The Guardian in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the group said the information and assurance that emanated from President Buhari’s message to Nigerians to mark this year’s Eid-el-Fitri celebration “fly against the reality on ground.”

Buhari had in a statement released on Sunday, April 30, 2022, by his presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, to mark the end of this year’s Ramadan fast, said the end to terrorism was very much in sight and Nigerians have reasons to mark the festival with hope as the “battle waged against terrorists, who falsely masquerade under the name of Islam, is approaching its conclusion”.

HOWEVER, Ajayi, in the statement, said: “Rather than looking at the immediate future with hope, Nigerians are living and moving around in fear and despondence because of the insecurity they face at home, at work and even more so when travelling on highways. How then can one be hopeful in that kind of situation?”

While agreeing with the President that the fight against terrorists in the country “has been long and hard,” Afenifere spokesman said the government had not succeeded in convincing most Nigerians that the ‘final victory is in sight” as claimed by the President through his spokesman, Shehu.

According to him, it is important to let the President know the reality on ground because the specters coming from Aso Rock often indicate a distance between those in government and the people they govern.

Ajayi, who noted that the three major areas in which President Buhari raised the hopes of Nigerians when coming to power are security, fighting corruption and boosting the economy, among others, said: “Unfortunately, the changes we have seen in these areas are the reverse. In reverse in the sense that insecurity is now at an unprecedented level, corruption is at an all-time high, while the economy is now so down that hardly are the majority of Nigerians been able to eat twice in 24 hours.”

He then challenged the President to immediately allow states to establish their own police forces, honour agreements his government has with various labour unions, drastically reduce the cost of governance and ensure that the cost of social services and essential commodities like petrol and electricity come down considerably.