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Don’t throw Nigeria into genocide, Afenifere warns government

By Saxone Akhaine, Abdulganiyu Alabi (Kaduna), Oluwaseun Akingboye (Akure) and Gordi Udeajah (Umuahia)
28 May 2019   |   3:40 am
The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, yesterday warned the Federal Government against acts capable of throwing the nation into a large-scale genocide, accusing some officials of the current administration of allegedly....

Yinka Odumakin

•CAN cautions against alleged Islamisation agenda, NASFAT urges restraint
•Cleric seeks use of reported N100b Miyetti Allah security budget for ranches

The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, yesterday warned the Federal Government against acts capable of throwing the nation into a large-scale genocide, accusing some officials of the current administration of allegedly backing militia groups.

Its Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, gave the warning while reading the communiqué issued at the end of the body’s General Assembly that held in the home of their leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure. Afenifere expressed concern over the spate of kidnappings and attacks nationwide, stressing that genocide stalks Nigeria like it happened in some African countries like Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Somalia.

Odumakin alleged that the crimes were “being perpetrated largely by Fulani herdsmen/militia, the only group that is in possession of unlicensed sophisticated weapons in Nigeria today without fear of any consequence.”He asserted that “they seem to have official backing, promotion and defence. The killings targeted at non-Fulani groups across the country are willful and deliberate in pursuit of expansionist and conquest agenda.”

The spokesman accused President Muhammadu Buhari of alleged aloofness amid the involvement of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria.He stated: “Instead, the regime has treated them with kid gloves, making excuses for their crimes with our Information Ministry and presidential media office being made to look like Boko Haram and Miyetti Allah media centre as they issue statements to defend these groups.

“Even when they are not defending themselves, the presidency has been equating Miyetti Allah with Afenifere and Ohanaeze in order to confer legitimacy on them.“And of late is the insensitive and impunity-inspired decision of the Federal Government to open a Fulani Radio for the herdsmen in violation of the federal character spirit of our constitution.

“Those who have studied happenings in Liberia, Somalia, Rwanda and Sudan would not miss the fact that this was how events started until full-scale civil wars broke out.” To avert the destructive tendencies, Afenifere urged government to immediately re-address its priorities and begin the process of running an inclusive country.

It lauded former President Olusegun Obasanjo and other patriots for decrying the wave of terrorism in the country and an alleged Fulanisation of West Africa. Besides, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna State has opposed any move to allegedly Islamise the nation.

It vowed that faithful would contest any plot to compulsorily introduce Islamic studies in the curriculum of tertiary institutions across the federation.State CAN Chairman, Reverend Joseph John Hayap, maintained yesterday in Kaduna that “government institutions must stop acts that can trigger religious tension among students in the nation.”

He cited the recent introduction of Islamic Studies to Christian students in Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, cautioning that “government institutions must be seen to be neutral in the way they handle their admission processes and in the content of their admission letters.”

However, the state chair of the Nasrullahi ‘L Fath, (NASFAT), Muyideen Alimi, has cautioned elder statesmen, politicians and religious leaders against making inflammatory remarks that could set the country on fire. He was yesterday reacting to the remarks of an elder statesman alleging government’s agenda to Islamise and Fulanise Nigeria.

Also yesterday, the Archbishop of Umuahia Archdiocese of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr Chibuzor Okpoko, enjoined the Buhari government to channel the N100 billion security fund allegedly approved for Miyettti Allah towards building and equipping modern ranches in parts of the federation.

Addressing a press conference to mark the end of the 58th diocesan synod of the church at Wesley Cathedral Church in the Abia State capital, he expressed hope that if his suggestion is acted upon, “there will be minimal conflicts between the herdsmen and farmers.”