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Yoruba group flays northern coalition for disparaging Afenifere

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A Yoruba group, Concerned Omo Yoruba Group, has berated the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) over what it described as an “illicit statement” against one of the most effective and proactive socio-cultural organisations in Nigeria, Afenifere.

Retired Professor of History and an Afenifere leader, Banji Akintoye

The CNG had on August 1, 2021, in a statement in Abuja by its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, urged the Federal Government to immediately proscribe Afenifere and other cultural organisations as terrorists.

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The northern coalition group said any individual as Adebanjo and others associated with such groups or organisations that incite others to violations or openly support acts of terror and terrorist movements should be arrested and decisively dealt with by the authorities.

It said: “We emphatically repudiate the provocative action of remnants of those who harbour pent-up grudges against the rest of Nigeria for the failure of Awolowo’s tribalistic ambition to secure the nation’s leadership, and deem this affront…”

BUT responding to CNG, the Yoruba group, in a statement, yesterday, by its leader, Chief Tunde Omololu, urged the government and northern leaders to caution the coalition group against utterances capable of inciting unnecessary violence or war in Nigeria.

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According to the Yoruba group, no member of the CNG was probably born over 70 years ago at the time the visionary Yoruba leaders formed Afenifere and started the struggle for Nigeria’s existence.

The group, which therefore cautioned CNG to be mindful of power drunkenness, also frowned on the conditions given for the release of Sunday Igboho’s aides, describing it as a gimmick to keep them in prison to scare others.

It said: “It is disheartening to see some myopic groups, particularly the CNG, whose region is under siege by bandits, kidnappers, Boko Haram and ISIS, attempting to malign a well-revered and nation-building Afenifere.

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“Afenifere does not only exhibit the capacity to provide true leadership but also displays uncommon wisdom, tact, courage and doggedness in the face of aggression, intimidation and humiliation in the hands of state agents and the establishment. Thus, many of its leaders have had to pay the supreme price fighting against injustice; other compatriots maimed and their means of livelihood ruined by the government through direct assaults or unfavourable policies and programmes. Yet, the leaders of Afenifere have remained tenacious in purpose, the character of mind and courage in speaking the truth in the face of obvious threats to their lives.

“We will resist any attempt by the government or any of its paid agents to malign Afenifere because the group is the voice of Yoruba race.”

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