MEETING HELD AT THE HOUSE OF THE ACTING LEADER OF AFENIFERE, CHIEF AYO ADEBANJO, SANYA-OGBO, IJEBU ODE, OGUN STATE, NIGERIA ON FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2021.
The meeting deliberated profoundly on matters affecting the Yoruba peoples and Yorubaland. The meeting also deliberated on national issues as well.
Matters that were discussed included:
A. Southern Governors Forum and Resolutions at the meeting they held at Asaba, capital of Delta State.
B. Ban on Open Grazing and Herdsmen’s attacks on our Communities.
C. Restructuring and Threats of Seccession
D. Calls for National Dialogue
E. The plan by the National Assembly for people to hold Public Hearings on Constitutional Amendment.
After exhaustive deliberations on these issues, the following Resolutions were made:
1. Afenifere is in total support of the decision of Governors of the 17 states in Nigeria banning open grazing of livestock in any of the states that they control.
Afenifere felt that although the declaration by the governors ought to have come long before now, given the atrocities that have arisen from open grazing, it is better late than never.
2. Despite various steps taken and appeals made by state governments and communities, herders continue to graze their cattle on farms of our people. When the farmers tried to protest, they (the farmers) are harassed, maimed and sometimes killed. Our female folks are raped. This is a very important reason for the need to completely outlaw open grazing with severe penalties for any violator.
3. Afenifere is delighted to note that Restructuring as a workable recipe for stopping Nigeria from falling apart, is becoming more popular and winning converts on a daily basis. We are delighted because Restructuring is something we have been advocating for a long time. From around 1953, Afenifere had been advocating for Federal System of Government for Nigeria. A Constitution based on Federalism was operating in the country until 1966 when the military consigned the Constitution into the dust bin. Since then, Nigeria has not been enjoying true federalism. We in Afenifere believe very strongly that failure to practise federalism and increasing Unitarisation of the country were largely responsible for the travails Nigeria is suffering today – and will continue to suffer – unless Nigeria is restructured! We have no doubt about this at all. We are happy to note that some who were either opposed to Restructuring or hesitant of it are now embracing it. We therefore demand that Restructuring should be effected NOW!
4. When the 8th National Assembly called for Memoranda on Constitutional Review, we submitted a Memorandum. Of course the 1999 Constitution meant to be reviewed is what we are insisting should be jettisoned. But since we don’t have any other document other than this 1999 Constitution with which the affairs of the country is being run, we feel that it is sensible to submit a Memorandum that clearly states our own position.
5. Our hope is that the National Assembly will be sincere in its effort at reviewing the Constitution.
We thank the Nigerian public and the media.
May 14, 2021