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Friday 12 January 2018

Igbo/Yoruba Handshake: Proscribe Miyetti Allah, Fulani Herdsmen as terrorists, Afenifere, IYOF, tells FG

By Chukwuemeka Chimerue || The Chief Editor, The Biafra Times

January 12, 2018

ENUGU— Leaders of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere and the coalition of Igbo and Yoruba pressure group known as Igbo-Yoruba Foundation(IYOF), has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government, to as a matter of urgency, proscribe and designate as terrorists, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria(MACBAN) and Fulani cattle herders in the country.

This demand was made in Enugu on Thursday during the convocation alliance among Igbo, Yoruba, South-South and Middle Belt ethnic groups in a programme tagged, “Handshake Across The Niger: A Celebration Of Igbo/Yoruba Friendship Beyond Brotherhood,” in which they unanimously condemned the nefarious activities of Fulani herdsmen in their regions.

Speaking to The Biafra Times Correspondent at the event, leader of Yoruba group and representative of Chairman of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo who informed that the meeting was a catalyst for unity of Southerners, stated that rather than solving the problems of the country through restructuring, President Buhari chose to clampdown on innocent Biafra agitators.

Adebanjo said: “It’s only restructuring that can guarantee your rights in Nigeria. Cheating, injustice and even corruption can only be wiped out through restructuring. President Buhari will not do that, instead he has ensured that all military and paramilitary ‎institutions are under his control and he has refused to name Fulani herdsmen as terrorists yet he pounced on IPOB that seeks for justice.”

READ ALSO: #HandshakeAcrossTheNiger: Hearty cheers for Fani-Kayode as Igbo women knocks Nnia Nwodo over restructuring

Also speaking in the same vein, the Conveners of IYOF, Sunday Chudi Dick and Segun Popoola, in their joint statement, declared that Nigeria as presently constituted cannot move forward, adding that crushing IPOB and other agitators cannot proffer a lasting solution on the myriads of problems bedeviling the country.

“Nigeria cannot work as it is presently constituted. The President stated in his new year broadcast that Nigeria’s problem is in its process and not structure. This is a fallacy. If the structure is gotten right, the process will be seamless.

“There are fiscal, political and social injustices in our polity. That is why the armed Fulani herdsmen cannot be tamed by the federal government. It is not the interest of the feudalists to do so. Crushing IPOB, MASSOB and other agitators in the country will not bring not the solution. The solution is social justice, equity, fiscal and structural justice,” IYOF stated.

The group added that had the Igbos and Yorubas formed a united front in the 60s before the war, “the two groups would not have been joint slaves in Nigeria today as they are despite their intellect, education and potentials. Awolowo suspected Zik and Zik suspected Awolowo. They dissipated their energy pulling each other down and currying favours from their common foes.”

READ ALSO: Nigeria Security Must Stop Killing Our Youths In Rivers/Middle Belt – IPOB

It further stated that, “if the Yorubas had supported the Igbos during the war, there was no way the outcome of the war would be what it later became. Forget about the propaganda today that the winning side fought to unite Nigeria, that is not true. They fought to appropriate to themselves the common wealth of Nigeria. That is why almost all the major participants in the war fron the federal side are today, owners of oil blocs, created more states and local governments for themselves and insist on the status quo to remain in Nigeria.”

Going historical, it said, “Yorubas and Igbos were jointly conquered at Ore in 1966 when the feudalists pitched them against each other. The two giant races should have liberated Nigeria and Africa due to their intellectual endownments. But they chose to be suspecting each another and tranquilising themselves mutually to the benefit of their common foes.”

However, in a Communiqué signed and issued by leaders of the two ethnic groups at the end of the alliance, the Igbo and Yoruba resolved “to collaborate closely to create mutually beneficial opportunities, build a strong alliance to advance their ever growing mutual interests, while striving together to meet the common responsibilities of building a united, coherent and prosperous nation - state of free peoples, freely relating to one another across the dividing lines of tribe, religion, region and politics.

“Committed to work in close partnership and through peaceful means to restructure Nigeria, reducing and restricting the duties of the federal government to only matters of national import on the exclusive list, while granting the federating units the right to take full responsibility for local, developmental and residual matters, as this will lead to healthy competition and cooperation among the federating units, in place of the present dysfunctional arrangement that merely superintends over the sharing and consuming of rents, and holds some States and Zones down for others to play the elusive game of catch-up.

READ ALSO: Igbo/Yoruba handshake: Uproar as Igbo women interrupts speech, rejects Nnia Nwodo's restructuring position

“Committed to insistence therefore, on peaceful devolution of powers, fiscal federalism, land/resource ownership/control, reforming component structural and systemic institutions to radically reduce the escalating cost of governance
Committed to working tirelessly towards joining the economically-performing nations  – China, India, Brazil, Israel, Singapore , South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand etc. – not as a dependent State, but a competitive producer and exporter of knowledge-based goods and services.

“Committed to immediate implementation of pro-federalism recommendations of the 2014 National Conference, in particular those affecting the efficiency of governance.”

The Biafra Times
Publisher: Chijindu Benjamin Ukah
Contact us: [email protected]

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