Afenifere reacts to Buhari’s claims in TV interviews

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AFENIFERE, Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s position on open grazing, appointments into his administration and well-being of Nigerians in the last six years.

The organisation, in a statement on Sunday, said Buhari’s pronouncements in his television interviews, showed he has lost touch with reality, adding he should rise up for Governors whose States have come under violent crisis because he controls the security agencies.

In the statement by  Jare Ajayi, Afenifere national publicity secretary, the organisation expressed its disappointment on the disclosure by the President that he had directed the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation to ‘re-open’ the grazing routes throughout the country.

It reads in part: “We have some questions for Mr President and the Attorney General in this respect. One, who created the so-called grazing routes? At what time in our history did our founding fathers gather to designate specific routes from the north to the south as ‘grazing routes’?

“Two, assuming without conceding, that there were so-called grazing routes, what would now happen to structures that have been built in areas where the so-called routes are to be re-opened? Would such structures, including residences and factories, be pulled down so that cows would have places to graze? Compared to what would be lost economically, socially, politically and in security terms if these structures are to be pulled down, is it not better to encourage the building of ranches? We can go on and on”.

Afenifere added the President’s pronouncement on this issue as well as his confession on how he determines who occupies positions at the national level seems to indicate that Buhari’s government is operating a constitution that is different from the one that we all are aware of, i.e. the 1999 Constitution.

“For instance, Section 2 of the Land Use Act, the law governing land matters in the country, vests the administration and control of lands in a given state in the hands of the governor of the state. It is such that even when the Federal Government wants to use a portion of land, it has to seek the consent of the governor of the state concerned.

‘’Since most governors in the country have outlawed open grazing in their respective states, on which land does the Federal Government wants to ‘open’ or ‘re-open’ its vaunted grazing routes? Why talking of grazing routes in this age when ranching is the fad in all civilized climes?” It queried.

Then organization also faulted the President on his claim he appointed the new Chief of Army Staff because of his experience. The body said the appointment “like many others made by Buhari’s government, is in flagrant defiance of the federal character clause in the constitution as well as Section 5 (2) of the same constitution which states that “national integration shall be actively encouraged, whilst discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties shall be prohibited”.

It posited: “From all indications, only in a few instances does the Federal Government allow equity, fairness and empirical merit to characterize the appointments he made. Thus, most of the appointments being made were done in such a way that some sections of the country were being alienated.”

Afenifere further challenged President Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, to send a bill to the National Assembly on restructuring and devolution of power if he wants Nigerians to believe that he meant what he said. – The Nation

– June 13, 2021 @ 5:17 GMT |

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