Afenifere group seeks true federalism

Timothy Choji, Abuja

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The Yoruba socio-cultural group, also known as Afenifere has demanded for true federalism to be enthroned in Nigeria.

The group made the demand  during a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The group, which was led by Mr Ayo Fasanmi also made requests bordering on security, education, youth employment and power supply.

The five demands of the Afenifere leaders were read by Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye.

He said: “We seriously recommend clinging to the spirit and letters of our federal constitution. This is one sure way of achieving the desired goals of unity even in diversity, mutual respect, tolerance and giving true meaning to the opening phrase of our constitution that is, “we the people.”

 “We will be a greater nation if we sincerely practice true federalism, think and act as Nigerians rather than as champions of the smaller units we were born into. Our big size is an asset worthy of preservation.

“Good examples of big size, hard work and prudent spending are the USA, China and India. It is not with violence or hate speeches but with mutual trust, self-respect and tolerance that we will speedily achieve the lofty destiny of the great country, Nigeria,” he said.

Speaking to Journalists, National leader of the All Progressives Congress APC, Bola Tinubu, said the essence of the visit was to congratulate President Buhari on his recent victory at the polls and the successes he has recorded so far.

“The essence of the visit is to thank our President and congratulate him on the election and the steps taken to enhance the security of the nation; to also look at how to stem any speech of hate and intolerance across the nation and look at the problem of security holistically including the shortage of Police personnel.

Commenting on the slogan of the APC government, NEXT LEVEL, Tinubu said the party is looking at the economy, infrastructure deficit and industrial growth.

The NEXT Level is broad. You have economic progress that we are working for as a party; we have the diversity of the economy itself; we have the various scale of thinking that the economic council will have to bring about; the infrastructural deficit; poverty, security; those are the things that we will put emphasis on; you know it; I know it; there is infrastructural deficit across the country and without infrastructure, you cannot galvanise the economy; you have the question of electricity that is critical to industrialization and economic growth,” he said.

He noted that Yoruba elders are organized behind President Buhari because of his track record.

He said: “Sure, I don’t want to be clannish or sectional; the question is that we want to build a nation and always believe in our diversity for prosperity not from adversity and progressives like the President will join hands to build the country.”

He urged Nigerians to be united and avoid conflicts in order to enhance the development and progress of the country.

“No matter what, we have nothing but one country and that is the only way that we can stimulate growth and understanding among various nationalities; it is not by division; it is not be promoting religious conflict; religious differences; nobody has control when they were born; what they will be, how they will be raised and how their fate will affect their lives and we must remove that from our political setting; set it aside, build a nation and concentrate on trust and development,” he advised.

Ime Njoku