The Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), on Friday said the massive killing of the #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate in Lagos is enough reason for the Federal Government to consider the age-long agitation for restructuring of Nigeria such that the country will practice true federalism.
National Chairman of ARG, Chief Olawale Oshun; National Secretary, Ayo Afolabi; and Publicity Secretary, Kunle Famoriyo, made the disclosure in a statement they made available to journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
According to the group, the shooting “calls to question the loyalty of the troops of Nigerian Army, who intervened and shot at defenseless Nigerians, displaying the Nigerian national flag and singing the Nigerian National Anthem.
“We all know that the #EndSARS protest is only a metaphor for the unworkable and oppressive 1999 Constitution and that this country has no desirable place in the comity of progressive, developing and well governed nations without a reworking of that constitution, in a manner that promotes true federalism principles. We therefore call on all elected political officials, especially the governors and the Yoruba members of National Assembly to speak out and go beyond tokenism of publicly identifying with the protesters and vigorously demand for the restructuring of Nigeria.
“We call on the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, to come up with decisive responses and hearken to the yearnings of Nigerians regarding the need for urgent reforms in the policing and by extension the full restructuring of the governance structure. We note with sadness that mob action is becoming pandemic in Lagos State and in other parts of Yorubaland. We call on the governors to come together, act in unison and take all necessary steps to ensure the immediate restoration of law and order across our space. These actions by the President must be accompanied with timelines for implementing these reforms.”
“We commend the peaceful protesters for their patriotism and good intention. It is sad that sometimes, good intention may not always be enough. We applaud them as the heroes of our time and the clear winner in this unfolding episode of our national history. They must now add to their good intention good strategy by separating themselves from the present carnage and destruction, temporarily stopping their protests, and engaging in the intervening period in wider consultations.
“We frown at the violent insurrections that have dominated the happenings, particularly the economic terrorism on Lagos State, the sacrilege committed in the palace of Oba of Lagos and the wanton destruction of public infrastructure and properties belonging to perceived ‘political enemies’. All these attacks, including those on the governors of Osun and Ekiti States, point to a well-planned fifth columnist agenda. It is puzzling that while curfew is in place to allow for restoration of order; arsonists took over and had unhindered reign of terror.
“We take these as an assault on Yorubaland and its very accommodating people and culture. These attacks have shown those who wish us well and those who do not. We therefore call on the national and the respective state governments to carryout judicial investigation into the killings at Lekki Toll gate, the various arsons, and the violent attacks on the governors wherever they occurred. These must be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. We should never allow this to be swept under any carpet.”
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