POLITICS

Service Chiefs: Afenifere must not allow political enemies use it for narrow interests – Yoruba youths

The Coalition of Afenifere Youth Groups (CAYG) has warned apex Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere not to allow itself to be used by political enemies of the country for their selfish interests. 

CAYG, in a statement signed by its Spokesman, Comrade Oloruntoba Durosinmi Etti, on Tuesday, disclosed that Afenifere is already looking like an extension of Atiku Abubakar’s political structure as currently being portrayed by its spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin. 

Recall that Odumakin had last week delved into the nation’s security issues after a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the Service Chiefs. 

And the Coalition of Afenifere Youth Groups has asked Afenifere’s elders to call their spokesperson to order. 

According to the group, Odumakin’s  “callous” call for the sack of the security chiefs has further reduced the group into a political tool and risks pitching Yoruba against each other. 

It added that the once reserved south-west elders are now perceived as a political pressure group that serves only the interest of the Peoples Democratic Party. 

CAYG described Odumakin’s call for 

the Service Chiefs sack as “laughable”, adding that “all we can see is a group of selfish people using Afenifere to give credibility to the errand they are running for their own stomach infrastructure”. 

The group, however, urged those in the business of exploiting the name of Afenifere for settling personal scores or money-making to desist from doing so. 

Read the full statement:

The Coalition of  Afenifere Youth Groups is alarmed by the rate at which the sacredness of

Afenifere, which is otherwise the apex Pan-Yoruba socio-po­litical organization, is being deployed as a tool for political lackeying by persons that have never hidden their transactional attitude to issues affecting the Yoruba nation.

In what is shocking to an extent we are yet to fully recover from, one Yinka Odumakin, in his capacity as the spokesperson of Afenifere mixed politics and personal views with the lofty ideals for which the group is known for. Odumakin practically rehashed views expressed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) by retorting that President Muhammadu Buhari should fire the nation’s heads of military services the same way he sacked the National Working Committee of his party, the All Pro­gressives Congress (APC), last week.

Describing such puerile assertion as irresponsible will be putting it mildly. Odumakin, by such callous deployment of Afenifere for politiscore-settling long risks pitching Yoruba against each other. Persons of the Yoruba nation are in the APC and PDP and an organization that is meant to protect the interests of people across both divides ought to have given neutrality in matters like this the deserved primacy.

Being youth, we may be young, but our history books teach us how threading the kind of path Odumakin has taken was instrumental to the infamous Operation Wetie of 1965 and the Post-Election Riots of 1983 in parts of south-west Nigeria. This is a scenario we never want a repeat of and calling people exhibiting behaviour or of Odumakin to order is a key step towards ensuring that the Yoruba are never again pitched against each other to the death over political differences.

The Coalition of  Afenifere Youth Groups is therefore compelled to call on the elders’ wing of Afenifere not to turn itself into an extension of PDP’s Atiku Abubakar’s political structure as currently being done by the spokesperson of the group, Yinka Odumakin. It is high time the elders and the general public knew that Odumakin has reduced once-revered group into a political pressure group that serves only the interest of the PDP or that of a few selected members in the country. 

But for the political colouration already given to it, we would have described the call for the sack of the service chiefs as laughable because all we can see is a group of selfish people using Afenifere to give credibility to the errand they are running for their own stomach infrastructure. Had they not been swayed by the money they are being paid they would have realized that their unsolicited counsel to President Buari, if heeded, is precisely the kind that would have made the administration to fail or become a laughing stock. 

The call for the sack of the service chiefs has been made by every other clown in the circuit that it has become a distraction that any wise leader will be deaf to especially at a time that the service and Security Chiefs are in the war room strategizing on how to execute their mandate, therefore, fore urge that anyone in the business of exploiting the name of Afenifere for settling personal scores or money-making should desist from doing so. Such people are likely to cause more confusion in the country by picking politicians’ briefs instead of making interventions that benefit the entire country. 

If our elders are keen on making contributions to end the spate of crimes and security breaches they identified then they should sensitize the entire south-west to revive the culture of sharing useful information with law enforcement to assist in combating these crimes.

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