The pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, on Wednesday, annulled the office of the acting leader of the group, being occupied by Pa Ayo Adebanjo.
This was as the organisation reiterated its call for the formation of state police amid the rising insecurity in the land.
Afenifere, which appointed Adebanjo as the acting leader of the group in 2022, said the position had been abrogated and formed another group named Afenifere Elders Caucus, with Adebanjo a member and Fasoranti as leader.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of the monthly meeting of the group held at the residence of its National Leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, on Wednesday. The communique was read by the Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr Jare Ajayi.
The communique read, “In the light of recent events and the pressing need to reposition and rejuvenate Afenifere, it has been decided that the position of Acting Leader and Deputy Leader have now been abrogated.
“The responsibilities and authority of advising the Leader of Afenifere and Asiwaju Yoruba are now vested in the Afenifere Elders Caucus, which is hereby constituted.”
According to the communique, Fasoranti is the Chairman of the Elders Caucus while the members of the group include Adebanjo, Oba Olu Falae, Senator Cornelius Adebayo, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, Basorun Seinde Arogbofa, Senator Kofo Bucknor-Akerele, Archbishop Prince Ayo Ladigbolu, Lt. Gen Alani, Akinrinade (retd), Maj. Gen. Olu Bajowa (retd), Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, Prof Banji Akintoye, among others.
At the meeting, the group also expressed its displeasure over the state of the nation with particular reference to the socio-economic and security situations in the country, saying it was time to restructure the country as a means towards a new lease of life and a better Nigeria.
The group said, “There is an urgent need to rework the security architecture of the country to ensure that Nigerians are able to live and move about without the fear of being kidnapped or harassed in any way. Such reworking should include giving states and local government councils that so desire to establish their own police services with all the requisite powers to function as such. Doing so would check if not totally stop, the incidences of kidnapping and sundry banditry now ravaging the land.
“The unfortunate blast in Ibadan clearly underscores the need to allow the federating units in the country to control mineral resources in their respective areas with particular reference to mining and exploration.
“The reasoning behind this was that had it been that states were in control of mining, for instance, the Oyo State Government was likely to know how explosives were being moved around. Such would have prevented last week’s horrendous blast that claimed many lives, traumatised hundreds of people and destroyed properties running into billions of naira.”
While reiterating that it was time to restructure the country, the Afenifere urged President Bola Tinubu to set the machinery in motion for the purpose.
“The organisation (Afenifere) took note of the fact that the President, a known democrat and federalist, would not hesitate to do things that will quicken the country’s quest for true federalism in which people would have self-determination within the context of one nation that is genuinely democratic and federal,” it said.