A socio-political and cultural organisation, Afenifere Renewal Group, (ARG), Ekiti State Chapter, has warned politicians against engaging in acts capable of stoking the fire of crisis in any of the Southwest states as the 2023 presidential election winds down.
The group posited unequivocally that the Yoruba ethnic group will unapologetically rise up, to defend the region from being mindlessly exposed to unnecessary conflagration by desperate politicians, who are under illusion that Nigeria presidency is their birthright.
The ARG Publicity Secretary in Ekiti, Michael Ogungbemi, in a statement released in Ado Ekiti, on Monday, 27th February, 2023 advises that whoever wants to protest is at liberty to do so legitimately, but within the confines of his state or the Federal Capital Territory, rather than the ever peaceful Southwest Region.
The socio-cultural body spoke in response to the hoopla being raised by some politicians who had threatened to resort to violent protests, as a way to get at the Nation’s impartial Independent National Electoral Commission over the conduct of the presidential poll.
Raising its voice against such open negation of democratic ethos, Afenifere is of the opinion that the Lagos State as a strategic and treasured Yoruba territory has yet to fully recover from the large scale devastation and bleeding, it suffered during the misguided EndSARS protests that almost grounded the state to a halt.
Ogungbemi posited that some vested political interests from other ethnic groups notoriously hid under the facade of EndSARS to wreak havoc on Lagos, leaving their own states to flourish. According to him, this is unconscionable and unacceptable.
The ARG spokesperson added that protest remains a veritable condiment of democracy provided it is not ill-intentioned and laced with ethnic colouration in the manner of the EndSARS malady.
Ogungbemi recalls with fond memories that during the EndSARS protests, some politicians hid under the misguided protests to undermine and almost destroy Lagos heritage. The destruction inflicted on the economic hub of the nation was estimated at over a trillion naira. This madness shouldn’t occur again.
Very disturbing was the fact that when Lagos was burning, other regions where protests ever took place enjoyed relative peace. The protesters and their masked sponsors ostensibly had an invidous plan to wreck havoc on Lagos, the “brain box” of Southwest economy before proceeding to the other parts of Yorubaland like Oshogbo, Akure, Ekiti and others.
Furthermore, Ogungbemi reveals that intelligence reports indicate that there are subterranean moves in some quarters by some misguided youths, being prompted by featherweight desperate politicians to sabotage INEC in its painstaking efforts to declare the authentic winner of the just concluded Presidential election. Their sinister intention is to make Southwest a battlefield. This will not be tolerated. ARG, is saying without any equivocation that no settlers in Yoruba territory, no matter how highly placed would be allowed to destroy our heritage when their own fatherland is at peace.
It is in view of the foregoing therefore, that ARG, is calling on people of Yoruba extraction to rise up and never falter in their commitment to defend their treasured heritage.
Further to the above the “fifth columnists” and fiendish elements who are dogged and persistent enemies of the Yoruba nationality, should be reminded how Chief Obafemi Awolowo suffered unwarranted persecution and harrowing fate in the hands of his political traducers and the comeuppance that befell such traitors.
Ogungbemi equally called on the security agencies to be on alert to ward off any impending violent action likely to be unleashed on Southwest by these enemies of peace. According to him, any misguided protest during this pulsating season of election could vitiate the peace, progress and development of Southwest zone.
To be forewarned is to before armed.