Afenifere demands for regional autonomy for the Yoruba in the Southwest

Just as the National Conference (CONFAB) began its plenary session on Monday, PAN-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has demanded for a regional autonomy to be granted the Yoruba in the Southwest or the Yoruba will secede from Nigeria.

Speaking at a news conference to unveil the Publication of “Regional Autonomy or Nothing” at the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota in Lagos on Monday, General Secretary of the Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG, Ayo Afolabi, said;

“we all should seize any opportunity to build consensus and reclaim the country from wrong-footed ideas and practices that brought Nigeria to this sorry state where it is difficult to imagine a better future.

“We are therefore baffled at the take-it or leave-it attitude of delegates from other ethnic nationalities, particularly the Northern delegates who circulated a document full of fallacies few weeks ago. Those fallacies have now been exposed by the facts and figures contained in the publication we are unveiling today.”

“It appears Northern leaders are not concerned, and indeed have no plan for the teeming youth from the region, as long as they are able to continue clinging to their hold on power. However, we are never in doubt that regionalism is the most viable instrument for a stronger and united Nigeria.”

“We demand a parliamentary form of government at the center and the right to self determination on and up to the right to secede. We demand a just and equitable taxation system that will treat the federating units with equality and better coordination at the federal level in order to eliminate the current renter syndrome.

“We demand Fiscal Federalism and Resource Control: a system whereby a substantial part of the proceeds accruable from every federating unit will be retained and an agreed percentage contributed to the centre by the federating units for the responsibility of the Federal Government and the establishment of Regional Police,”

Afenifere also demanded a new people‘s constitution, saying that the resolutions and conclusions of the 2014 National Conference shall lead to an autonomous Constitution, that is a home-grown and all inclusive draft that shall be submitted to the Nigerian electorate voting in a Referendum.

The group went on to state that they are not enforcing their demands on/for other ethnic groups in Nigeria as each is free to explore whatever governance suits.