Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere on Monday added its voice to the ongoing nationwide #EndSARS protests, saying restructuring remains the only solution to the current struggle.
It called for the devolution of more powers to states while asking the Executive and the National Assembly to reduce the cost of governance.
Afenifere hailed Nigerian youth whom it noted “have risen to say enough to the excesses of the Nigerian state symbolized by the crimes of SARS at this period in history.”
“This is not the time for long speeches. The message is clear: Let us now rescue Nigeria from imminent disintegration and destruction. Let us restructure our country into a fairer, more just and equitable polity now,” said Afenifere leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti in a statement.
The group said in order to enhance nationwide security, there was the need to create state police now.
“To enhance nationwide development and progress return control of resources to states now
“To ensure peaceful and harmonious co-existence devolve more power to the states now.
“To reduce corruption and cost of governance reduce the size of government now. Now is the time. Tomorrow may be too late,” Fasoranti added.
Afenifere bemoaned the plundering of the nation’s commonwealth “in a mindless frenzy of corruption, bigotry, injustice and social decadence, perpetrated with disdain and impunity, selfishly unmindful of dissipating our assets and wealth; without any compunction in leaving massive Infrastructural deficit and mounting indebtedness for the younger generation.”
According to it, the demands contained in the #EndSARS are all reasonable demands for good governance, better security for life and property and a stable economy.
It called on the President, the National and State Assembly and Governors “to heed to the patriotic demands of our youth and be willing to absorb the financial consequences by reducing their own salaries and expenses; as well as the costs of running the government.”
“The economic implications will boost employment, stimulate demand and pull our country out of depression. The government has to act now, tomorrow may be too late,” it said.
The group appealed to the protesters to avert a breakdown of law and order even as it warned the government “to avoid any precipitate action that can escalate the tense situation.”
“No amount of threats and unleashing of violence will get these young people off demanding a better deal.
It is not helpful blackmailing the protesters instead of looking into their demands and establishing a better livable polity.