Afenifere, the pan Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, has told President Buhari and the National Assembly to as a matter of urgency, kickstart the process of restructuring the country as the only way of addressing some of the issues raised by the EndSARS protesters across the country, the Whistler reports.
The Afenifere leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, who said this in a statement on Monday stated that the group was not surprised by the continued agitation of the youths for an end to police brutality and bad governance He, however, warned the government against any attempt to use force to drive the youths protesting away from the streets.
The group hailed the resilience, organisation, and doggedness of the protesters to ensure that the country was reformed, saying Nigerian youths had always shown indignation against state irresponsibility at critical stages over decades.
The statement read, ” We have witnessed, over the years, the systematic savaging and plundering of our collective well-being in a mindless frenzy of corruption, bigotry, injustice and social decadence, perpetrated with disdain and impunity.
“The signs have been clear for some time, that we were approaching the tipping point. Events of the past few days will appear to suggest that the last straw is nigh.
“As proud forebears of the struggle for the emancipation of Nigeria from the clutches of oppression and injustice, we salute the courage and responsible initiative of the youths in peacefully pressing for justice and social reforms as encapsulated in the #ENDSARS protests.
“This is the culmination of a lifelong struggle by devoted patriots to bring about a new social and constitutional order in our polity, to institute new dawn of peace and progress embedded in social justice.
“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.”
Fasoranti said various political actors had advocated restructuring and a new constitution as ways of addressing the country’s problems but said those in government had refused to listen to them.
Decrying the fat remunerations of political office holders at the expense of poorly paid workers, the Afenifere leader called for reduction in the employments of elected and appointed officers, saying the fund which would be freed from such reduction would be used to fix problems in critical sectors.
“We call 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 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.
“We appeal to the protesters to avert a breakdown of law and order as we warn 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,” he added.
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