A non-political, non-religious, socio-cultural think tank committed to ensuring the building of a strong and self-sustained Yoruba nation, the Yoruba Leadership and Peace Initiative (TYLPI), has condemned the worsening security situation in the country, urging President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to brace up and fulfil the most important duty of government, which is to ensure the welfare and security of the people.
A communique issued and signed by Arakunrin Olufemi Adefemiwa and Mr. Olusegun K. Ahmadu, General Secretary and President respectively, at the end of its expanded Management Committee meeting held at the Conference Hall of Lead City University, Ibadan, on Thursday, November 5, 2020, said the unrelenting activities of Boko Haram terrorists in the North East, insurgency in the North West, the heinous activities of murderous Fulani gangs and the rising incidence of kidnapping and other violent crimes across the country, pose a great disincentive to investment and development.
It therefore called on the government to take necessary steps to restore law and order in the country, noting that the most important duty of government is to ensure the welfare and security of the people.
The group also expressed satisfaction that the social upheaval that attended the recent #EndSARS protests by the youths has petered out, but expressed regret that the protests exploded into violence which resulted in the avoidable deaths of Nigerians and the wholesale destruction of private and public property.
“The main demands of the protesters were issues that concern the welfare of the generality of Nigerians, government must take urgent and non-cosmetic steps to address them.
“Government has expressed its willingness to enter into dialogue with the aggrieved youths and we want government to demonstrate good faith by refraining from measures such as the freezing of the bank accounts of identified leaders of the #EndSARS group and the imposition of travel bans on some of them so as to create a conducive atmosphere for meaningful and fruitful engagement.
“We equally called on the youths to accept the government’s invitation to dialogue as well as refrain from inflammatory statements and other acts that may hinder successful engagement,” TYLPI said.
The TYLPI Management Committee also noted that appointments into strategic national agencies have, since 2015, been skewed in favour of persons from a particular section of the country to the detriment of others.
It added that such lopsided appointments violate the letters and spirit of Chapter 2, Section 3 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and urged the Federal Government to act swiftly to redress the situation in order to give all Nigerians a sense of belonging.
The group said it is committed to the emergence of a strong, self-reliant, just and equitable Nigeria and urged the Federal Government to facilitate the process by ensuring the devolution of powers to the federating units before the 2023 general elections.
” Such step would enhance healthy competition among the units and create room for each of them to explore the areas of its comparative advantage to develop at its own pace.
” The 2014 National Constitutional Conference made wide ranging recommendations that would effectively address many of the social, political and economic issues slowing down the nation’s development, government must take practical steps to implement relevant sections of the report.
“The fallout from the general elections of 2015 and 2019 had underscored the urgent need for electoral reforms. The 8th National Assembly had passed the Electoral Bill which had sufficiently addressed such needs; both the National Assembly and the President need to expedite action towards the enactment of the law before the 2023 general elections,” it stated.
TYLPI said it would continue to engage with like-minded individuals and groups in all parts of the country in the continuing search for lasting solutions to the nation’s problems.
“There is urgent need to adopt a credible and evidence based approach to pursue redress of the federal character principle violations and would follow processes available under the extant laws to seek such redress.
” A new Electoral Act based substantially on the Uwais Report to be birthed and to re-orientate heads of security agencies and strategic institutions involved in electoral process and to insist on the implementation of the 2 volumes of Mallam Nasir El- Rufai’s committee’s report on federalism set up by the ruling All Progressives Congress, which aligned with the 2014 confab report,” it said.
The group further stated that reverting to the old 12-state federal structure may not be ideal, but it said despite its imperfections, South West would still fare better with the region retaining at least 2 states – Lagos and the defunct Western region, which it said should be encouraged to strengthen regional integration and cooperation to drive development.
“Strategically, TYLPI must engage with major sub-national groups in Nigeria including the North, some of whose members of intelligentsia have spoken in favour of restructuring.
“The commerce, real estate industry and the economy of the region had been taken over by non-indigenes, due to mindless complacency and indolence of the original people.
“Our people must be educated on what these developments entailed, how it affected them so they can consciously secure the fortune of the region and its legacies for posterity,” the communique added.
TYLPI said it will liaise with public and research institutions to turn their findings into policies for development in various sectors –social, economic, agriculture, technology, among others.