Kano Guber: Afenifere urges caution as Yoruba community alleges planned attack

he recent alarm raised by the Yoruba community in Kano State is eliciting reactions.

There were claims by the Yoruba residing in some parts of Kano State that they could be targets of possible attacks following the recent judgement of the Appeal Court, sacking Governor Abba Yusuf.

It could be recalled that the Appeal Court, on September 17, nullified the election of Governor Yusuf, who contested the March 18 gubernatorial election under the platform of the New Nigerian People’s Party, NNPP.

The appellate court had in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of justices, held that Governor Yusuf was not a valid candidate in the gubernatorial polls. Some of his votes were also voided.

The court maintained that evidence that was adduced by the parties established that Governor Yusuf was not a member of the NNPP, at the time the election was held.

According to the court, Yusuf, under section 177(c) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, was not qualified to contest the governorship election since he was not validly sponsored by the NNPP.

After that, the court declared Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress, APC, winner of the election.

The Appeal Court verdict stimulated anger across the country as a section of Nigerians accused the ruling APC of influencing the court’s decision.

The anger among supporters of the governor and other opposition parties degenerated into a protest in the ancient city despite warnings by security agencies.

Some indigenes have also been accused of threatening to attack persons of Yoruba extraction residing in the state, alleging that their ‘kinsman’ President Bola Tinubu is imposing leadership on them.

The Yoruba community alleged that there was a move by some indigenous residents to attack them.

Speaking under a group called Concerned Yoruba Community in Kano, they called on Yoruba leaders and other well-meaning citizens in the country to wade into the matter.

The group headed by Taofeek Olalekan Olaosebikan, at a special Press Conference, alleged that the situation was endangering their lives in Kano.

“Kano is a very volatile state politically, which is why all men and women of goodwill should be concerned about the situation in Kano and rally around a collective initiative to save the state from any calamity which will affect us and our livelihood.

“In this regard, we are using this platform to call on all Yoruba Obas and leaders to wade into the Kano situation without further delay by engaging President Bola Ahmad Tinubu for a possible political settlement of the Kano logjam.

“Kano must not be allowed to erupt into such preventable chaos as it happened in the past.

“Of course, many enlightened minds believe very strongly that what we are witnessing in Kano today has a strong relationship with political elite’s interference in the political result and mandate so obviously given to Abba Kabir Yusuf by the citizens of the state” the group stated.

Similarly, a Yoruba trader in Kano, Mr Matthew Adebayo, told DAILY POST on Saturday that some indigenes are allegedly “threatening us that Yoruba people have removed the person they elected and that they will deal with us.

“This is so bad that wherever you see people gathered, especially supporters of the NNPP, they are talking about how Yoruba people came to change what they fought hard to get.

“Some of them don’t even patronise us anymore. When they come to your shop to buy something, immediately they realise that you are a Yoruba person, they move to another shop.

“Most of us are not into politics; we are here to make a living, so it is very wrong for some people to pour their anger on us. We have been living in peace with everyone here”, he said.

But Seyi Oluronsola, Chairman of Yoruba Cultural Group, a group believed to have been formed by Yoruba APC members, told DAILY POST on Saturday that the allegations were plots by the NNPP and its supporters to blackmail the president.

He said, “Of course, there are side talks generated by the indigenes, especially from the top hierarchy of the NNPP themselves.

“They are doing everything possible to counter what the judiciary has done. This is Kano today, and everybody is moving about doing their business.

“Some Yorubas are APC, PDP, NNPP and even Labour Party members, just like you see elsewhere. All these things are just political propaganda. They just want to blackmail the president.

“I am a former councillor, and as far as I am concerned, I represent the entire Yoruba community here”.

However, when contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, the pan Yoruba socio-political and cultural organisation, Comrade Jare Ajayi, said that “it’s for people who suspect that danger is looming to cry for help.

“Thus, the Yoruba community in Kano, or any other group for that matter, is not doing anything wrong in calling for help when they see danger coming or feel threatened”.

He was, however, quick to caution against anything that could border on encouraging any arm of government, particularly the executive, to interfere with the judicial process.

“Also, it does not augur well to insinuate that the executive arm or the Presidency is directing the courts or electoral tribunals to determine electoral cases in a particular way.

“Going by various electoral cases that have been determined so far, it is clear that all the major political parties have gained and lost at multiple levels.

“Incidentally, the laws of the land make it possible for those who are dissatisfied with the verdict of a particular court to move to the next level in the form of an appeal. This is the norm in the civilised climes to which Nigeria also belongs.

“In the case of Kano, it is important that security agencies should step in to ensure that all Nigerians in that state are protected – without regard to their tribe, gender, language or religious faiths.

“Incidentally, the aggrieved party, the NNPP, has filed an appeal. It is important to pursue that line of action”.

He called on the Kano State Governor and security agencies to ensure the safety of residents’ lives and properties.

“We in Afenifere appeal to the government of Kano State and security agencies, particularly the police, to ensure that no harm comes to any resident in that state no matter their tribe.

“Every Nigerian is entitled to protection, especially law-abiding citizens,” he said.

Ajayi reminded politicians that members of respective tribes live in various parts of the country.

“As such, no harm should be done to those living in a particular area so as not to provoke a reprisal in another part of the country.

“It is important for us to toe the line provided by law to seek redress when we feel aggrieved.

“It is important to seek the path of peace and live harmoniously with one another,” the Afenifere spokesman advised.

Daily Post

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