The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari for failing to make a strong ‘first impression’ following anxious agitation across the country on recent presidential appointments.
The pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group, in a statement signed by its publicity secretary, Kunle Famoriyo, said the appointments have created many confusing interpretations, instead of galvanising the country towards an expected course to rebuild Nigeria as charted in APC’s manifestoes.
“Our people have hope that the new administration would engender a genuine rapprochement between nationalities in Nigeria; but there are now growing perception, at least in the southern parts of the country, that the President might be slipping into the stereotypical Northern hegemonist he was labelled as the during the campaigns,” the statement said.
“ARG concluded that Nigeria was in deep crisis prior to the last election and that a new government was acutely required.
“Therefore this administration must stop what appears to be the frittering away of the goodwill invested in this administration and not treat our people with disdain; as they have not forgotten that exactly this kind of insensitivity marked the point of derail for the last administration.
“ARG notes also with concern and embarrassment that Yoruba political leaders and actors appear to be playing gods.
“The political stage seems to now be filled with actors that are appropriating victories of the last elections to their own prowess and therefore claiming positions as if sharing spoils of war. These acts are self-destructive, insensitive and must stop.
“The unheard but agitated voice on the street is that there is urgent need for unity amongst all Yoruba political leaders, which they henceforth must consciously work to sustain. It is therefore crucial for them to close ranks and work together if they must continue to earn their current recognition as leaders.
“President Buhari and APC leaders must also remember that the party is not just a political platform but a product of an ideological belief that aims to stabilise Nigeria and bring it to its full potential by nurturing the kind of union that produced the party.
“Therefore, the party has a responsibility to all Nigerians, as custodian of that ideology, by ensuring that every policies and decisions of the federal government – including appointments to public offices – are done to promote development across all spectrum.
“While we call for the continued support of our people for Buhari’s administration, we also want to remind Mr President that Yoruba people have never been a cannon fodder and will resist any such treatment.
“ARG demands therefore a reassuring response from the presidency, especially in subsequent presidential appointments and decisions, because if this scenario continues to play out, it will be difficult to retain the trust and expectation that drove what eventually brought to reality the current coalesced federal government.”