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The spokesperson for Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, believes lack of federalism in the country is one of the major factors that triggered the recent protest by youths against harassment by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) – a unit of the police that has been disbanded.
The Yoruba socio-cultural organisation – Afenifere spokesperson, said this on Thursday while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
He said, “What SARS does is mostly profiling – you are wearing earrings, this is how you are cutting your hair, you are a yahoo boy; all those profiling are for youths from a particular section of the country and in that context, it is the lack of federalism.”
Though he admitted that some youths were engaging in fraudulent activities, yet he insisted that there were several others who were successful entrepreneurs but were victims of SARS because of their appearance.
He explained that the #EndSARS protest enjoyed the participation of many young Nigerians in the South than those who took part in the North because they were the most victims.
The Afenifere spokesman also faulted the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for being quick to fine Channels Television and some media outfits for their coverage of the protest, whereas the government has yet to confirm if anyone was killed in the Lekking shooting on October 20.
“The whole #EndSARS thing, like we said, is a reflection of so many things. If northern youths are not participating in this #EndSARS protest, they are not mostly the victims of SARS.
“We saw the footage, even some of the television stations that have the audacity to use the footage have been fined, but nobody has declared that they killed people,” he said.
He also faulted the recent meeting by northern leaders on the recent events and accused the government at the centre of being biased.
“it is clear that the nation lacks leadership that understands what the citizens want,” Odumakin said.
He argued that the country would be returning to the era of the protectorates should the southern leaders hold a similar meeting, especially at a time when everyone must stay united.
He, therefore, proposed a national consultation that would involve all segments of the country to tackle the various challenges in the country.
“We have said it for five years that this government is behaving as if they are on a conquest agenda.
“We have always believed that we should not take Nigeria back to the 1953 era … it is so clear that today, the government that we have does not pretend that it is a northern government,” Odumakin concluded.