Afenifere Renewal Group is worried at the spate of political violence sweeping through the South-West States which have created a regional palpitation in the last few weeks.

The orgy of violence has produced killings, assassination attempts and maiming especially in Ekiti, Ogun and Osun States.

Smarting from the assassination of Kehinde Fasuba which is mired in political suspicion, three lawmakers in Ekiti State have complained of attacks by gunmen in the last few days. They are Mr. David Taiwo representing Ado Ekiti Constituency I, Mr. Abiola Olowokere representing Ekiti South-West Constituency II, and Hon. Funminiyi Afuye, the AC leader in the House.

And only on Sunday, the Ado-Ekiti home of the Managing Editor of The News, Mr. Babafemi Ojudu was set ablaze by suspected arsonists.

In Osun State, there have been series of politically motivated killings and violence in recent time. The most pronounced was the killing of seven PDP members on their way to a reconciliation meeting in Okuku. Another sore point was the burning of over 20 vehicles in the premises of Ife South Local Government headquarters when supporters of Governor Oyinlola and Senator Iyiola Omisore clashed there recently.

Down to Ogun State, lives and property have been wantonly destroyed in recent times which have their links to political activities. On December 31, three PDP members lost their lives and 10 were injured when violence broke out at the party secretariat over attempt to probe the chairman of Ijebu North Local Government. Many prominent sons and daughters of the State have raised alarm of threats and assassination attempts in recent time.

It is quite discomforting that the struggle to hold on to power at all cost has degenerated to this barbaric level in Yorubaland. A region known for political sophistication and where political disagreements are fought with ideas has all of a sudden turned into a wild jungle where all kinds of beasts freely display their cruelty.

This is an unflattering legacy of the Chief priest of ‘do or die” politics, General Olusegun Obasanjo who elevated gangsters and violent men to positions of responsibility in Yorubaland in his Machiavellian design to bring the Yoruba nation down to his level of politicking.

We are seriously disturbed that if well over two years to the next elections, things have reached this dangerous turn, what are we to expect when we approach 2011.

ARG therefore calls on all security agencies to swing into action and fish out all those behind these serial attacks no matter who they may be. This becomes imperative as the failure to bring anybody to justice over past killings including the former Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige, must have emboldened these merchants of death to ply their skill with reckless impunity.

We equally appeal to our people to ceaselessly pray to God who sees the activities of all (wo)men to expose the brains behind these gruesome acts of killings and assassination attempts.

Finally, we call on all forces of change not to be cowed by these agents of terror and intimidation. The clamour for responsible governance, value-driven politics and integrity based leadership flowing from the free choice of the people must continue unabated knowing that this phase too shall come to pass.

It could be depressing that our people are now going through a worse affliction than what we fought against under Abacha, and being supervised by forces within, the salvation lies in not surrendering to fear knowing for sure that evil will ultimately bow before good.

‘Yinka Odumakin

National Publicity Secretary

Afenifere Renewal Group

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