November 20, 2014 – The Afenifere Renewal Group has expressed concern that national interest and Rule of Law were sacrificed to massage clannish chauvinism in the proposed commissioning of $16bn Export Processing Zone in Ogidigben, Delta State.
The group, in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Kunle Famoriyo, said it sounds quite ridiculous that Mr. President bowed to threats from an ethnic group and consequently withdrew from performing an official function, which he publicly declared he would do.
By this act, the statement said, the presidency is telling the entire country that the Gbaramotu warlord can override presidential declarations.
“This is unsettling because it openly endorses militancy as the preferred language of socio-political engagement, instead of the Rule of Law and established democratic structures, like the Boundary Commissions and Courts of Law, through which the grievance(s) of any individual or groups could be peaceably resolved,” the statement said.
“Rather than condemn the extrajudicial means employed by the Gbaramotu group, it is disheartening that the presidency actually condoned it. What has this warlord done to merit this special protection that is not guaranteed by the country’s Constitution? This preferential treatment reminds us of Mr President’s quickness in absolving MEND of complicity in the October 1, 2010 bombing, even when the organisation has claimed responsibility for it.”
“Mr. President, such condoning act has grave implications for national security, an example of which is the temerity to kidnap of 14 journalists, in a country where there is constitutional law and order.”
“ARG advises Mr. President to reassure the entire country of his impartiality and readiness to uphold the Rule of Law by performing the commissioning ceremony without any further delay and ensuring justice is served as appropriate.”
“ARG advises its kith and kin in Itsekiri land, in the spirit of peaceful coexistence that Yoruba nation is known for, to desist from engaging in provocative acts and protests since there are legal ways of resolving the complaints.”