Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has suspended two of its national officers for issuing an ‘unauthorised statement’ against Ohanaeze Ndigbo chieftain, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu.
The affected officers are the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Jare Ajayi and National Organising Secretary, Abagun Kole Omololu.
The organisation issued the directive in a communiqué released at the end of its monthly general meeting, on Tuesday.
The communiqué was signed by Ayo Adebanjo, Afenifere leader, and Sola Ebiseni, secretary-general.
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Recall that last Saturday, Chief Iwuanyanwu, chairman of the Council of Elders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, had said there was no fight between the Igbo and Yoruba people in the country.
He added that those destroying Igbo properties in Lagos were ‘political rascals’.
Chief Iwunayanwu had said, “And I want to tell those in Lagos to realise that there is no war between us and Yorubas. Yorubas are with us. There are just political rascals, and we’re going to handle them.”
However, Iwuanyanwu’s comment elicited harsh reactions on and off social media as some people claimed that the ‘political rascals’ comment was directed at the Yoruba people.
But while reacting to Chief Iwuanyanwu’s comment, Omololu, in a statement he released, on behalf of Afenifere, condemned the Ohanaeze leader, adding that the Yoruba socio-political group would reach out to Ohanaeze Ndigbo to seek clarification.
But another communiqué issued by the leadership of Afenifere distanced the group from the statement against Chief Iwuanyanwu, adding that analysis of the video taken during the meeting in Anambra showed that the Ohanaeze leader “condemned the shenanigans of some political rascals”.
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Afenifere’s latest statement read in part, “We condemn in the strongest terms, the campaigns of calumny and acts of ethnic violence deployed by some politicians and their hired criminal gangs in several parts of the federation during the gubernatorial election, particularly Lagos state where the election was made to appear like an inter-ethnic war between the Yoruba and Igbo which greatly led to voters’ suppression and other forms of deliberate disenfranchisement through brigandage,” the communiqué reads.
“We received a message credited to Chief Emmanuel Iwunayanwun in a viral video alleging indictment of the Yoruba as political rascals on account of ethnic violence deployed by politicians of the ruling party in Lagos State.
“On the analysis of the video and information at the disposal of Afenifere by people at the Anambra State gathering, we are convinced that Chief Iwunayanwu rightly asserted that the Yoruba and Igbo were not at war and truly condemned the shenanigans of some political rascals.
“Flowing from the above, Afenifere state that it never issued any statement and dissociate the organisation from any such statement against Chief Iwunayanwu.
“We observed the uncouth activities and unauthorised statements in its name and the constant denigration of the organisation, by Jare Ajayi, the National Publicity Secretary, and Abagun Kole Omololu, the National Organising Secretary.
“After due consideration of the unending embarrassing conduct of the two officers, the meeting resolved that they be and are hereby removed immediately from their respective offices and their membership be suspended sine die pending further decisions after their appearance before and recommendations by the disciplinary committee.”