The claim that the North occupies 80% of the country’s population has been rebuffed by the Afenifere pan-Yoruba group. The Group on Sunday told the ACF to stop spreading the claim following last week’s statement ACF that:“The selection process of delegates by President Jonathan’s government to the confab made the North, that has a population of 75,268,686 people (NPC 2006) with a land mass of 730,885 square km (80%) as a minority with 189 delegates while the South with a population 65,151,458 people (NPC 2006) with a land mass of 193,438 square km (20%) as a majority with 303 delegates.”
According to Afenifere it said ACF’s “fallacies have been laid to rest.”
In the statement issued by Mr. Yinka Odumakin the Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, stressed that; “All the over 600 resolutions taken at the conference were by consensus as delegates never had to vote once. The only issues that remained contentious were the percentages of increase in derivation, the minerals development fund and the disaster relief fund.
“The point of disagreement was when some Arewa delegates insisted that they would only agree to the five per cent increase in derivation and same for mineral resources development all over Nigeria on the condition that the five per cent earmarked for disaster intervention fund should be only for areas where Boko Haram are operating, while other delegates frowned on making Boko Haram a derivation item.The compromise struck was to refer the items to the president for a technical committee harmonisation.”
“Laced with the usual feudal arrogance, outright misinformation, atavistic obfuscation and delusory myopia” would have been ignored “were it not that falsehood repeated time and again may start to wear the garb of truth, Afenifere said.”
It said, “Let us from the outset make it clear that the unitary order, which the House of Arewa, has used to limit the flourishing of the component units of Nigeria for decades, has now entered a terminal crisis with shrinking receipt from oil and like a one-legged man dancing “skelewu”, will sure hit the ground even if he has all the stage to himself.
“And when the fall comes, ACF and co-travellers would wish we had done the needful. They should therefore perish the thought that Afenifere is cajoling them to allow a restructured Nigeria.”
Afenifere, noted in the statement, that it was amusing for the ACF to still be peddling the claim of controlling 80 per cent of Nigeria because it had thought the fallacies have been laid to rest in 2014 after some of their delegates had taunted their co-conferees from the South “with map of Nigeria drawn at the back of their babanriga showing the North as 80 per cent of Nigeria.”
Afenifere also said that during the national confab, delegates were unanimous that the figures of all the censuses held in Nigeria till date had not been credible due to hegemonic interferences with what should have just been an exercise to provide scientific data to aid planning and development.
It was also agreed that the natural boundaries of the North and the South are Rivers Niger and Benue “but the British drew artificial boundaries to favour the North and punish the South for agitating for independence.”
Afenifere also queried why the North would be using the issue of bigger land mass, which was allegedly cornered to its advantage, to harvest revenue from the central purse instead of cultivating it.
While noting that the delegates also resolved that if the higher population claim were true, Odumakin wondered “why would a man say his neighbours should not send their children to the best schools because they have to cater for his own children who are more than theirs?”“