By Jude Atupulazi
Those who believed President Muhammadu Buhari four years ago, when at his swearing in ceremony, he promised Nigerians that he would both belong to everybody and to nobody, quickly found out how very wrong they were. Despite raising hopes that he would be the true father of the nation that everyone had been searching for, Buhari ended up in that first tenure as the most divisive, most sectional and most unfeeling president in the country’s recent history. It was a tenure that left a bloody, destructive trail across the country from the north to the south. In the North East, the Boko Haram killers were on the rampage. In the Middle Belt, the Fulani herdsmen were killing with ease; unchecked and being treated with kid gloves. Encouraged by what they were seeing from the Federal Government, they extended their terror to other parts of the country where they succeeded in sacking whole communities in some cases. It is instructive that to date, not one of the killers has been arrested, not to talk of being prosecuted, despite being globally acknowledged as the fourth most dangerous terrorist organization in the world.
While the herdsmen had been spilling blood for fun, the Buhari Government was going ignoring them and going after Biafra agitators whose only weapons are Biafra flags and other mementoes. The Buhari government proscribed their organization and promptly arrested and clamped into detention, any member seen in the streets.
Today again, after a dubious victory in the recent general elections, Buhari is once more telling Nigerians that all will be well. But the assurance had scarcely left his mouth when Nigerians were shocked with the news that the Federal Government was going to set up a radio station for the herdsmen to be funded with Nigeria’s money. Not only that, it is being rumored that a sun of N100b is to be set aside for …
Now, the Yoruba Nation has suddenly woken from its slumber owing to recent developments. All this while, it appeared as if it was only the Igbos that were worried. Indeed, the Igbo Nation had since lost faith in Buhari, culminating in their rejection of him during the last presidential poll. But the Yoruba Nation had before now, appeared to be aloof to the danger posed by Buhari’s Government. They had always voted Buhari anyway; both prior to his first tenure and his second.
It is believed, and rightly too, that if the Yoruba Nation had fully joined forces with the rest of Nigeria in rejecting Buhari, the Federal Government would have had a rethink as it appears it is only the Yoruba that they take seriously. But the Yoruba appeared to prefer the feudalists apparently because of their distrust of the Igbo.
The Yoruba are taken more seriously by the FG because they hold the economic power, while the North holds the political. The Igbo are left to grovel for leftovers from the Nigerian dining table.
However, the bullets which the Yoruba and others thought would only fall on the heads of the Igbo are now falling on everyone’s head. The kidnappers along the Kaduna/Abuja Highway make no distinction between Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo. The herdsmen care less about whether the Yoruba support their kinsman. They kill, rape and plunder their way in their believed mission to Islamize large swathes of the country. And now, the Yoruba have come awake and joined the rest of us in raising the alarm alerting their nation of what they call the looming genocide and islamization plot of Buhari’s people.
What will the latest about turn of the Yoruba mean in the attempt by the rest of the country to check the invading Fulani forces? Are the Yoruba merely talking to be heard?
I have decided to publish the news report below for you to read and perhaps form your own opinion. It was attributed to the National Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin.
BREAKING: We Must Stop Looming Genocide, Yorubas Should Defend Themselves against Fulanisation – Afenifere
The Pan Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere has called on the Federal Government to do something urgently to end the rising rate of insecurity in various parts of the country, especially in the Southwest Region.
The group said President Muhammadu Buhari should be proactive enough to order the arrest and prosecution of herdsmen and bandits alleged to have been in possession of unlicensed sophisticated weapons and perpetrating incessant kidnapping, killings and destruction of property nationwide.
Afenifere stated this in a communiqué issued after its monthly meeting held at the residence of its National Leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
The Yoruba group cautioned that the issue of herdsmen’s attacks on travellers, farmers and residents in the Southwest Region could lead to ethnic violence, if not checked.
Reading the communiqué, the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr Yinka odumakin, called on the government to immediately re-address its priorities in re-defining law and order that would protect all citizens in any part of the federation.
BELOW IS THE FULL TEXT OF THE COMMUNIQUÉ: WE MUST STOP THIS GENOCIDE
Being the communique of Afenifere General Assembly for May 2019; The General Assembly of Afenifere held today, 27th May 2019 at the Akure home of the Leader, Chief R.F Fasoranti. After exhaustive deliberations on the state of the nation, the following communique was adopted:
1 Genocide stalks Nigeria: Meeting reviewed the spate of wanton killings going on across Nigeria and being perpetrated largely by Fulani herdsmen/militia, the only group that are in possession of unlicensed sophisticated weapons in Nigeria today without fear of any consequence as they seem to have official backing, promotion and defence.
The killings targeted at non-Fulani groups across the country are willful and deliberate in pursuit of expansionist and conquest agenda.
And most unfortunately, the government in place has betrayed perceived complicity as we are not aware of any member of the group on trial for these monumental crimes even when Miyetti Allah has owned up to some of them.
Instead, the regime has treated them with kid gloves, making excuses for their crimes with our Information Ministry and Presidential media office being made to look like Boko Haram and Miyetti Allah media centre as they issue statements to defend these groups even when they are not defending themselves, with the presidency equating Miyetti Allah with Afenifere and Ohanaeze in order to confer legitimacy on them.
And of late is the insensitive and impunity-inspired decision of the FG to open a Fulani Radio for the herdsmen in violation of the Federal character spirit of our constitution.
Those who have studied events in Liberia, Somalia, Rwanda and Sudan would not miss the fact that this was how events started until full-scale civil wars broke out.
To avert this destructive scenario, we call on the Federal Government to immediately readdress its priorities in these matters and begin the process of running an inclusive country while re-defining law and order so that no citizen would take the life of another and not fear for consequences.
We equally call on the international community not to stand aloof as Nigeria drives to the edge of the precipice. There is a big burden for the global community if things get out of hand in Nigeria.
2. Yoruba land under serious Siege: Meeting also frowned at the activities of the Fulani marauders all over Yorubaland in the form of killings, kidnappings and rape of women. The situation has become much more frightening with the claim by a recently kidnapped Don at OAU, Ile-Ife; that he noticed that one of the policemen who stopped him at a checkpoint shortly before he was abducted made a call. He said the policeman is of the same ethnic stock with the Fulani herdsmen who kidnapped him thereafter. We want the police authorities to properly investigate this as it sends a worrying signal.
Meeting advised our people to activate their traditional and communal self-defence system in the face of these existential threats.
3. We commend Obasanjo and other patriots: The Assembly took note of the recent statements by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, crediting the wave of terror going on Nigeria by Boko Haram and Miyetti Allah in Nigeria to the Fulanization project in West Africa. We commend his boldness in speaking the truth, no matter how inconvenient it may be, which is the hallmark of a statesman.
We also acknowledge the forthrightness of the Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, Gen David Jemibewon, Col David Bamigboye, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) Middle Belt Forum and all other patriots who have backed Obasanjo’s statement.
Meeting equally endorsed the Yoruba Summit Group position on insecurity in Yorubaland.
Afenifere states unequivocally that it’s only those who don’t wish Nigeria well and agents of destruction that would dismiss all these patriots as raising a false flag.
National Publicity Secretary
Whatever we make of the above, I think it is time we, as Ndigbo, got down to making arrangements for any danger. What we have been seeing in the country so far is enough to warn us that something deadly is brewing and it will be very sad indeed if we are caught snoring when the bubble bursts. Our governors should forget their romance with Buhari and come together to forestall any ugly mishap so that what happened in 1966 will not happen again. as Ndigbo, got down to making arrangements for any danger. What we have been seeing in the country so far is enough to warn us that something deadly is brewing and it will be very sad indeed if we are caught snoring when the bubble bursts. Our governors should forget their romance with Buhari and come together to forestall any ugly mishap so that what happened in 1966 will not happen again.