Ondo: Presidency For Fulani Or For Safety
As much as I have tried to refrain from tribal politics, because, I believe that such is not healthy for a volatile society like ours, the recent statement issued by the Presidency against the Governor of Ondo State has forced me out of my hole, and, this time, it is important for me to extend solidarity to the Government and good people of Ondo State, not because I am of Yoruba descent, but, because, the Buhari-led government has shown many a time that their loyalty is tilted not to the good people of Nigeria but to the Fulanis who have turned themselves to blood-sucking vampires being aided by the Vagabond-In-Power and his acolytes sitting at the rocky heights.
It is no gainsaying that ever since the inauguration of Maj. Gen. Buhari (rtd.) as the President of the country, he has not been pretentious of his loyalty to his Fulani people which is against the Oath of Office he willingly swore to and he has been aiding the heinous crimes of these people against the good people of Nigeria despite the fact that they are not even original owners of any part of the country.
The recent statement issued by the Presidency against the Governor of Ondo State is most divisive and a deliberate attempt to plunge the country into a carnage, savage and barbaric unnecessary civil war which may possibly end the forced-Nigerian union. In utmost sincerity, the statement undermine and ridicule the essence of the Constitution which grants each State government the power to enforce policies towards promoting the well-being of the people and, it is also a recipe for war.
The directive which was given to Fulani herdsmen by the State government through the executive order proclaimed by the Governor is not out of place and, it is basically an attempt aimed at ensuring that the destruction of government properties most especially forest reserve is not encouraged all in the name of grazing. It is also an attempt to guarantee the safety of the people of the State most especially road users as major highways in the South-West States are being turned to grazing areas by Fulani herdsmen.
One would have expected the Federal Government to support the call which was made by the Governor of Ondo State, but, to my greatest disappointment, the Presidency issued a text to support the invasion of government land by Fulani herdsmen all in the name of grazing to the extent that the intention of the text was totally misconstrued by the Presidency. This, is most unfortunate and a testament to the fact that the country is at the edge of disaster.
With the press text which was issued by the Federal Government, it is not out of place to conclude that the Buhari-led government is making change from the old ways look difficult while making new ways rest on hypothesis of the unknown. And, if care is not taken, Nigeria may soon fall into the abyss of history.
By the letters of the Law, it is the State Governors that owns all the land in his territory (State) not to talk of the forest reserve of the State, and, one would have expected a reasonable government to come up with a policy to discourage the invasion of the reserve for any reason whatsoever. Also, the Governor is duty-bound by Law to protect lives and properties of the citizens and he can go to any length permissible by law to ensure that the security of the people is guaranteed which the Governor of Ondo State has done with the executive order that Fulani herdsmen should vacate the government reserve as against the narrative being shared by the Presidency that the Governor has ordered that Fulanis should vacate Ondo State. The misinterpretation of the proclamation of the Governor shows how low and mischievous this government has gone.
It was Chief Obafemi Awolowo who declared at the convocation ceremony of the then University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University in 1971 that "except the country urgently go back to agriculture, our country may soon be importing food to feed the population." Today, Fulani herdsmen have discouraged many people from engaging in agriculture with invasion and destruction of farmlands with their cows which has in many cases resulted to blood-lost. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has maintained a deafening silence as regards this which shows the level at which the lives of the citizens matters to this 'change' government.
For the record, the recent order which was issued by the State Governor is not out of place and the Presidency lacks the power to pocknose into how the affairs of a State is being governed. If the Fulani herdsmen feel cheated or uncomfortable with the recent proclamation of the Governor, it will be wise of them or their sympathetic Federal Government to approach the Law Court and challenge the legality of such.
On a final note, I want to appeal to the Ondo State Government to ensure that the proclamation is enforced to the latter not just to ensure prosperity in terms of agriculture but to ensure that the security of lives and properties of the people is guaranteed.
Kazeem Olalekan Israel (GANI) writes from Ibadan, Nigeria.