The former Aviation Minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, has berated the late response of Southwest governors on the call by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) that Fulani herdsmen should return to their region for security reasons.
Southwest region consists of governors from Osun, Ogun, Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo, and Oyo.
NEF had added another twist to the seemingly turbulent polity when it directed herdsmen resident in the Southern part of Nigeria to return to the North if their safety and property are threatened.
A few hours after NEF’s directive, President Muhammadu Buhari issued a statement warning the group to desist from making an inflammatory statement that could divide the country.
He said: “No one has the right to ask anyone or group to depart from any part of the country, whether North, South, East or West.”
A statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, stated: “The polarising role of the Northern Elders Forum and all those other groups dabbling into issues of security to score cheap political points has for long been a sore point in Nigeria’s body polity.
“They should not be allowed to mislead anyone, least of all the Fulani herders. “The Buhari administration is fully devoted to finding a lasting solution to the herder-farmer clashes in different parts of Nigeria – one that would be acceptable to all the parties involved.”
The statement was issued on July 18, 2019 and a day after, the South-West Governors Forum made a similar statement.
The governors had called on Fulani nationalities living in the Southwest region to disregard calls by the NEF.
But reacting to the statement issued by the chairman of the forum and Governor of Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, Mr. Fani-Kayode described the statement as ” meaningless and nonsensical.”
He said they ought to have issued their own statement immediately without waiting for what President Buhari would say.
The SW Governors response to the call for the Fulani terrorists to leave the SW was weak, cowardly, meaningless and nonsensical. They could not even muster the courage to talk until after Buhari had spoken. Someone pl ask them: are u with the Yoruba people or with Fulani Buhari?
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) July 19, 2019
“The SW Governors response to the call for the Fulani terrorists to leave the SW was weak, cowardly, meaningless and nonsensical.
“They could not even muster the courage to talk until after Buhari had spoken. Someone people ask them: are you with the Yoruba people or with Fulani Buhari? he asked.
“You have never had any credibility, and your latest penchant for stoking war is in line with your lack of values historically. You are always up for the highest bidder and an example of who we youths should never look up to. Youths are wiser and aware and say NO to your HATE,” Tundun Sofoluke tweeted.
Another Twitter user said the Southwest governors are in support of Buhari because of 2023 presidential ambition of the region.
“They are with Fulani ppl because of 2023 , why are you lamenting when you know the obvious reason,” Okeke Stephen said.