Days after former President Olusegun Obasanjo accused President Buhari of having cold feet to tackle the killings and kidnaps allegedly carried out by Fulani herdsmen in some parts of the country, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) have said the the open letter was meant to heat up the polity.
ACF’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim, addressed a press conference after the group’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Kaduna State, and according to him, the former President has no moral standing to make any demand from any government. ACF further demanded an apology from Obasanjo over his letter, which they said stereotyped the Fulanis as criminals because a Fulani man is the President.
The statement read “ACF appreciates the freedom of expression and the right to hold opinion on all issues as guaranteed by our constitution by individuals or groups as long as it’s within the confines of the law.
“The Forum therefore believed that Chief Obasanjo used this privilege to raise the issues which mostly borders on insecurity in his latest letter.
“It must however be noted that the issues are not new to Nigerians as he had raised them in his previous open letters to the President, so also other Nigerians in different fora.
“All the same, in exercising our right to comment on the letter, it is our candid opinion that Chief Obasanjo, being a former President and an elder statesman who has unfettered access to the President, should use a better and most civilized way of communicating his views to a sitting president rather than going public to create unnecessary scene and try to bring down the roof.
It noted that Obasanjo has turned himself into “Cassandra-in-chief for Nigeria, always proclaiming doomsday, predicting upheaval and bloodbath, which to say the least has diminished his acclaimed status as a patriot and nationalist.
“As far as the ACF and indeed the North is concerned, Chief Obasanjo lacks the moral standing to make any damning statements against any government considering his antecedents while at the helm of affairs as President.
“His statements and comments on national issues are neither driven by altruism nor by patriotism, but sheer self aggrandizement.What, we must ask, motivates Chief Obasanjo’s current divisive activities?
“His recent outburst on ‘Islamization’, Fulanization’, and ‘Northernization’ are clearly calculated at causing division and acrimony along religious, ethnic and regional lines, which is most unfortunate.
“The former President knows more than any other Nigerian that there is no such thing as Islamization or Fulanization in the North’s agenda. Enemies of the North chose to propagate such negative narratives only with the view to causing disharmony among undiscerning Nigerians.
“Unfortunately many, including the highly educated and politically sophisticated elites have unwittingly fallen into the trap of believing in Obasanjo and his ilk.
“We find the assertion that every crime committed in, especially the southern part of the country, as being committed by Fulani herdsmen, irresponsible and deliberately aimed at achieving some certain diabolical objectives.
“The narration that every criminal, armed robbers and kidnappers are Fulani herdsmen because a Fulani man is at helm of affairs is a dangerous precedent which has to stop.
“Criminals must be regarded as criminals without giving them any ethnic, religious or regional coloration. ACF therefore calls on groups and individuals who engage in such narratives to rise above such pettiness.
“We must realize that insurgency, banditry, kidnappings and armed robbery are our common enemies. We must join hands in finding a lasting solution to the menace.”