Many people in and outside Ondo State are watching with keen interest Governor Akeredolu’s well-considered action to stem the onslaught of kidnappings and robberies, which all Nigerians of every ethnic background have been suffering in Ondo State in the past few months. His Excellency’s most recent step was the widely acclaimed ultimatum of 18-Jan-2021 for all herders to quit the state-owned forest reserves within 7 days.
Nowhere did Governor Akeredolu single out Fulani-Nigerians or any other Nigerian ethnic group that are living in our peace-loving State and who abide by our laws, greatly respect the predominant culture of our state and even inter-marry and raise their children amongst us
Indeed, it is of special interest to note that the activities of these bandits in Ondo State, especially in the past few months, have affected Nigerians of all ethnic backgrounds. This includes non-Yoruba travellers transiting Ondo State, genuine herders, and farm workers in our rural areas all of whom have lost loved ones, livelihood, and fortunes to these bandits.
It was thus depressing to read Alhaji Garba Shehu’s widely published statement in which he joins issues with Governor Akeredolu over his statement and doing so ONLY on behalf of Fulani-Nigerians. Were Alhaji Garba speaking as the Dutse indigene that he is, most of us would ignore his comment as his personal, albeit anti-Yoruba opinion. That is his right as a private citizen.
But he claims to be speaking as the appointed spokesman of our Nigerian president. As such many of us Nigerian nationalists are highly offended by this crude attempt to incite ethnic division between Yoruba and Fulani, whose generations of friendship remain the cornerstone of the unity of this nation.
Alhaji Garba is simply a belated beneficiary of years of hard work to forge greater understanding amongst our different ethnic groups and to thereby make Nigeria great again. Whether he likes it or not, President Buhari despite his Fulani and Moslem status belongs to all of us Nigerians. His military antecedence ending in his rank of Nigerian (not Fulani) retired General, and international law gives him no alternative.
We nevertheless remain vigilant that his appointees like Alhaji Garba Shehu do not misuse their transient public office to cast the presidency in the cloak of ethnicity
As for Governor Akeredolu, I beg Aketi, carry go. Let the Nigerian courts and God judge if your actions are within the constitution and let the ballot box decide if your actions are popular or not. As for our numerous non-Yoruba settlers and visitors in our Sunshine State, rest assured that you will always be welcomed as long as you obey the laws of the land and respect your hosts
Join our WhatsApp Group to receive news and other valuable information alerts on WhatsApp.