By Uche Mbah
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s exposition that the Muhammadu Buhari administration is carrying out Fulani backed Islamization agenda has generated much controversies-and bad blood-among ethnic nationalities, to the extent that Obasanjo was reported to have suggested a joint meeting of Southern leaders to prepare themselves for the inevitable.
Obasanjo, in an address in a Church in Abuja, had called on concerted global efforts against terrorism and other organized crimes, while at the same time raising an alarm that there is a grand plot by some elements in Nigeria to foist an Islamic Agenda championed by the Fulanis on Nigeria. He flatly dismissed illiteracy as reason for the explosion of Boko Haram activities.
Obasanjo was a one time military head of state and has ruled Nigeria for eight years under civilian dispensation. A member of the international eminent persons group, he has enough international and diplomatic clouts to know what is happening at the security and political market place.
“It is no longer an issue of lack of education and lack of employment for our youths in Nigeria which it began as”, Obasanjo had said. “It is now West African Fulanization, African Islamization and global organized crimes of human trafficking, money laundering, drug trafficking, gun trafficking, illegal mining and regime change”.
He accused the Buhari government of treating the issue with kid gloves, and suggested an action plan-including consultations of all stakeholders-as the beginning of a solution.
The Federal Government, through the Minister of information, reacted to the allegations. But their reactions, rather than objectively looking at the issues raised, sought to diminish the retired General.
“(His) indiscreet, deeply offensive and patently divisive comments are far below the status of an elder statesman” Mohamed had said. ”It is particularly tragic that a man who fought to keep Nigeria one is the same one seeking to exploit the country’s fault lines to divide it in the twilight of his life”.
Since that statement, Obasanjo has been under crossfire from different Northern groups, which some critics insist are sponsored by the presidency. But there appears to be no concrete evidence to prove that. Although there were reactions from the south east and south south, prominent Yoruba men have lent their support to Obasanjo’s position. In fact, a group that calls themselves Yoruba Council of Youths worldwide have given the Fulani quit notice to leave the south west .
In a release signed by Aremo (Barr) Oladotun.Hassan, Founder and President, Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide (YCYW), the group said they have given a seven day notice for “all Fulani herdsmen/boko haram to stay off all our territories, towns, villages and highways in all southwest states predicated on the launched mass movement tagged: ‘Operation Sweep Clean (Folumo)’ forthwith. Failure to comply with this final warning shall leave us with no other option than to forcefully clean up and root out all Fulani herdsmen/boko haram terrorists in all hidden creeks and forests in the south west geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The 7 days final quit notice will lapse on the night of Thursday 30th May, 2019 accordingly”, they said.
It will be recalled that a Niger Delta Militant group has given June 1 as the day they will declare Niger delta republic.
This magazine was told that Obasanjo has been making frantic efforts to mobilize southern leaders to work together for their mutual benefits. “South west and south south are ill prepared for the islamization. Only South east is partially prepared”, he was reported to have said.
Western leaders of thought, like, for example, Professor Wole Soyinka, have lent their weight to Obasanjo. But the All Progressives Congress leader, Bola Tinubu, has been silent on the issue. Tinubu is said to be eying the presidency in 2023, and may not want to upset the apple cart.