A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has knocked a former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, for criticising former President Olusegun Obasanjo on his belief that Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram are out to ‘Fulanise’ West Africa and Islamise Africa, respectively.
Obasanjo had, on Saturday, lamented the deadly activities of Boko Haram and herdsmen in the country, saying the challenges had grown beyond what Nigeria alone could tackle, following the groups’ collaboration with the Islamic State West African Province fighters.
He said, “It is no longer an issue of a lack of education and employment for our youths in Nigeria, which it began as; it is now West African ‘Fulanisation,’ African Islamisation and global organised crimes of human trafficking, money laundering, drug trafficking, gun trafficking, illegal mining and regime change.”
But Lamido, in a statement on Sunday, advised Obasanjo against transforming himself into a religious and ethnic bigot because of his disappointment with the current administration.
The ex-governor, who is Obasanjo’s political ally, called on the former President to withdraw the statement credited to him that herdsmen and Boko Haram had an agenda to ‘Fulanise’ West Africa and ‘Islamise’ Africa.
Lamido said, “If it were said at a non-religious venue to a non-religious audience, maybe it might have been more tolerable. Please, sir, don’t let your disappointment with sitting presidents turn you into a bigot. You must not abandon the national stage. The cracks along the various divides in our national cohesion are already turning into huge gorges.”
Fani-Kayode, in a counter statement, however, said Obasanjo had done more for the core North, including “Lamido’s Fulani tribe” than any other president.
According to the former minister, Obasanjo remains the only politically active southern or Middle Belt leader that understands what is really going on, the grave danger that Nigerians are in and what lies ahead.
He added, “I hear one or two people, like Sule Lamido, are not too happy with what Obasanjo said and have called him out for saying it. That is sad and unfortunate because Obasanjo has done more for the core North, Lamido’s Fulani tribe and Nigerian unity than any other former president or head of state in our history.
“He also fought in a civil war to keep the country together. For anybody from the core North to call him names for speaking the truth and baring his soul about what is unfolding in Nigeria today, it tells you how blinded by power, insensitive and callous some of these people are.
“It is only those that subscribe to the Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda that will criticise or oppose Obasanjo’s observation and describe him as a ‘bigot’ for making them.”
Fani-Kayode added that Obasanjo’s assertion confirmed the allegations by organisations including the Oodua People’s Congress, the Yoruba Liberation Command, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, the Middle Belt Forum, the Indigenous People of Biafra, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and the Christian Association of Nigeria.
He added, “What Obasanjo said was timely and necessary and millions are commending him for it. He spoke the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He is deeply courageous and his latest contribution that there is an agenda to ‘Fulanise’ West Africa and Islamise Africa says it all.”