Elder statesman, and Yoruba leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife and former President of Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof Kimse Okoko, have carpeted the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, Prof Ango Abdullahi, for alleging in an interview published in today’s Saturday Sun, that the herdsmen issue in the Middle Belt was politically driven, and a plot by the South to split the age long monolithic North.
Reacting to this statement, the Southern leaders unanimously condemned Prof Abdullahi, the former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, describing his remarks as ‘reckless statement’ from a man who should help in nation building.
Chief Adebanjo said the best thing to do was to ignore Prof Abdullahi.
He asked rhetorically: “So, it was the plot by the south to make cattle to invade classrooms in the south; so, it was the plot of the south that made the herdsmen to raze houses in the south; so, it was the plot of the south that made the herdsmen to kidnap Chief Olu Falae and also destroy his farm; so it was the plot by the south for the herdsmen to kill people in Adamawa, Kwara, Enugu, Port Harcourt, etc?
“I believe Ango Abdullahi should talk more as a professor, and even as a former vice chancellor for that matter. I have known him for long, and for him to make that statement, I believe he should be ignored. What he has said doesn’t make any sense in view of the activities of the herdsmen.
“ That doesn’t solve of the problem of the country. He is one of those that we thought would be more reasonable to make reasonable suggestions to the problems of the country. I think the best thing to do is just to ignore him.”
In the same vein, Dr. Ezeife, said it was unfortunate that people took politics as lies, which must be upheld, adding: “otherwise what does Ango Abdullahi mean that killing people is a conspiracy by the south to split the north. I’m sure he knows what he is doing. In Ghana, the president, after giving order on what to do with the herdsmen, added that this is not in Nigeria.
During my interview in AIT, I appealed to Miyetti Allah and these other people who control the security, by telling them to retract and find a way to play down the statement they issued, where they declared war on Nigeria. There is nothing new from what Ango has said. Is it not obvious that somebody is trying to deceive the people? I’m sympathetic because, what the Fulani is doing to themselves is not good, and they are making themselves very unpopular; uniting the rest of the country against themselves, that is not what they should be doing at all.
“There is still time for them to make amend; it is not in the interest of the Fulani, it is not in the interest of any part of Nigeria. We can be together and achieve monumental growth that will make us a super power, but not with this kind of lies Ango is brandishing. Ango has a very good idea, when he said that the North was ready to disintegrate from Nigeria, he also pointed out that the only way out was to go back to agreed system before the 1966 coup.”
Also, Prof Okoko, said that, “Ango is one the remnants of the feudal oligarchy, while one is trying to conform to reality, he comes up with this weird statement. He does it to confuse people who are not discernible enough to see through his script.
“Truly, anybody who says the havoc being committed by herdsmen in this country is a hoax by southerners must be living in his own world. It is a ridiculous statement, it is a mischievous statement, and as far as I’m concerned, the herdsmen must be classified also, as terrorists in this country. They are the worst terrorists we have so far in this country.
“Ango can continue to delude himself by thinking that he can convince any right thinking man with this kind of frivolous statement. He has to be told in clear terms that herdsmen are the genuine terrorists, killing, maiming, raping innocent citizens in many parts of this country, and it is sad that the Federal Government up till now has not taken any action against them.
“Those who are suffering from the ravages of the herdsmen in the Middle Belt could not buy that and cannot buy that, so let him continue to delude himself. So, those herdsmen who went to kill people and burn Falae’s farm were instigated by people from the Southwest? How ridiculous can one be? I keep saying it that Ango is one of the remnants of the feudal oligarchy in this country that thinks they would continue to lord it over the rest of the country, it is impossible and they can’t do it any more.”