From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Elder statesman and Second Republic politician Tanko Yakasai has accused Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and the Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Olayiyemi II of instigating a Fulani-Yoruba political crisis with a view to undermining the presidential ambition of Bola Tinubu in the North.
Speaking to Daily Sun during an interview on the current Fulani-Yoruba crisis in the South-West, Yakasai stated that he could smell a grand conspiracy by some behind the scene actors in the South-West, who are using the governor and the respected traditional ruler to stir up the present crisis with a view of discounting the popularity of the former Lagos Governor in the North.
He observed that it is common knowledge in Nigeria that, ‘no southerner can become President without the support of the North and no Northerner can become President without the support of the South,’ adding that the plotters of the present crisis are hoping that by the current political conflagration, some people in the North would decline to support Tinubu when the time comes in 2023.
Yakasai further told Daily Sun that the outburst of the governor was suspicious given that he has direct access to the Presidency and to the Commissioner of Police in his state, adding that both Presidency and himself could have worked in private to tackle the problems, without playing to the public gallery in the way he had done.
‘The governor also has the opportunity to call on the attention of the Commissioner of police in the state and together, the two of them could find a solution to the problem,” he stated.
‘I would say the same thing of the Alaafin of Oyo, a very senior traditional ruler in the South-West, who resorted to writing a lengthy open letter to the President on the matter. He has direct access to the President and should have reached out in private and sanity would have been brought to the matter,’ he stated.
The elder statesman said that Governor Akeredolu, as a senior lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), already knows that collective punishment is against international law, adding that the quit notice by the governor equally against the provision of the 1999 Constitution.
Yakasai stated that his position should not be misinterpreted to mean support to any form of criminality, adding that, ‘I am not supporting any criminal, whether Fulani or of any other nationality or tribe in Nigeria, but simply stating the fact that the governor has other means by which he would have addressed the situation. without provocation an inter-regional crisis.’
On the provocative statement by Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association that the Fulani owe all the land in Nigeria, Yakasai said that the group ought not to have been taken seriously.
‘The comment by Miyetti Allah is not supported by fact, by history or by common sense. I think that when a statement like that, which you know is not supported by fact or by history, is made, serious-minded people should simply dismiss it.’