Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has expressed concern on the recent quit notices issued to Fulani herdsmen in Ondo and Oyo States, as well as the attack on a Fulani community in Oyo as a result of their failure to comply with the eviction notice.
Oriental News Nigeria reports that Ondo State, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had handed a 7-day ultimatum to herdsmen to either register their identities with the state government or vacate forests reserves in the state in response to rising issues of kidnapping and other crimes in the state.
Some Oyo residents led by activist, Sunday Igboho, had also ordered herdsmen in the Igangan area of the state to leave the community over alleged criminal activities being perpetrated by their kinsmen.
Saraki, warned that if nothing urgent was done to address the problem, the situation may further threaten the country’s fragile unity.
He said it was high time President Muhammadu Buhari provided leadership by giving every citizen a sense of belonging.
Saraki wrote in a Facebook post: “It is important for President Muhammadu Buhari to rally all interests and everybody at the leadership levels to a round table in order to discuss and find appropriate solutions. Let me reiterate my earlier suggestion that President Buhari should call all relevant politicians and stakeholders together – former heads of states, retired and serving security chiefs, present and former leaders of various arms of government, traditional rulers with relevant experience, experienced youth with the technological know-how to solve security problems and even international civil servants of Nigerian origin who can help. Everybody must be made to contribute ideas on how to save our country from insecurity, disunity, and invasion by criminals. Mr. President, please, call everybody together and provide the much-needed leadership to solve the problem. This is a period that requires all hands to be on deck. This is not the time to talk of APC or PDP. It is a time for all to work for Nigeria. This is a problem for all and should be solved by all.”
He said, “The deafening silence by key stakeholders, leaders and others who we think should speak out is worrisome,” adding that, “This silence is a dangerous tell-tale sign that things are wrong. This is not good for our country. We must all speak out and talk about the solution to this twin-problem of insecurity and threat to national unity.”
Saraki, also appealed to the current National Assembly leadership to assist the Buhari administration in arriving at long-lasting solutions to address insecurity in the country.
“I want to also make a passionate plea to my brothers, Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila, both of whom are experienced legislators, to provide the far-reaching legislative intervention that will help the executive arm in the search for peace. The situation is getting worse by the day. Insecurity has become the order of the day and it is fueling disunity and criminal activities,” he said.
Saraki noted that the problems that cause disagreements amongst the citizens were much fewer than those that unite them.
“Let me use my case as an example of why this country should continue to grow as one united and progressive entity. I am of Fulani origin and have a Yoruba mother. My father was a Muslim and my mother is Christian. Thus, I am affected on all sides by any inter-ethnic tension in this country. I am sure there are many Nigerians that are in a similar situation,” he said.
Saraki further advised politicians that may be nursing ambitions in the 2023 general elections to start thinking of ways to address the nation’s security challenges in the event that the current administration was unable to solve them.
“Let me also call on all politicians who are looking towards 2023 to take over power to start pondering on what type of Nigeria will they have to administer post-2023 if the current situation continues. It is better for all of us to join hands together NOW to quell the raging fire of disunity, insecurity, and work to mend fences. I know some politicians will not be able to contribute ideas if they are not called upon to do so by those who currently have governmental responsibility to do so. However, please don’t keep quiet when called upon. We must all intervene as patriots and forget our personal interests. For the sake of our forebears who handed over this country to us, we must work hard to make things better so that when we meet them, we will have a good account to give that we improved on what was handed over to us,” said the former senate president.