Should Afenifere support agitation for Oduduwa Republic, that’s Nigeria’s end –Abagun Omololu, Afenifere National Organising Secretary

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. There are many Sunday Igbohos ready to defend Yorubaland

One of the issues on the front burner in the polity right now is insecurity. In the past five years, what is your assessment of the performance of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), in tackling crimes like kidnapping and banditry?

When you want to rule a nation and you get yourself prepared; you’re passionate and all you want to do is to make a name for yourself, obviously, there will be a difference in what you do. The primary purpose is to serve. We had an example in [the late] Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He went all out to make a difference in everything that he did. But it is so apparent now that the motive of [Major] General Muhammadu Buhari of coming to power is not to serve Nigeria, but to serve his Fulani ethnic group across the West and East Africa. They are nomads; they don’t have permanent places of abode. He doesn’t love Nigeria; he doesn’t believe in Nigeria. It’s showing. He came to serve the interest of his people. He’s building a railway line to connect Nigeria and Niger. All along, it’s been anger, poverty and anguish for a nation that is considered as the number one Black nation on earth, where the hope of all the Blacks is. We have never seen what is happening before. Even during the civil war, it wasn’t as bad as it is right now in Nigeria. Buhari’s people have taken advantage of his rule, raping and maiming people, destroying people’s homes, seizing lands, and spilling blood everywhere. Yet, there is no prosecution. His people are carrying AK-47s around. The questions to be asked are: Why is this happening? Does the President really love us? Do his people really love us? This is the summary of what has been happening since 2015. Things are really bad!

The past service chiefs were deemed to have performed below par in tackling insecurity. There are those who believe they could not have done better due to the President’s body language. Do you share similar views?

When there is a political will, a lot of things can be done. A military ruler once said if an insurrection lasted more than three days, there was a hand of government in it. Look at it this way: When our troops go outside the country to serve, they always come back with laurels. They serve exceptionally anywhere they find themselves across the world. If they can do that outside, how come they are not able to do that here? That is to confirm that ‘yes, some people are behind these evil deeds.’ Anyway, there is a rumour that all that we are witnessing is a script. Do you remember that Dr Obadiah Mailafia once made some revelations that got him arrested by the DSS [Department of State Services]? You see, all that is happening is a script to achieve an agenda. But their agenda can never be achieved! Nigeria is too complicated for any ethnic group to take over. How can a group of seven million people take over a population of 200 million? Do they think they can change the demography of the country? It’s not possible in Nigeria. And this time round, we have to advise some northern leaders not to start sending wrong signals about what is happening. Look at what is happening in the South-West. This is one of the safest places in Africa where anyone could come, do business and be blessed. But these Fulani criminal herdsmen want to import insecurity to the region. The security agencies are overwhelmed, and people are now resorting to self-help. This self-help is targeted at criminal herdsmen alone, but some northern leaders are saying some Nigerians are displacing other Nigerians. No. It is the only criminal herdsmen that are being chased away. Some people are calling for civil war, but I don’t believe there will be any. Yes, there is a rumour that the President is considering sending the army to the South-West because of what is happening in one tiny corner of the South-West. Does he think the soldiers, some of whom are Tiv, Yoruba and Igbo, will come here and be killing their own people? They better think twice. Gone are the days when the North used the Middle Belt to fight wars; the Middle Belt has since woken up. They know there is no more ‘one North.’ There are Southern Kaduna, Middle Belt and other groups who have seen that the North had been using them to achieve its own aim. This is why we should be careful. We can’t continue this way.

Due to the state of insecurity, we have seen a number of non-state actors assuming the role of government in providing security to their people. Should we be bothered?

Why should we not be bothered? It’s dangerous, but what can we do? There is an adage that says when you drive a goat to the wall, the goat will face you and fight back. This is what is happening, and I assure you, with the little I know about preparedness, we will secure the Yoruba nation. If today, six million able-bodies Yoruba youths come out to defend the Oduduwa nation, we will defend our land. This is not a war. It’s about defending our land. People are talking about Sunday Adeyemo, alias Igboho. But I tell you, there are hundreds of Sunday that people like us know. Look at the number of able and highly ready men under the Are Ona Kakanfo. They are ready to defend the Yoruba nation. So Nigeria as a nation should not believe we are all conquered. If temporarily you are occupying our bushes and we are allowing the law to take its course, when the law is weak and there is an absence of moral and political leadership, and you bring your cows to eat our crops, what do you think will happen? People will resort to self-help and fight to survive. It is rather unfortunate that the moral leadership in Aso Rock is dead. That we have a President in Abuja not bothered about what is happening is extremely frightening. As Prof Wole Soyinka said, we are here not just to live, but to live in dignity. What God and people like Awolowo planned for us is to live in dignity – not for a set of people to come from nowhere and attack our dignity and values. It’s unacceptable.

Chief Sunday Adeyemo (aka Igboho) is perhaps the most popular man right now driving alleged criminal herdsmen from the South-West. There have been a number of people criticising his action. What do you think of his action?

People have the right to criticise but not condemn him. Obviously, he is human and there are many mistakes he has made like his engagement with the Ooni of Ife. But he realised his mistake immediately and apologised. Like I told you, I love the Yoruba nation. I’m telling you, there are many other Igbohos out there ready to defend the Yorubaland and a lot will happen if the Federal Government does not play its role as a security officer. And let me advise the people that the state governors are not to be blamed for all of these. It’s unfair to be blaming the governors. Who owns the police? Who orders the military? Who owns the secret service? It’s the President. Who do the governors have? Just civil servants, and people helping the police to control traffic. The governors are still trying their best trying to buy security vehicles and uniforms for the security agents. As for the Federal Government, I can assure them that people more powerful and highly organised than Sunday Igboho are just waiting for orders to go into the bush and flush the criminals.

You mentioned that Sunday Igboho may make mistakes. So if you were to give him some pieces of advice, what would they be?

I want to advise him on communication. Thankfully, he has said he’s not going to be talking anymore. It’s a good thing. A brave fighter like him should be talking less. When he talks, his enemies will know his next line of action. Also, this struggle is a collective one, and I would plead that consultations should be made. He should make consultations with other stakeholders. He’s an asset, there is no doubt about that, but he should go about it for the sake of those who will save his neck. The fight is for all of us and everyone has one or two things to contribute.

In all of these, do you think the Amotekun security outfit in the South-West has been up and doing?

Amotekun is doing a fantastic job. Three days ago [Monday], I spoke with the commandant of the outfit in Oyo State, Colonel Olayanju Olayinka (retd). He was in a place called Ayete. He actually put one corps member on the phone for me to ask questions. The corps member said the place had been peaceful and everyone had been going about their business with peace of mind. Some mischievous people might be sending out videos that are fake trying to cause a commotion, but the Amotekun has been doing a great job. They are just not making noise about their achievements; powerful people don’t make noise anyway. They get the job done. The Federal Government doesn’t want the Amotekun, anyway. A lot of recruitments had just been carried out in the Oyo chapter. They are doing well. They are applying all the methods our forefathers applied to defend our land. Amotekun is here to stay and we should be reminded that the Yoruba nation can never be conquered. There had been plans to subjugate us since 1962, but it never happened. They caused unrest in our land, jailed one of our leaders, but at the end of the day, they were still the ones who released him.

He later became the minister of finance and helped them to stabilise Nigeria and win the war. In 1984, they jailed our leaders again – the likes of Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Pa Adekunle Ajasin. They embarrassed Awolowo. By now, the traffic congestion in Lagos would have eased, but Buhari frustrated the plan to have a railway system in Lagos. When General Sani Abacha also came to power, he targeted us because we stood for justice and fairness. The Yoruba nation stands for peace and equity. The bane of Nigeria’s problem is fighting the effects of a problem rather than the causes. This is why we must go back to regionalism. The bane of our problem was Decree 34 of 1966 courtesy of General [Johnson] Aguiyi-Ironsi. But in 2014, all the stakeholders of Nigeria came together and had a national conference, and they came up with over 600 resolutions to bring Nigeria back to the world stage. But General Muhammadu Buhari signed out on it. People like Wole Soyinka have advised Buhari several times to come out and interact with the people. Imagine him coming out and telling his Fulani people, ‘I am a Fulani like you, but you are giving my government a bad name. Henceforth, I know our security forces are overwhelmed. But I will deploy the ones that I can deploy with the help of the citizens who are ready to help to flush you out from your criminal hideouts, and you will be dealt with by law.’ These are the kind of statements we expect from the President.

But can that ever happen, considering the fact that we often see the Presidency speaking on behalf of the Fulani herdsmen?

It’s so unfortunate that we have a set of lame-duck legislators. Buhari ought to have been thrown out lawfully – I want to emphasise ‘lawfully’ – because he is a danger to the corporate existence of Nigeria. But we have senators who are not ready to do their job. Meanwhile, everyone should all take notes from the #EndSARS protests [of 2020]. By the time the youths would wake up, they would relieve them of their duties. When I was living in the United Kingdom, there was something I noticed about their people and the press. If the people did not want something and the parliament voted in favour of that thing, the press would list the names of all the lawmakers who voted against the people’s will. They would name and shame them. I think the Nigerian press should adopt this. I mean, how could we have people in the National Assembly and the country is being given a bad name all the time? I’m calling on the National Assembly to perform its responsibility; we’ve had enough. The President is incapable; it’s like we don’t have a government or leader. Everybody is just doing their own thing. They should not turn Nigeria into another Lebanon. Lebanon was once a Christian country in the Middle East, but they let the Arabs in, it was conquered and became a Muslim country. This is what the Fulani people are trying to do. They want to take over other people’s territories. At the end of the day, Nigeria must go back to the structure we once had. Let every region develop at their own pace using their culture and values. This is what is obtained in the United Kingdom, where although it is a kingdom, the different entities like Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own institutions because they have autonomy.

Many calls have been made for restructuring and even the All Progressives Congress in its manifesto promised it would happen. So why do you think the Buhari regime has been reluctant about restructuring the country?

I have told you this. It’s because there is a personal agenda, which is the evil agenda of ‘Fulanising’ Nigeria. They subjugated the Hausa, but I think the Hausa are awake now. Anywhere the Fulani are, they want to subjugate the place. What is their population in places like Kano that they are being ruled by an Emir? What is their population in Ilorin, Kwara State? Ilorin is 100 per cent Oduduwa land, but it was through our own fault; we allowed them to come in and conquer us. It is the only place in Yorubaland that is not ruled by an Oba but an Emir. It is due to the subjugation of the Fulani people. So, they will not allow restructuring because of their agenda. But something must be done and I’m calling on the Senate to pass a vote of no confidence in Buhari and impeach him.

But can that ever happen, knowing full well that we have a Senate controlled by the President’s party, as well as a Senate President who once said whatever Buhari requested was good for the country?

That is the problem, and he [Senate President, Ahmad Lawan] is part of the problem. But we should ask ourselves: the problems we have in Nigeria, are they a party thing? We have bandits killing people. Do they care whether one is a member of the APC or the Peoples Democratic Party? Do they ask what party their victims belong to? Look at the United States President Joe Biden; he’s saying he’s for all Americans. When you love your country, your political affiliation becomes a secondary thing. Nigeria should come first before any party. It’s so sad the senators and representatives are not awake to their responsibility. They should send the President back to Katsina to go and rest. Must we wait for another four years to rectify our mistakes? Look at the situation in Italy; they change their leaders anytime they want to. When the institutions, and not politicians, are running a country, there is progress. It is evil for one man to say he wants to be in power at the expense of the country. It’s an unpatriotic act. So I am saying Buhari is the most unpatriotic President Nigeria has ever had. Let me cite some examples. The leader of the Afenifere today is Chief Reuben Fasoranti. During the 1999 elections, he was called upon by leaders of the Alliance for Democracy to come and be the governor of Ondo State, but he said he did not want because his wife had died. He said he was unwilling to remarry and that this might affect his governance. So he rejected the offer. He is now 95. Another example was in Lagos State with Alhaji Ganiyu Olawale Dawodu; we called him the ‘GOD in Lagos’ because of his initials. He was the chairman of the Afenifere in Lagos and he was called upon to become the governor of Lagos. He said no because he was of age. He said a younger person should be nominated. That was when the names of Bola Tinubu and the murdered Funsho Williams came up, and Bola became the governor. These were men [Fasoranti and Dawodu] who were patriotic and never thought about themselves. That is who we are at Afenifere. If today I found someone more upright, agile and younger than me, I would leave my post and let him step in. It’s our orientation. But we have a President just sitting down there when we have a country that is on the edge of a precipice, about to become a failed state?

Are there any chances that the South-West will produce the next President in 2023?

We should not be talking about who will become President. When we talk about Afenifere, the heart of the South-West, we don’t care who becomes the President. We just want the best man to rule us, the one who loves this country so much; that is who we are. The most important thing in Nigeria right now is restructuring. We just pray that there will be 2023 the way things are going. A lot of young people, including Yoruba youths, don’t believe in Nigeria anymore. Many Yoruba now believe in the Oduduwa Republic. It’s because Afenifere has not spoken a word to support them; that is why there is still peace. The moment Nigeria makes the mistake of allowing Afenifere to speak in support of the agitation for the creation of the Oduduwa Republic, that is the end of Nigeria. We have been the only race in this country that has not questioned the corporate existence of Nigeria. We participate in making Nigeria a great nation. But the moment these Fulani bandits in power push us to the wall, that will be the end of Nigeria. We have been asking for the restructuring of the country, and we as elders know that if we make Nigeria work, it will be good for everybody. It will be the pride of the Black nation. So 2023 is the least of the problems we have. Those who are planning for 2023 now are just planning against God. I just celebrated my 65th birthday yesterday [Wednesday], but a week ago, I was thinking, ‘Will I make it to 65?’ The coronavirus has killed people that we know across the world. Am I not living by grace? All those planning for 2023, how are they sure they will live till June this year? The best thing for them is to prepare a better future for the youth and the unborn generations. That should be their thinking. They are preparing for 2023? 2023 my foot!

<<PUNCH>>

 

 

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