From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Visiting United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been asked to make his fact-finding visit to Nigeria meaningful, impactful and worth the while, by visiting theatres of war in different geo-political zone of the country to get first-hand and not doctored information about insecurity in the country.
An Emeritus Professor of History, Prof Banji Akintoye, who is a foremost Yoruba self-determination nationalist and leader of Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, gave the advice in a statement he personally signed and made available to journaliats by his Communications Manager, Mr. Maxwell Adeleye on Wednesday.
According to him, “Your Excellency cannot get the true picture of how close to the precipice Nigeria is unless you visit the theatres of the criminality of this Visit the Middle Belt, behold the atrocities of Fulanii herdsmen and marvel.
Visit the Southwest; if you will not talk to anyone at all talk to Chief Olu Falae, a one-time Secretary of the Federal Government, one-time Minister of Finance and presidential candidate and listen to his harrowing multiple experience in the hands of rampaging Fulani herdsmen. Speak with octogenarian Pa Reuben Fasoranti, erstwhile leader of Afenifere, whose daughter was murdered in her prime by Fulani herdsmen.
“Visit Ifon, also in Ondo State, whose traditional ruler was murdered by Fulani herdsmen. Visit Southern Kaduna where ethnic cleansing is a daily activity of the murderous Fulani nihilists. Same thing is happening in Taraba, Plateau, Niger, Ogun and Oyo states where Fulani herdsmen maim, rape, kill farmers and destroy farmlands in their land grabbing drive across the southern region of the country.
“Your Excellency, the list is endless! And the atrocities have not abated. The Buhari administration refuses to allow the victims arm and defend themselves whereas the murderers are allowed to roam about with AK-47 looting, raping, maiming, and killing.
“Your Excellency must speak with the right people who will paint the correct picture of our parlous situation: a parlous and debt-riden economy; restive and restless youths; collapsed educational system, hyperinflation, runaway unemployment, insecurity, corruption never before witnessed in this country, and a country divided than even during its Civil war period.”
Akintoye then advised the UN chief that if he wants to get a true picture of the country’s situation, he should have an audience with the likes of himself (Akintoye), the Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo; Bishop Matthew Kukah, Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue State and the leadership of Self-Determination Movements in the South East.
“You must be aware of how the secret security service (DSS) of the Buhari administration invaded the home of Yoruba self-determination activist, Sunday Adeyemo Ighoho, killing and maiming innocent and law-abiding citizens and destroying property worth millions of dollars.
“The Nigerian court system has described the invasion as lawless and vigrant violation of Igboho’s rights. Costs running into billions of Naira were awarded against the Nigerian But the Buhari is lawless and cherry picks which court decisions to obey and which to disregard. In saner climes which I am sure you are familiar with, the law is no respecter of persons and court judgments are binding on all. Not so the Buhari administration!. Hence, the generally acclaimed estimation of Nigeria today as a failed state. But before the situation gets out of hand, please act quickly!
“Before war breaks out in Nigeria with the humanitarian crisis this portends for the entire West African subregion and even beyond, please act decisively. A stitch in time, as they say, saves nine.”