LAGOS, JANUARY 10, 2018 – Dr. Frederick Fasehun, President of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the $1 billion security loan the government is canvassing for would be employed in fighting killer Fulani herdsmen.
He also asked the President to relinquish the Petroleum Ministry, as well as unbundle the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and hand the resultant establishments over to three professional ministers.
Speaking in Lagos at a Press Conference, themed “STATE OF THE NATION 2018,” the OPC Founder said the first duty of government was to provide security, a task he said President Buhari had woefully failed to discharge, especially in relation to killings by Fulani herdsmen and Fulani militia in what, it said, appeared to be a case of organised ethnic cleansing against Northern Minorities and other Nigerian tribes.
Fasehun, who was flanked by OPC’s Deputy President, Otunba Wasiu Afolabi, and its National Coordinator, Alhaji Mudashiru Adeniji, said: “In the wake of this ugly genocides came the shameless and insensitive pronouncement by the government’s spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, on no less a medium than the BBC, that the Fulani herdsmen were a lesser threat than the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB. It was an uncanny statement. For the government to have this unperturbed attitude to Fulani herdsmen, internationally reputed as the fourth deadliest terrorist organisation in the world, amounts to ignoring a dangerous viper on the bed. Ranking after Boko Haram, ISIL and El-Shabaab on the Global Terrorism Index, armed Fulani militias today constitute the real threat to national unity, with their rapacious evil campaigns throughout the length and breadth of this country.”
As far as OPC was concerned, clearly, the pastoral nomadic lifestyle of the Fulani herdsmen was no longer fashionable and sustainable, and they should be compelled to embrace modern ranching as obtained worldwide.
According to him, the killings persisted and perpetrators were emboldened by the fact that no single Fulani killer had been hanged for murder.
OPC issued a warning.
“This cannot continue. Killers must be brought to book and made to feel the full weight of the law. Nobody has a monopoly of violence; and in the face of threats to their very survival, people will eventually resort to self-help, a move that can tear this country apart and turn Nigeria into a free-for-all killing field. The military and other security forces must tackle the menace of Fulani militias by declaring a security emergency, disarming Fulani herdsmen and bringing Fulani killers to justice,” the group said.
Fasehun lamented that the government had also failed on the economic front.
In his words: “The economy is in shambles, infrastructure dilapidated, insecurity widespread, workers’ salaries are unpredictable and corruption has new merchants among the President’s henchmen.”
He accused Buhari of failing in his campaign promise to stop importation of petroleum products, revamp the refineries and reduce the pump price of petrol, and urged him to learn from President Goodluck Jonathan who appointed a substantive Minister of Petroleum.
“Nigerians are tired of the ongoing blame game between government and oil marketers. All Nigerians want is FUEL! An oil-rich nation like Nigeria, owning four national refineries, has no business importing fuel! Buhari has failed as Minister of Petroleum; he simply lacks the health, the capacity and the creativity to manage Nigeria’s biggest revenue resource. Buhari should relinquish the mantle of Minister of Petroleum to a competent and experienced petroleum industrialist whose sole mandate will be to get the refineries operating at full capacity and ensure local production for domestic consumption within three to six months,” Fasehun said.
OPC demanded the political restructuring of the country, pointing out that, the United Kingdom, Nigeria’s former colonialist had restructured to the point of substantial granting autonomy to Wales, Ireland and Scotland.
The group said: “As currently constituted, Nigeria needs to be restructured. The current system is not only robbing Peter to pay Paul, it has encouraged audaciousness, ingratitude and indolence on the part of Paul. It is a monkey-dey-work-baboon-dey-chop arrangement that cannot survive. Right now, Nigeria’s Centre is too powerful. The country should return to the pre-military 1963 arrangement agreed by our nation’s founding fathers with autonomy and devolution of power to the regions and the states.”