My attention has been drawn to the Press Release allegedly made by the Chief Ayo Adebanjo led Afenifere faction, whereat the respected leader made assertions using my humble self’s encounter with Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Vigilante Group in Akoko area of Ondo State as part of the rationale for the vituperations contained in the said press release.
While I deplore in totality the presence of any vigilante group particularly armed ones anywhere, I wish to state for the umpteenth time that my concern is borne of the need for better security for our people and not to score some sheer political points against anyone or any ethnic group and/or authority.
I wish to further place on record that I have great respect for the Afenifere and I am an unrepentant adherent of the Yoruba Culture and Tradition of giving respect and paying obeisance to the Elders.
While recognizing the mentorship and indelible contributions of the Chief Ayo Adebanjo-led Afenifere faction, I am however compelled to reiterate my opposition to and departure from the style of the Afenifere faction, particularly from the time when, without due consultation with the entire members and stakeholders, some chose to use the platform as one of the political advocacy mercenaries of the Atiku/PDP before the last elections. From all indications, it is quite apparent that the position of the faction is irrepressibly political.
I state unequivocally that I have a right of dissent and hereby distance myself from those conclusions by the respected leader, designed or calculated to vilify or demonize any group of people or government to the extent of criminalizing a particular tribe.
The narrative that every criminal, armed robber and kidnapper is a Fulani herdsman because a Fulani man is at the helm of affairs or a Fulani man committed a criminal offence, is a dangerous assertion that can undermine the corporate existence of our dear motherland. Criminals must be regarded as criminals without branding them with any ethnic, religious or regional coloration.
What is clear is that insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and armed robbery are our common enemies. We must join forces together in finding a lasting solution to this menace which has eaten deep into the fabric of our nation.
While admitting the fact that variety is the spice of federalism, it is however imperative to state that unity in diversity is the fulcrum upon which true federalism and democracy stands.
To say more at this juncture will be otiose.