Retired Bishop E.B. Gbonigi and some Yoruba elders at the press conference.
When the president eventually thought it fit to comment [on the murders, rapes … by Fulani herdsmen], his remarks were without conviction. This silence has been interpreted to mean that these armed Fulani herdsmen may be receiving sympathy from the highest official quarters …
This brings the total [appointments so far made] for the North to 41 positions or 69.5 percent while the South is left with 18 positions or 30.5 percent.
Yoruba Elders under the platform of Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF), Tuesday, blasted ailing President Mohammadu Buhari over his marginalisation of Southern Nigeria in his appointments so far. The elders also called for the ban of killer Fulani herdsmen in the South-western part of Nigeria.
Speaking in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, at a news conference, Leader of the group, Rt. Reverend Emmanuel Bolanle Gbonigi said Buhari was executing policies “clearly designed to favour a particular ethnic group which also happens to be his ethnic group” (Fulani).
“A glance at the table showing key appointments made so far underscores the extent of the marginalisation of the south. The summary of appointment shows that the North West which is the president’s zone has 26 positions or 44 percent of all appointments he made so far, North East has nine positions or 15 percent, North Central has six positions or 10 percent, South West has seven positions or 11. 8 percent, South South has eight positions or 13.56 percent and the South East three positions or five percent.
“This brings the total for the North to 41 positions or 69.5 percent while the South is left with 18 positions or 30.5 percent,’’ he said.
The group condemned President Buhari’s negative disposition towards calls for a restructuring of the federal structure to address the cries of marginalisation by majority of Nigerians.
“The last 365 days have indeed been momentous for Nigeria. While the president has made significant progress towards routing out the Boko Haram insurgents and restoring peace in the North East, centres of various other insurgencies have sprouted in other parts of the country, like the South South and the South East, not to mention the new terror posed by the rampaging Fulani herdsmen. These sectional insurgencies are bound to continue to arise from time to time with our present over- centralised, quasi-unitary structure of governance.
“This is why well-meaning, respectable Nigerians have agitated for decades and continue to agitate for a restructuring of the country to achieve true fiscal and political federalism and to enable each section to mobilise and develop its own resources.
“The president’s recent remarks therefore that he will consign the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference to the archives, and the present posture of his party against restructuring show that they are out of step with progressive thinking in the country,” the group said.
The group condemned in strong terms the mass killing of innocent Nigerians by Fulani herdsmen across the country while President Buhari plays the ostrich and called on all the South-west State Houses of Assembly to pass bills banning cattle grazing in the geo-political zone.
“These armed Fulani herdsmen abuse the hospitality of their host communities by attacking and killing innocent people, raping girls and women, burning houses, and destroying crops and farmlands.
When the president eventually thought it fit to comment, his remarks were without conviction. This silence has been interpreted to mean that these armed Fulani herdsmen may be receiving sympathy from the highest official quarters.
‘’Furthermore, we call on all governors of the South West states to send bills to their various Houses of Assembly to pass legislations banning nomadic grazing in their various states. Those engaged in cattle breeding should establish ranches.
“Another act of provocation embarked upon by the Federal Government is the proposal to establish grazing reserves for Fulani herdsmen. Nigerians are shocked that a president who prided himself as belonging to no one and belonging to everyone will conceive a policy clearly designed to favour a particular ethnic group which also happens to be his ethnic group,” he said.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 08, 2016. 7:45 p.m. [GMT]