By Dapo Akinrefon
FORMER Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olabode George, yesterday, said those castigating former President Olusegun Obasanjo over insecurity in the country are blinded by the perks of positions they currently enjoy.
Addressing newsmen at his Ikoyi office, George said suggestions that Obasanjo hates the Fulani people is false, stating that the former President handed over to a Fulani man in 1979 against the expectations of his Yoruba kinsmen, who felt he should have handed over to late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Describing the statement credited to the former Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido, that Obasanjo should not turn himself into a bigot because of his ‘disagreement’ with the current administration, George said Lamido erred with such statements against his former boss.
George said: “Things have never been this bad in this country and the way that we are going about it is creating unnecessary division.
“What is our problem as Nigerians? When Obasanjo left office as military head of state in 1979, a lot of Yoruba people blacklisted him saying he should have handed over to Pa Awolowo instead of a Fulani man. There was no name that he was not called but Obasanjo is a straightforward person.
“Recently, Obasanjo made a comment as an observation that things are not going right in this country. The incursion of herdsmen is disturbing and he spoke the mind of many southerners especially farmers. He is also a farmer and a lot of farmers are complaining bitterly that their farms are being ravaged.”
“My friend, the former governor of Jigawa, Sule Lamido accused Obasanjo who has always been a nationalist of being a bigot. What Lamido said were absolute nonsense and an insult. Does he know what Obasanjo suffered? Was it not the same man who made Lamido whom he is by giving him the opportunity to become a minister?
“But he is now turning round to call him a bigot. Why didn’t Lamido find out from Obasanjo why he made that statement? Wole Soyinka made the same observation that Obasanjo made and you know that both men are not usually on the same page.
”Our people are complaining about the sudden incursion and increased activities of herdsmen in the Southwest; why can’t Lamido see through that prism? We should be careful about some of the reckless comments that we make. Does it mean if tomorrow an Igbo man becomes the President, Igbo traders will now carry cutlasses and chase everyone away from their villages? Buhari should use his position as the President of the Fulani herdsmen in West Africa to calm these people down. It is a challenge to him.”