The Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has said Nigeria needs urgent intervention from the international community before the security situation in the country denigrates into a civil war.
Speaking on Tuesday when he appeared on an Arise TV Morning Show programme, the National Publicity Secretary of the group, Yinka Odumakin, said those projecting a civil war are not beating the drums of war but are simply being honest about the reality of the situation.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari is maintaining a “sinful silence” over the worsening security situation in Nigeria.
He warned that if a civil war erupts in Nigeria, the world and the international community will be badly affected.
Odumakin also defended a similar comment by Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, who earlier observed that Buhari’s refusal to speak up might lead to a civil war.
He said: “I agree with Soyinka that the president must speak up, the president is maintaining a sinful silence over what these herders are doing, but the world and international community should be interested in Nigeria at this moment, they should get Nigeria out of this mess.
“It is clear now that the possibility of internal solutions is getting limited. We don’t have an authority in leadership that can get us out of this mess and the implication of war in Nigeria for the rest of the world is very serious, therefore, they should get on their feet now and be interested in Nigeria. The Buhari government told us we are going to the next level but their next level is taking us to a dangerous level in Nigeria, the world must rise now to save Nigeria from this mess.
“The nomination of the former security chiefs as ambassadors tells you that there is an agenda that they have kept for a long time and part of this is assistance to herdsmen by Nigerian soldiers. This could be part of that hideous agenda that is ravaging the country and putting it on the edge of a precipice. That’s why I said the international community should save the country.”
Odumakin said had it been events in the South-West in the past few months happened in the North, the situation would have already led to a civil war.
He said, “No one is beating the drums of war, people are painting the reality, if what is happening in the South-West today, let’s say some Yoruba boys have gone to do 1% of that in the North, in the past few months, there would have been a war in this country by now.
“The daughter of Afenifere leader, (Pa Reuben) Fasoranti, was killed in Ondo State by herdsmen, a first-class king was killed in the afternoon. So many prominent people were killed and because we don’t want a war situation, we maintained our calm, but it will get to a point that we will say enough is enough; when the victims will be made to rise and say enough of this. The first person that will talk is Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, who openly defended the killing of Southern Kaduna people. He said he would even pay Fulani herdsmen some money.
“Since they have been killing people in the South-West, we have not heard them from the Northern Elders Forum say anything about it and now that the victims are saying we have had enough of it… but unfortunately, we don’t have a government. Instead of defending the rights to life of people, you see that anytime these Fulani herdsmen kill people, the first line of defence is the presidency.
“When the governor of Ondo State gave a lawful order to herdsmen to vacate the forest, it was Garba Shehu that first defended the rights of the herdsmen to the forest as if they are animals and not human beings.”
Odumakin lamented that the country was being flooded by Fulani people from neighbouring countries like the Niger Republic.
Quoting a thesis by an American political scientist, Samuel Huntington, that people’s cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world, Odumakin argued that future wars would be fought not between countries, but between cultures.
He said, “Those who share the same civilisations spread across boundaries will be coming together, that is what we are seeing that the Fulanis are coming all over Nigeria, and the President has even opened the door for them so that they can get visas on arrival.
“You will remember that in 1985, at OAU summit, President Buhari as President of Nigeria had to take a decision about OAU Secretary-General, a Nigerien from Niger was contesting with a Nigerian from Igboland.
“Our President of Nigeria voted for the Fulani man from the Niger Republic and all we are witnessing today is that clash of civilisations and you will remember that during the last election a large delegation came from the Niger Republic to join the All Progressives Congress rally in Kano and a Fulani man saw more affinity with a Fulani man from the Niger Republic than a Nigerian from Nigeria.
“So it is that clash of civilisations that is rocking Nigeria. Only this morning I was reading the papers that Sheikh Gumi was asking governors to use their security votes to answer the demands of the bandits. If not for a clash of civilisations, I don’t know why any fellow Nigerian will make that kind of statement.
“Look at the killings going on in the South-West and across the country, have you seen any Fulani North condemning the killing? No, because it means nothing to them and their civilisation and that’s why Nigeria is seriously on the edge of a precipice.
“Nigeria is being racked by a strong clash of civilisations that may wreck it if nothing is done.”