Elder statesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, has in a recent interview say that Nigeria cannot move forward without an Igbo President. He said this to come hard on politicians from other regions aiming to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
In this interview with VINCENT KALU, the Afenifere leader, said for peace to reign in Nigeria, the Southeast should produce the next president of the country. According to him, unless the nation goes back to true federalism, Nigeria is headed towards a breakup.
What is your view on the allegation made by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that plans were underway to ‘Fulanise’ and ‘Islamise’ Nigeria and West Africa?
I have been talking about it before, and some people said that I was talking non- sense. When he was in power, he encouraged them to have Sharia. I have been saying it, and I even accused the vice president that, as a pastor, he is serving a government that is Islamising the country, and he came out to say that it was not true, and that the government wasn’t Islamising the country.
All over the country, we have been on it for a long time. When they started around Southern Kaduna, we made the point; there were Christian elements. When they murdered about 800 Christians there on Christmas day, what did the authorities do about it? The vice president was sent there at that time, as the president wasn’t around, and he ordered the military to go there to prevent another attack, but the following day they were attacked again and villages were wiped out, what happened? Not a single arrest was made.
Then they went down to Agatu and other places, and there have been several church- es being burnt in northern Nigeria. So, why are they denying the obvious? Why are we denying the obvious in Nigeria, and just pretending?
Are all these things happening by accident? They kidnapped Catholic bishops, they kidnapped ministers, kidnapped professors, etc. You pressmen, you published all these things, what other evidence do you want?
Somebody is not beefing up security after several harms have been done, where does he want to rule as commander-in-chief? When we say they are Fulani herdsmen, he says they are outsiders. If they are outsiders, does it mean that you cannot protect us from outside invasion, what is your army for? Are you not the commander-in-chief?; Are you not there to protect lives and property? Soldiers, you draft them for external aggression, while police for internal aggression. What has happened to all these?
Few years ago, the international body declared these Fulani herdsmen as terrorists, but you say no.