LT. General Alani Akinrinade, rtd, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to read the riot act against mischief-makers, Fulani herdsmen, armed bandits, and agents of destabilization. This, according to him, will end the “pervasive public perception/belief that the President is an ‘ethnic bigot, an irredeemable religious fundamentalist”.
Speaking at the commissioning of a bailey bridge and a hospital constructed by the Nigerian Army Engineers in collaboration with the Army HQ Department of Civil-Military Affairs for Owu Kuta and Asamu communities respectively in Osun State on September 14, 2020, Akinrinade said the President should stop the belief that he is promoting Fulani ethnic group to take over the country.
The elder statesman said that going by the perception or belief of the public, the President has performed woefully in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists and that he cannot rise to the occasion when it comes to reflecting the heterogeneous composition of the country in appointments to sensitive positions in his government. “Sometimes I also hear that there are Fulani mercenaries from outside Nigeria being sponsored by some Nigerians. “From what he heard, the situation is so dire that in collaboration with unexpected bad weather this year, a famine is imminent as the country is already borrowing grains from the ECOWAS countries” because farmers are being forced to abandon their farms,” he said.
He, therefore, suggested that the President should “read the riot act to the Fulani herdsmen”. That it is not acceptable for any foreigner by whatever name to enter Nigeria illegally and molest Nigerians because “they are not welcome”.
“The country should not, by mistake of omission or commission allow Nigerians to degenerate to self-help which is a sure route to anarchy and perdition that will not go away,” Akinrinade said.
The elder statesman noted that these difficult matters cannot be addressed in the abstract as the whole buck stops on the President’s table. He, therefore, suggested that the President “needs to shape up, read the riot act to our people and enlist them in unwavering cooperation to participate fully in the redemption of their country “.
“President is aware of the hues and cries from all corners and crannies of the country for secession as if the country has not been there before, there is a need for him to stand on his table against the motley crowd of advisers and take a firm stand on the restructuring of the country, physically, politically, economically and socially,” he stated.
He also advocated for the reorganisation of the Armed Forces “which is long overdue and over flogged as if it is such an impossibility because it is what is required to move the country out of the doldrums into modernity and cannot afford to pass it on”.
“We may end up without a country, as no country has been known to survive two civil wars. He can take better counsel in the appointment to the sensitive parts of his government. There are capable loyal men and women from every village in the country,” he said.
Akinrinade concluded by profusely thanking the President and Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff, COAS, who was one of the dignitaries at the event for sorting out the pension scheme for the Nigerian Army. “Army retirees have stopped the culture of queuing quarterly in the army barracks for recognition and documentation parade,” he said.
In his remarks, Buratai thanked Gen. Akinrinade for identifying the negative impacts of social media in spreading falsehood and fake news in the country. “I appreciate the General in identifying the wrong perceptions being projected by the enemies of the country.
“We should not rely on social media reports which are mostly fake and largely unfounded,” he said.
Buratai advised the retired general on the need for statesmen of his caliber to take the pains of verifying information before making conclusions on them. On the perception of likely famine in the country this year, Buratai assured the gathering that there is no cause for alarm as there won’t be any famine in Nigeria because farmers have gone back to their farms.
“I just left the North West where Exercise SAHEL SANITY is ongoing and many farmers have so far returned to their farms. Our troops are providing security to farmers and the bandits are being dealt with decisively. From all indications we are expecting a bumper harvest this year,” he said.
The Army chief assured Nigerians that the Army and other security agencies are doing everything possible to ensure that the terrorists and bandits are never allowed to cross over to the southern parts of the country.
He also observed that the issue of restructuring is a political matter and he only commented on security issues raised by the retired General and further reiterated the political stance of the Nigerian Army.
Finally, he implored all to continue to cooperate with the Federal Government and support the ongoing efforts to rid the country of all forms of insecurity.
– Sept. 19, 2020 @ 12:09 GMT |