Leaders in the Southwest have taken the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the cleaners, describing him as lacking in proper training over his attack on governors in the zone.
The Senate President had on a BBC Hausa interview blamed the South-West governors and leaders for the recent crises involving Hausas and indigenous settlers.
Lawan had claimed that “unguarded statements” by some governors in the Southwest incited people in the area to take up arms against fellow citizens.
The Senate President also blamed the failure of governments in the zone for the crisis which led to the loss of lives and the destruction of property.
Lawan stated, “What happened in Oyo State and other things that kept happening in the Southwestern states are caused by leadership failures in the region.
“Some utterances by some governors also went a long way in inciting the citizens to take up arms against other ethnic groups settling in their states.
“The governors’ utterances emboldened the criminals to unleash violence against the northerners.”
But in a riposte to the statement made by the Senate President, elder statesman, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, asked Lawan to withdraw his provocative statement against governors in the Southwest.
Adebanjo said: “It is an insult brought to us by those who aligned with the All Progressives Congress to force President Muhammadu Buhari on us as a nation.
“It is a tragedy that someone called the President of the Senate could make such a statement about Southwest governors. In fact, it is Lawan that just made an unguarded statement.
“He has failed in his duty. He never had anything to say about the killings of farmers, raping of our women and massive destruction of our farmlands by killer Fulani herdsmen.
“His language is unguarded. I am sure that his language is that of President Muhammadu Buhari himself who has refused to caution the herdsmen.
“When someone is part of a government that negotiates with bandits and criminals, what do you expect? It is people like Lawan who are behind the herdsmen and even own the cows.
“The statement by the President of the Senate is insulting, derogatory, shows a lack of manners and a sign of improper training. It is condemnable and should be withdrawn.
“Are the governors in charge of security in their states or the one controlling the police? They have to resort to Abuja before the commissioner of police will even pick their calls.
“The Federal Government has refused to even allow Amotekun to bear arms but unconcerned when herdsmen carry sophisticated arms such as AK-47 and others.”
Other leaders of the region who reacted to the Senate President’s comments included the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, who described Lawan’s statement as “highly condemnable,” asking him to withdraw it forthwith.
He said, “His comments are untrue. The information available to us indicated that the incident was caused by provocation. A Hausa porter beat a Yoruba pregnant woman. Talking about leadership failure, is leadership failure responsible for banditry in the North-West, North-Central or in the North-East where there’s insurgency? Then, it’s leadership failure that is responsible for the insecurity in the country?”
Adams also expressed worries that such a statement was uttered by the president of the country’s upper legislative chamber.
The Aare Ona Kakanfo added, “As a Senate President, he ought to detach himself from nepotism and appear like a statesman and not a sectional leader. The statement from him is highly condemnable, and I will advise him to retract it. He will be biased if he’s asked to say anything concerning the Yoruba.’’
In the same vein, the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere through its spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin, said the “unwarranted provocations” against the Southwest were becoming too many.
Afenifere added that “so, it’s not the unguarded statements of Buhari’s henchmen? It’s the leadership failure in Nigeria that is keeping people like him in office.’’
He added, “Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari also invited the state governors and told them that the Federal Government would not condone any governor calling for the eviction of any ethnic group from his state.
“He said that no governor should incite his citizens to unleash terror or violence on the non-indigenes members of the communities.”
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