Chief Olabode George, former National Vice President of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has attacked Sule Lamido, former governor of Jigawa State, for referring to former President Olusegun Obasanjo as an ethnic bigot over his comments on Boko Haram and herdsmen.
George, a former military governor of Ondo State, while speaking at his office in Ikoyi, Lagos, Thursday, accused Lamido of disrespecting the former president, whom he described as a concerned nationalist expressing genuine concerns about events in the country.
George maintained that Obasanjo had a right to express his observation over the incursion and increased activities of herdsmen in the South West.
“Things have never been this bad in this country and the way that we are going about it is creating unnecessary division,” he said. “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.”
The PDP chieftain noted that the incursion of herdsmen in the region was assuming disturbing dimensions, reminding the ex Jigawa governor that Obasanjo is also a farmer who feels the impact of the activities of the herdsmen.
“Recently, he (Obasanjo) made a comment as an observation that things are not going right in this country. The incursion of herdsmen is disturbing. 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 was 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 did Lamido not 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.
“Maybe we should reverse roles and get some Agbekoya farmers from the South West to go to Lamido’s village and start ravaging farmlands, and then we would know what he would say. What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. I invite Lamido to come to the South West and I will take him round the villages so that he can see what these farmers who are losing their livelihoods are feeling. Our people are complaining about the sudden incursion and increased activities of herdsmen in the South West; why can’t Lamido see through that prism?” he queried.
“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.”