Chief Abia Onyike, ADF


A former commissioner for information in Ebonyi State and spokesperson for Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), Chief Abia Onyike, has condemned recent attempt by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to impose grazing reserves for Fulani herdsmen on states, describing it as an ethnic agenda and ploy to take over Nigeria for the Fulani.

Onyike who shared his views in a chat with Business Hallmark at the weekend, noted that the insistence of President Buhari on creating grazing reserves for Fulani herdsmen carrying out attacks in various communities in Nigeria suggests that the government may be working in concert with the killers to overrun the country.

He said the president’s ‘divisive’ leadership style has become a source worry and blow to national integration.

“Nigerians are disturbed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s kind of leadership; hs divisive pattern of leadership is a major blow to national integration. Cattle herding is a business which people do for profit and like every other business, those into the business of cattle herding should acquire land to ranch their cattle,” Onyike said.

“I don’t know why President Buhari should hijack the Nigerian state apparatus and use it to solve the problem of his ethnic nationality. It is very, very dangerous.

“There are real fears that the federal government of Nigeria as presently constituted maybe working in concert with jihadists who want to impose jihad on Nigeria, because each time this matter is broached and discussed and the goes down, they will try to raise it up again.

“And we have seen what is happening from the point of view of the law where the attorney general of the federation has always tried to manifest that tendency of Fulani supremacist agenda ideology, that Nigerian state can now be reduced to being a mere instrument in the hands of an ethnic nationality that wants to impose its will on the entire country of Nigeria.”

Onyike wondered Buhari doesn’t want to listen to Nigerians and kill the idea of grazing reserves, noting that the president is behaving like a dictator even though he is an elected president.

“They have this idea that they want to dominate the country. So these are the fears and this fears acquire genuine because I don’t see where why an elected president like Buhari cannot listen to to the views and aspirations of the of the Nigerian people that elected him into office. He is behaving like a military tyrant; like a dictator,” he said.

“If he continues that way, the only thing open to the Nigerian people is for the national assembly to prepare to impeach him from that office before he allows Nigeria to be taken over by religious extremists.”

“Nigeria is a multi-religious nation state. It is also a multi-ethnic nation state. Apart that, the major major ethnic nationalities like the Igbo, Yoruba and others, are capable of remaining on their own as independent republics, so they should respect the views and opinions of these major ethnic nationalities and stop taking us for a ride, because people are fed up with all the schemes.”

The ADF spokesperson warned that Nigerians cannot be expected to fold their arms watched themselves decimated by killers, pointing out that Buhari’s attitude is what is fuelling agitation for self determination in different parts of the country.

“We cannot fold our hands and allow them to prepare the ground for Nigeria to be taken over by Islamic fundamentalist. This Fulani herdsmen, United Nations have label them the 4th most deadly terrorist group in the world. Yet the Federal government of Nigeria under President Buhari has been pampering them. And in spite of the killings taking place in the Southeast, in the southwest in the middle belt… everywhere they are murdering people killing people all over the place, but they don’t want to care,” he said.

“None of the people perpetrating these killings has been brought to book; none of them has been brought to court. The Nigerian legal system has been watered down.

“For how long will these thing’s continue? It is an affront on the natural rights of the citizens of Nigeria what is happening in Afghanistan should be an eye-opener to Nigeria and is particularly the Christians because before you know it, they will surrender the sovereignty of the country to these elements.

“And that is why many ethnic nationalities in the federation are now asking for self determination. You cannot force free citizens to embrace a religion that they do not want; you cannot try to impose your will on other people and you want to dominate them in the 21st century. You are going after the lands of their ancestors. This is not acceptable.”