By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani – Kayode on Thursday said it is now time for governments in the country to be alive to its responsibility of protecting the lives of the citizens
Speaking with journalists during a private visit to the Yoruba activist Chief Sunday Adeyemo Igboho at his Soka residence in Ibadan, Chief Fani Kayode maintained that doing this will go a long way in reducing the issue of self help arising from the failure of government to adequately protect its citizens.
Specifically, Chief Fani Kayode emphasized that the best way to resolve the security challenges in the country would be for the government at all levels to do the needful, which is to find a lasting solution of providing security for the people as constitutionally expected so that people won’t have to be considering bearing arms.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chieftain emphasized that if the government at all levels had been alive to its responsibility of protecting the lives of the citizens, there won’t be the basis for people like Sunday Igboho to emerge to show bravery and resist the continuous killings, raping and destruction of farmlands by suspected herders, especially in the Southwest.Aligning himself with the call by the Minister of Defence on the need for Nigerians to defend themselves against banditry and killings, Chief Fani Kayode said the likes of Chief Sunday Igboho has proved that people can stand up for themselves.
He however added that with the call for herdsmen to be licensed to carry AK-47 rifles to protect themselves and their cows, there should be nothing stopping other Nigerians from been permitted to do the same, saying, “if such a licence is ever considered, that will make it automatically expedient for other local residents to also enjoy the same privilege of bearing arms to also protect themselves against suspect killers, bandits and rampaging herdsmen.
“A good friend of mine, the Governor of Bauchi state, Bala Mohammed, we served together as Ministers, he said a few days ago that Fulani herdsmen should be given the right to carry AK47. Now, I disagree with that, but that was his opinion and like I told him, he is entitled to his opinions and he can voice it. If you go by that principle, then it makes absolute sense that if Fulanis are allowed to carry AK-47 to defend their cows and their lives if they feel threatened, then it is also logical for members of the local communities, farmers and each and every one of us should also have that right to defend ourselves against killer Fulani herdsmen and against those that are coming to kill us and rape our women”, he said
The former Minister added, “I am totally and completely behind that and I will like that very much. Why not? We are responsible and decent people, the Americans have that right, it is enshrined in their constitution and if it is also that we could carry arms, perhaps we won’t have the kind of atrocities that are being committed throughout the country and not just throughout the South, even in the North itself,”.
“I must tell you, it is unbelievable what is going in terms of these killers killing members of the local population.Perhaps that is one way to solve the problem, but the best way is for the government itself to rise up and do something about it. That is what we are paying them for, that is what they are there to do, let’s hope they do it and so we don’t have to do it ourselves.”
Describing Chief Sunday Igboho as a freedom fighter, Chief Fani Kayode disclosed that the whole of the Yoruba nation is solidly behind him and his mission to ensure that the people are safe and free from the killer herdsmen, adding that Sunday Igboho is not against any particular tribe, ethnic or people.
On his visit to Chief Adeyemo Igboho, the former Minister said “my purpose is to come and stand side by side, shoulder by shoulder with someone I have immense respect for. He has shown the world and most importantly, he has shown Yoruba people that we are not cowards, we are not people who can be pushed around, we are not people who can be pillaged, killed and raped, and those that perpetrate this crime feels at ease in our land.
Chief Fani Kayode stressed, “so, I have come to express my appreciation and solidarity with somebody that I believe has done the right thing without violating any laws in this country because that is very important. I don’t believe he has done that.
“I believe it is right and proper for every Yoruba leader to show appreciation for the lives he has saved and for his pursuits of people that have been committing crimes, that is the first purpose.The second purpose is also to let people know his message of peace and unity, that is to say, he has nothing against the Fulani people but he has everything against criminals that comes to our forest in this part of the country to come and kill, those are his enemies, those are the people that are our collective enemies and that is what he is fighting against and there is nothing unlawful in that.”
Speaking with journalists, Chief Sunday Igboho said “I don’t have anything to say for now, my Uncle (Fani-Kayode) has said everything for me. What we want in Yorubaland is peace. We don’t want banditry, we don’t want Fulani herdsmen to continue to kill our people, we want our people to be free.