By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
A gubernatorial aspirant in Edo State, Mr Odia Ofeimun has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to give a holistic tackling to the Fulani herdsmen attacks issue.
Mr Ofeimun made the call while speaking at a book reading organised by the Readers’ Club of the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP) held at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan at the weekend.
According to Mr Ofeimun, while kicking off the debate from his book entitled ‘Taking Nigeria Seriously,’ he said the Fulani herdsmen attacks issue if not well tackled, was capable of destroying the country and that the bulk of Nigeria’s woes could be linked to the fact that “Nigerians and their leaders do not take the country seriously in all their interaction with the nation”.
“If we don’t deal with the issue of herdsmen, there may be no Nigeria tomorrow. Almost all Nigerian groups are brought up not to take Nigeria seriously; they fight against themselves and the future of their children by feigning to be fighting for the interest of their people… The Fulani must be made to move to where they have cultural empathy – dairy industries, corn-beef industries. Government must build a global industry around their cattle-rearing,” he said.
Mr Ofeimun described Nigerian leaders as “hunter-gatherers” who “move into a virgin environment which they graze to zero until it becomes a desert and then move to the next land, failing to plan for tomorrow in the process”.
“In the Niger Delta for instance, an average of 260 makeshift refineries, built by those stealing crude oil, are destroyed every year and these people end up rebuilding the ‘refineries’ in three days. If an individual can build a ‘refinery’ in three days, why not a nation, he asked rhetorically
He added that “this is prevented by corporations and individuals who determine that scarcity continues. If we were in a war situation and the enemies destroy our refineries, would we surrender or ensure that we move on? It should take not more than ten days to build a refinery.
“Even in Biafra, shortchanged by their leaders and Nigeria, they made makeshift refineries”.
Speaking, the Deputy Vice Chairman of the school, Dr. Tunji Olaopa, said the Club was one of the school’s efforts at “contributing to the knowledge industry in Nigeria” and that authors whose books stimulate discourses on Nigeria would be a periodic affair of the Club.
Also, Professor Bolanle Awe in her comment lauded the “extremely provocative” issues dealt with in the book, especially the issue of “indigene/settlers, and education of children of tomorrow”, saying, “the removal of history from the curriculum of schools was capable of making Nigerians not to take their country seriously.
“We should learn about our culture, tradition and be proud of them… If we do not know history, how can you get far in life? America won’t give you a degree unless you learn American history,” she said.
By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.