Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday met with leaders of Fulani cattle breeders in the Southwest as well as Kogi and Kwara States, over the wave of banditry and insecurity across the region
Obasanjo said what people knew about the security challenges in the Southwest before were all myths and not clarity, darkness and not light, hence the need for the meeting to properly interrogate the root cause of the banditry, kidnapping and other security challenges in Yorubaland.
He charged the group to evolve a system that would enable them effectively police their settlements in the Southwest so that the region could enjoy once more the peace it once knew.
The elder statesman addressed the meeting at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta.
In attendance were Dayo Adewole, a cattle breeder and son of the immediate past Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, spokesperson of the Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin and a leader of the Fulani group, Alhaji Sale Bayari.
The younger Adewole was recently kidnapped from his farm in the outskirts of Ibadan.
Obasanjo told the Fulani group who came under the aegis of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN) that the Yoruba wanted peace, harmony, wholesomeness and progress in the region, stressing that the time had come for everybody to acknowledge that “bad things are happening” in the Southwest and which have been attracting bad names to the Fulani in their midst.
He urged Nigerians to stop the culture of “passing blame” and think of a lasting solution to the menace of armed banditry and other forms of insecurity.
He noted that the solution to the nation’s security challenges, including Southwest, should not be left to one person to address but through collective efforts.
Obasanjo said: “I take it that you are sufficiently
knowledgeable, sufficiently aware, sufficiently understanding to be able
to interact actively and successfully at this meeting on behalf of
those that are not here.
None of us here will say he doesn’t know what has been happening, what has been reported and what is being reported about the insecurity in our country generally.
I believe that whatever that we are able to achieve or to discuss or to disabuse in this zone will be taken as a model in other zones.
I want to learn from you and I hope you will learn from me and at the end of the day, we will be all wiser and we will be able to determine what should be the way forward for us to get rid of bad things in our community.