*Obasanjo reverses self on Fulanization, seeks dialogue*
It’s never too late to do the right thing; I think finally, former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo appears to understanding this as well as his role as an elder statesman.
On Saturday, he met with Fulani cattle breeders in the Southwest as well as Kogi and Kwara States in order to address the scuffle between the nomadic herders and the resident farmers.
Obasanjo told Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN) that Yorubas wanted unity, 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.
This is a clear departure from Obasanjo’s reliance on writing only letters in the past. The former president appears to be putting his money where his mouth is, he finally seems to understand that actions speak louder than words. Meeting face to face with Fulani cattle breeders is completely different from writing an open letter.
If one reads the communiqué from the meeting, Baba seems to have gotten some firsthand information on the most recent shape of the farmer/herder clashes across the country and the reasons for such happening in the Southwest.
Like President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have done in the last few weeks, Chief Obasanjo has embraced dialogue over explosive statements that could cause the country more harm. We all know that Baba loves Nigeria and that he wants peace but this can best be achieved through diplomatic channels.
A proof of this was the swift rescue of five persons abducted in Ogun state. The police force deployed geo-tagging technology and other technological know-how to track the kidnappers and arrest five culprits.
These are the kind of engagements that is required and expected of our leaders and I am happy Baba is adding his voice to this newly adopted strategy.
Akinloye lives in Lagos