Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has told President Muhammadu Buhari that he allowed the current farmer-herder crisis to escalate to what it is today.
Obasanjo, a former Military Head of State and Nigeria’s first civilian President said this in a letter he addressed to Buhari on Sunday.
He maintained that the crisis was not handled well enough, which has resulted to criminality and banditry, all of which has been linked to Buhari’s tribe, Fulani.
The letter reads partly: “Herdsmen/farmers crises and menace started with government treating the issue with cuddling glove instead of hammer. It has festered and spread. Today, it has developed into banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and killings all over the country. The unfortunate situation is that the criminality is being perceived as a ‘Fulani’ menace unleashed by Fulani elite in the different parts of the country for a number of reasons but even more unfortunately, many Nigerians and non-Nigerians who are friends of Nigeria attach vicarious responsibility to you as a Fulani elite and the current captain of the Nigeria ship. Perception may be as potent as reality at times.”
“Whatever may be the grievances of Fulanis, if any, they need to be put out in the open and their grievances, if legitimate, be addressed; and if other ethnic groups have grievances, let them also be brought out in the open and addressed through debate and dialogue.”
This letter is coming at a time President Muhammadu Buhari said that gun-wielding herders are not of Fulani ethnicity, but from neighbouring countries.