‘Buhari should resign, Nigeria cannot be a Fulani republic’
Dr. Frederick Fasehun, the founder of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), in this interview with Kehinde Olatunji, accused the Federal Government of circumventing democracy and asked for a change of Nigeria’s constitution.
What is your general impression about the country currently?
The state of security in the country is parlous. Any nation that cannot boast of adequate security has failed; likewise, any nation that cannot procure or protect its citizens does not worth it.
Government is saddled with the responsibility to procure and provide security for its citizens, regardless of where the citizen dwells or comes from, as long as he is living within the responsibility of governance, such person needs to enjoy what they call, security of lives and property.
Any government that cannot provide security of lives and property for its citizens is not fit to be called government.
What we have right now is insecurity everywhere, nowhere in the country is safe; human beings are not safe, banks, schools and market places are not safe, nobody can confidently declare that he or she is secured.
Even churches and mosques are no longer safe; everybody is now asking questions. We are now in the state of, what do we do.
Security has failed to an extent that people are wondering if there is anybody in charge, this is because if there is actually anybody in charge, things will not be as they are.
I pray the younger generations will not start asking such questions.
If you see president Buhari today what would be your advice?
I will advise him to resign, people are not enjoying his stay as the commander in chief of the federation.
People are angry, hungry and jobless, everywhere is insecure. I understand the university of security is being founded, because what is lacked you find universities to procure.
When the country lacked good medical care universities were founded to teach us medicine, engineering etc. Security is one of the primary objectives of any good government, but unfortunately, we don’t have it.
Any government that sits tight expecting us to make that provision for ourselves has failed.
Buhari did well when he was a military head of state, but as a civilian, he cannot perform better.
He needs to understand that military government is not the same as civilian.
But has democracy fared well?
Democracy has not been progressive in Nigeria; we enjoyed some democratic term initially. People died for democracy, while struggling for it.
We thought we voted for democracy, but those who struggled for it struggled in vain.
When the struggle matured into what we mistook as democracy, two to three years later, we are regretting our form of democracy.
Those we voted into power have failed. Now we are asking for their resignation, but unfortunately they are sitting tight and they are shouting it into our ears that they are here and they have come to sit, as if there is nothing Nigerians can do.
When a nation gets to a point, where those who are in charge are saying to the people, we are here now and there is nothing you can do, then democracy has failed.
That sounds as a vote of no confidence on our security chiefs
I said about four weeks ago that where there is a display of incompetence, people are unfit to occupy a position; tell us how tired you are so we can recommend your way out.
These people are not doing their work well and the state of insecurity is alarming.
When two Nigerians are discussing, it is about the state of insecurity in the country and those who are supposed to be in charge, go out with armed security.
How many Nigerians can afford that? How many of us can have enough money to go out with armed policemen?
Wait a minute; is it that the security chiefs are not well trained?
All over the world, the concern of those in government is how to procure security of lives and property, but where these two fundamental rights cannot be procured then those in charge addresses it.
The country is too insecure. The security chiefs don’t need to be told to resign, they are incompetent and if incompetence is what you can show, then they are not fit to be in charge, they don’t need to be told to resign.
I think as gentlemen if they cannot meet up, they better leave for better characters to fill.
The debate is on that no government could achieve more with the current constitution. Do you agree?
The current situation is bad and what is bad needs restructuring.
For sometimes now many people have been calling for restructuring, if this call is heeded, maybe the situation will be better.
So, somebody should not feel more knowledgeable than 170 million people who are making this call.
These are the same people, who are unsafe due to failure to restructure. Failure to restructure is the number one reason why Nigeria is failing.
Nigerian children are now counted in thousands in schools in neighboring countries.
Despite the high cost, their parents still work hard to put them there, at least, they know that their children are safe despite such high payment.
How do you see Obasanjo’s recent reconciliatory overtures?
It is a waste of hard earned money by Obasanjo, he was in office for eight years and he could have corrected all these anomalies.
Though he is also a human being, but he ought to have corrected the situation.
For the period of eight years he ruled as a military man, he didn’t correct the situation, I am not saying he does not have the democratic right to correct things now, but he should not forget that he was in office eight years as a military man, where all he needed to do was to say it and it would be done.
He was also in office as a civilian president, but nothing was done.
Military and constitutional force was available to him. If he wants this country restructured let him cry out for it.
I don’t like crying after spilt milk, I am not too far from chief Obasanjo in relationship, but he left undone what he ought to have done and now he is shouting democracy, but I think he should leave the situation to the people.
Let them decide. His voice is weighty in this country.
Nigerians have since found out that people recommended for us should not have been recommended, so we are learning.
He recommended Buhari and after some times he is already saying Buhari is not the best.
What can you say on the raging issue of cattle ranching?
Nigeria cannot be a Fulani republic. The federal government is probably trying to smuggle colonization back into Nigeria, there is no place for cattle colony in my town.
We allowed some colonization to happen in the past. Another set of colonization now wants to set in by trying to smuggle in their cattle and colonise the country.
What is the difference between the ownership of the cattle and their cattle? I am saying, under no circumstance will Nigerians allow this current government to smuggle in colonization through the back door.
Let the government go back to table and think on what to do to resolve herdsmen problem. Nigerians must resist any strange new colonization.
Why is the government avoiding speaking to the people? Is that democracy, they should not run away from speaking to us, let us sit at the table, spend as much money that we can spend, but come out with a constitution.
That is making good recommendation for the people and that does not include colonies for cattle.