A former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido yesterday warned ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo against turning himself into a bigot.
He said Obasanjo’s comments at a church on alleged Fulanisation and Islamisation of Nigeria were intolerable.
Lamido advised Obasanjo to retain his national outlook instead of fanning the embers of religious divide.
But a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, said Obasanjo was only being courageous in telling the truth.
Lamido expressed his views in a statement by his New Media aide, Masur Ahmed.
The statement said: “Speaking about ‘Fulanisation and Islamisation at St. Paul Cathedral Church’ is very much unlike you, sir!
“If it were said at a non-religious venue to a non-religious audience, may be it might have been more tolerable.
“Please, sir, don’t let your disappointment with sitting Presidents turn you into a bigot. You must not abandon the national stage.
“The cracks along the various divides in our national cohesion are already turning into huge ‘gorges’”
In a counter-statement, Fani-Kayode said Obasanjo was just being courageous.
He said the former President had done more for the core North, Lamido’s Fulani tribe, and Nigeria’s unity than any other ex-President or Head of State in the nation’s history. The former minister said posterity would be kind to Obasanjo for speaking the bitter truth.
Fani-Kayode said: “I hear one or two people like Sule Lamido are not too happy with what Obasanjo said and have called him (names) out for saying it. That is sad and unfortunate because Obasanjo has done more for the core North, Lamido’s Fulani tribe, and Nigerian unity, than any other former President or Head of State in our history.
“He also fought in a civil war to keep the country together. For anybody from the core North to call him names for speaking the truth and baring his mind over what is unfolding in Nigeria today tells you how blinded by power, insensitive and callous some of these people are.
“It is only those that subscribe to the Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda that will criticise or oppose Obasanjo’s observation and describe him as ‘a bigot’ for making them.
“What Obasanjo said was timely and necessary and millions are commending him for it. He spoke the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
The former minister alleged that Nigeria was driven to this stage because the world refused to listen to early warnings.
He added: “President Obasanjo remains the only politically active southern and Middle Belt leader that understands what is really going on, the grave danger that we are in and what lies ahead. He is deeply courageous and his latest contribution that there is an agenda to Fulanise West Africa and Islamise Africa says it all.
“Obasanjo needs say no more. History and posterity will be kind to him for speaking the bitter truth and saying what almost every other southern and Middle Belt politician and leader knows to be true but is too timid and too scared to say publicly.
“With his latest contribution, he has vindicated yours truly and many others. I saw this coming in late 2013 and I told the world. Nnamdi Kanu saw it coming in 2014 and he told the world. Asari Dokubo saw it in 2015 and he told the world.
“Afenifere, OPC, YOLICOM, PANDEM, MEND, the Middle Belt Forum, the Niger Delta Avengers, IPOB, MASSOB and Ohanaeze Ndigbo saw it in 2017 and they told the world. The Christian Elders Forum, CAN and the Church saw it in 2018 and they told the world.
“Sadly, the world refused to listen, left us on our own and, instead of rising to the occasion and confronting the evil, Nigerians went on bended knee to the powers that be and acted as if they were not saddled with a major problem that was bound to eventually consume them all. Now, they know better, even though most of them are still in denial.
“Now, they must live with the consequences of their indifference, ignorance, cowardice and stoicism. What a pity!”