Chieftain of pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenidere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, on Saturday insisted that President MuhammaduBuhari has not done anything to stop the incessant killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen and improve the nation’s economy.
Consequently, Adebanjo said the president would be deceiving himself to think he would win a return ticket in 2019.
Adebanjo said this on telephone, while speaking with Sunday Tribune in a reaction to a scathing remark by the presidency on the leaders of Afenifere, Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Jama’atul Nasir Islam (JNI), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), North East Forum for Unity and Development (NEFUD), among others that met in Abuja last Wednesday.
The leaders had declared the administration led by him incompetent on account of not addressing the security and other challenges in the country. But the Presidency accused the leaders of only engaging in what it termed as “shedding of crocodile tears.”
The presidency had added that the groups, which it described as an “unholy alliance” were “stepping up their assault on the All Progressives Congress administration as it expands its national dominance and moves closer to securing an outright victory in the election next year.
“It’s alright, if he thinks he is going to rig election, we are here; he will not rig an election to come back. We would do our best to stop him from coming back, what has he done to warrant coming back? On security, he has failed, economy is bad, no electricity and what can he claim to have done or he thinks he is ruling morons,’’ Adebanjo queried.
According to the Afenifere chieftain, the position of leaders from across the country that the government of Buhari has done nothing to stop incessant killings by herdsmen cannot be controverted.
“So, what is their (presidency) defence, are they saying they (herdsmen) are not killing?,’’ he retorted.
Chief Adebanjo said it was difficult to believe the claim by government that efforts were being made to restore sanity while innocent people were being killed by herdsmen who go about carrying AK47 and nobody had been brought to book in spite of promises to do just that.
“They say they are making efforts and they are killing people everyday in the country. Is that how to make efforts? And each time there is killing, they say they would bring the culprits to book, how many people have they brought to book? Ordinarily, how many times have you done that?
“These cattle-rearers, they always have with them AK47, do you rear cattle with AK47, what are they talking about? They should not insult our intelligence,” he said.
The elder statesman said what had always been demanded from Buhari’s government was to brace up which it had consistently promised but failed to do, declaring that its best had been the worst and to that extent, clueless.
“We are calling on them that they should brace up and each time they kill, the presidency would say we are bracing up, you are doing your best, and your best is the worst. Your best does not make anything. That is what we are saying, so it means they are clueless,” Adebanjo said.
Speaking on efforts to ensure that President Buhari was stopped from returning to Aso Villa, come 2019, the Afenifere leader said the plan was to make sure that a joint candidate was fielded against him in the election.
He said opposition parties across the country were being encouraged to team up ahead the elections, promising that the leaders would do their best to stop Buhari who, he said, would be calculating on having a divided votes from opposition to make him win by “default.”
“We are making the efforts to ensure that only one candidate is picked against him. He is banking on the fact that there would be so many candidates that would contest against him and would divide their votes and he would win by default; he is deceiving himself. We would do our best to ensure all reasonable people gather their votes and vote out the bad government, which is represented by Buhari.”
Similarly, the Arewa Consultative Youth Forum has said the presidency under President Muhammadu Buhari does not represent any section of the country but ‘a cabal of evil doers.’
This was contained in a statement issued in Kaduna and signed by its president, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, at the weekend.
The group, reacting to comments made by the presidency on the recent summit of Northern and Southern Elders in Abuja, noted that the presidency under Buhari’s watch ‘is vision-less and incompetent’.
“The response has confirmed the take of the leaders that Nigeria needs a dynamic and visionary leadership to take over from the current incompetent, insensitive and vision-less bunch running the country to the edge of the precipice,” the group said.