Provide unifying leadership, bring Nigerians together, Olabode George charges Buhari

• says outright banning of open grazing panacea to herdsmen, farmers clashes

Former National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to provide unifying leadership and bring Nigerians together, pointing out that the seemingly intractable clashes between herdsmen and farmers across the country which were more pronounced in the South-West can only be stopped with the outright banning of open grazing.

George made this call, on Wednesday, at a press conference, which took place at his Ikoyi office and attended by Lagos State former deputy governor, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor- Akerele; Senator Remi Akitoye, Major- General Tajudeen Olanrewaju, Mr Gbadebo Dallas, Hon Frank Adewale Gomez, Chief Taiwo Kuye, among others.

The PDP chieftain, who is also the Atona Odua of Yorubaland, whose address is titled: “We must withdraw from the brick,” maintained that the free-ranging of cows in South-West forests, farms and cities was wrong, archaic and deleterious to the economy itself.

George, who said that he was not speaking as a politician but as a patriotic Nigerian, said it was the time that President Buhari demonstrated a rallying, unifying leadership to bring all Nigerians together, declaring that it was surely not the time for ethnic or sectarian jingoism but time for healing and to mend the broken places and rectify the pervasive wrongs.

“This is the time that President Muhammadu Buhari should demonstrate a rallying unifying leadership to bring all our people together. Surely, this is not the time for ethnic or sectarian jingoism. This is the time for healing. This is the time to mend the broken places and rectify the pervasive wrongs,” he said.

“Our people have been living together in peace and harmony for more than one hundred years even before the colonialists imposed the rule of the gunpowder,” he recalled.

The Atona Odua of Yorubaland said the country must return to the path of peace, lamenting that the widening spread of banditry, the reckless shedding of innocent blood, the bitter murderous clashes between farmers and herdsmen, the loose brigandry had virtually made all corners of the country insecure, vulnerable to the rule of the cudgel and machete.

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“Governance everywhere is fast losing its grip on the first principles of protecting lives and properties. From Sokoto to Lagos, from Ebonyi to Borno, from Katsina to Ogun and from the Savanah to the rain forest, lives are daily cut down without the culprits being brought to pay for their crimes. Road users are kidnapped, brutalized, exposed to un-imaginable kinds of cruelty and then forced to pay a ransom,” he further lamented.

He insisted that the way out was a restructured Nigeria, stressing that he strongly believed that the country must address the apparent imbalances before it can heal its present wounds and rectify the observable aberrations.

“We must restructure the Nigerian entity to ensure its survival as a nation. There are so many aberrations thwarting equitable governance in our country. The centre is too encumbered with many responsibilities. It is overburdened, stressed with unnecessary functions that ought to be devolved to the states.

“Our federation is only a federation in the name. It is more of a unitary system, barking out command and control like a military hierarchy,” George noted.

Speaking further, the PDP chieftain condemned the decision to reopen the Lekki Toll Gate, saying the panel set up by Lagos State government to look into the #EndSARS tragedy had taken a decision while the blood of the Lekki martyrs were still crying out for justice.

“The treatment of peaceful protesters who were humiliated, bundled into the hot oven of the Blackmaria amid the searing heat last Saturday at Lekki Toll Gate does not enhance the critical ingredients of democracy wherein citizens are guaranteed the right to protest peacefully against the obvious wrongs of power. This strong-arm tactic does not make us look good in the eyes of the enlightened world,” the Atona said.

George, while noting that in a more enlightened society, the government should dismantle the two parallel intrastate Toll Gates and erect a permanent monument to honour those who lost their lives at that #EndSARS rally, declared that there was nowhere in the world where two parallel Toll Gates were put on intra states roads.

According to him, the Toll Gates are responsible for the severe traffic gridlocks endangering the health of Lekki residents and causing unreasonable economic hardship.

“There is nowhere in the world where you have two parallel Toll Gates on intra states roads. As a matter of fact, the Toll Gates are responsible for the severe traffic gridlocks endangering the health of Lekki residents and causing unreasonable economic hardship,” he said.

The PDP chieftain also demanded that the Lagos State government through the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act must publish the names of those who were managing the Toll Gates, recalling that there was a buy-back year back returning the control and ownership of the Admiralty Toll Gate to the state government, even as added that the Lekki-Ikoyi Tollgate was built from scratch with taxpayers money.

“We do remember, however, that there was a buy-back several years ago returning the control and ownership of the Admiralty Toll Gate to the Lagos State Government. The Lekki-Ikoyi Tollgate was built from scratch with taxpayers money,” George said.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

 

 

Provide unifying leadership, bring Nigerians together, Olabode George charges Buhari

Provide unifying leadership, bring Nigerians together, Olabode George charges Buhari

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