The pan Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere has hit back at presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina over his recent submission that some persons were against President Muhammadu Buhari because he is a Fulani person.
The group lambasted Adesina for playing the ethnic and religious cards when it was obvious his principal is not meeting the expectations of Nigerians.
Afenifere in a statement issued in Akure on Saturday by its Secretary-General, Chief Sola Ebiseni said Buhari is not the first Fulani leader of Nigeria, warning Mr. Adesina to desist from giving excuses for his principal’s poor performance.
It added that constructive criticism should not be seen as an attack on the government or those in power.
Naija News recalls the President’s spokesperson had in an article on Thursday night, accused some pastors in the country of constantly attacking President Muhammadu Buhari.
The presidential aide stated that these pastors have turned their pulpits to an avenue to spew hate and ridicule the President over the state of the nation.
He went further to say many of them need to be born again, again, adding that without a change of heart, heaven seems to be far away from them.
Adesina who submitted that he’s not been judgemental made his view known in an opinion article titled ‘This Kumuyi is simply different’, which he released on his Facebook page on Thursday evening.
But reacting to the submissions by the presidential media aide, Afenifere in a statement titled ” Buhari’s Performance And Femi Adesina’s attack on the Clergy,” stated that there is no need for Mr. Adesina to try and hide the President’s failed performance by raising ethnic sentiments.
Afenifere listed some past Nigerian leaders who were Fulani and enjoyed massive support from citizens of the country because they performed well.
The statement read: “Femi played some odious ethnic music when he alluded that many who were criticising the lacklustre performance of his boss were only doing so because they didn’t like being ruled by a Fulani man.
“There is no need reminding him that northern Nigeria which is now rendered asunder in ethnic relationships, as a result of Buhari’s government’s clueless or permissive treatment of security matters, was once ruled as One North, by Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto and scion of the Fulani Uthman Dan Fodio caliphate.
“Buhari is not more Fulani than Shehu Shagari, the mantra of whose government, as President of Nigeria, was One Nation, One Destiny. Umaru Yar Adua, as Fulani and President of Nigeria, did not spend two years to solve the problems of agitation amongst the youths of the Niger Delta.
“His Government toured the creeks, dialogued and sought understanding. He did not hold the whole of the people of the South-South responsible for the agitation for which he would have called the territory “water logged” and the people to be treated in the language they would understand, neither did he unleash state terrorism on the residence of any agitator as Buhari Government would want Sunday Igboho killed.”
Taking an analogy from the bible and tracing it to contemporary times, Ebiseni said pastors have historically been known to speak the truth to those in power.
“From the days of Prophet Samuel to Saul; Nathan to David when he killed Uriah and took his wife Bathsheba; Elijah who told Saul that he and his household were the troublers of Israel, up to modern days Martin Luther king, Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Okogie, Bishop Gbonigi, Matthew Kukah, Tunde Bakare and all, the commission of God to His prophets does not exclude speaking truth to earthly rulers.
“Of course, while these true men of God speak truth to power, there are legions of men, like the 400 prophets of Ahab against Micaiah and of Baals who lurk around power to massage the egos of rulers and cause them to sin the more.
“Such advisers abound in this Government who make the President believe he has power over land use and some who would advise the people to choose between their lives and land and deceive the President that peaceful agitators like Sunday Igboho have capacity for territorial secession or that killing Nnamdi Kanu would stop Biafran agitation. Only God can save rulers from such counsels as He did of Ahithophel.
The group cautioned the presidential spokesperson not to misrepresent what Pastor Williams Kumuyi said as a way to score cheap political points.
“This time around, Femi has chosen to hide behind a patronising statement on Pastor Kumuyi of the Deeper Life Ministry to latch at the clergy for speaking truth to power.
“lt is absolutely within his right, for Femi to choose not to go to any church as long as he serves the Buhari’s government, but he cannot deliberately misrepresent Pastor Kumuyi to set him up as examples of prominent personalities who would see no evil or say nothing about evil in order that they may not be seen as denigrating government and men in power.
“He was particularly unkind to the Pastor of his own church which church he exited particularly because he chose not to stop criticising President Buhari after most of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls were released.
“Power must have done some incalculable damage to the psyche of Femi Adesina that he would not remember that five of the girls were brutally murdered and that in the release negotiated by the Federal Government, Leah Sharibu was singlehandedly and permanently denied her freedom for refusal to renounce her Christian faith,” Afenifere stated.
Not done, the statement added that “Yet, Femi expected his own Pastor, as a leader in the same faith, to applaud Buhari for doing nothing extraordinary to bring Leah to freedom, if only to demonstrate that he is the father of all faiths despite his records of being a sharia agitator”.