Special Adviser to President Mohammadu Buhari on Political Matters, Sen. Babafemi Ojudu, has described the persistent attacks of communities by herdsmen as tragic and unfortunate for the country, saying that it required permanent attention and solution.
Ojudu said this as he also foresee a possible better Nigeria and by extension, a better Ekiti State where he intends to stop perceived shenanigans in leadership to restore hope and better economy to the beleaguered state.
Speaking with Airport Correspondents yesterday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos after he arrived from the United States where he had gone to sensitise the Ekiti State indigenes in diaspora of his intention to contest for this year’s governorship election in the State, Ojudu said that no one would be happy about the current crisis.
Ojudu declared that Nigeria did not have one third of cattle in South Africa and even Brazil, yet, they are not embroiled with such crisis as witnessed in the country, but noted that the crisis required a long term solution and not short term as canvassed for by a section of the people.
He also canvassed for adequate planning and adoption of modern way of rearing cattle for the challenge to be solved.
H said: “For me, it’s very tragic, unfortunate and very sad for our nation. As you are aware, I have been out of the country for almost 14 days now, and I am not well-briefed about this yet. I am leaving here first thing tomorrow morning for Abuja and by then, I would have been well-briefed. It’s after then I can offer my candid opinion on the issue.
“But, for me, it’s very tragic and nobody including the President can be happy about what is happening. I know he would be troubled now that all these crises are happening in a country that he so much loves. This is a patriot par excellence, a man who is very passionate about Nigeria and believes that Nigeria must remain one and will continue to remain one.
“The way out can’t be a short term thing. In Nigeria, we think too much about short term solution to the problem at hand. Nigeria does not have a third of the cattle South Africa have, neither do we have a third of the cattle Brazil have. I think we need to plan and we have to make sure we adopt modern and sophisticated way of rearing cattle.”
On his assessment of Governor Ayodele Fayose, Ojudu insisted that the incumbent governor had disappointed the Ekiti indigenes with is performance and utterances in office.
He lamented that despite the resources at the disposal of the state government; bailout funds and Paris Club refunds, workers in the state are still owed about a year salaries while pensioners who he said are dying in droves are not paid their entitlements.
He added that rather than being judicious with the resources at hand, the state governor constructed a one kilometre bridge at N15bn without any futurist value.
He insisted that the performance of Fayose in office had been poor, saying that the state had lost focus.
He said: “They thought he was a Messiah then and they elected him, but in place where salaries are not being paid in eight months, one year and we get allocations everywhere; bailout funds, Paris Club refund and others, yet, you cannot see anything on ground that he has done except a bridge that leads to nowhere. That bridge is uncalled for, unnecessary and Nigerian engineers have said it is unnecessary and a waste of limited resources. It’s not going over water or anywhere.
“The bridge where it is sited is going to create more problems for us in the future. A one kilometre bridge over nothing is not a flyover of anywhere and he initially said he was going to construct the bridge for N4.5bn, now; we have taken 15bn out of the resources of Ekiti State.
“I don’t have any relationship with him. I am his most stringent critic. We cannot be enemies, but politically, I do not admire him. He has brought us shame, he has brought us opprobrium in Ekiti State. An average Ekiti man cannot be proud of what is happening in Ekit now. We are a very proud people; people who are well-educated, intelligent and honest. Our children are not happy to be referred to as Ekiti sons and daughters and that is because of the way he carries himself. Certainly, we are going to do something about that.”
But, he declined to comment on the recent banning of Dr. Kayode Fayemi from holding public office for 10 years by a panel set up by the state government, saying that he had not been properly briefed.
He, however, said the party, All Progressives Congress (APC) would contact Fayemi and seek his views on how to manage the issue.