Updated: March 5, 2021
A Nigerian governor warned on Tuesday that Africa’s most populous country was drifting towards a state of anarchy under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr. Ayodele Fayose, an opposition governor from the Southwestern state of Ekiti called on the international community “to intervene and rescue the country from turning to a war zone, where mass killings are a usual occurrence”.
He was reacting to the killing of 18 worshippers and two priests in Benue state allegedly by herdsmen, as well as to President Buhari’s withdrawal of $496 million from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) reportedly without approval of the National Assembly. Mr. Fayose was also reacting to the controversial arrest of Senator Dino Melaye, a lawmaker seen by the ruling party as a thorn in its flesh.
Governor Fayose alleged that under the government of President Buhari, the Nigerian constitution was “on suspension”.
“If half of the level aggressiveness being shown by the Police on the arrest of Senator Dino Melaye because of seeming concocted allegations is shown on the killings by herdsmen across the North Central States and other parts of the country, the rampaging killer herdsmen that are even killing policemen would have been brought under control,” he said in a statement by the special Assistant to the governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka.
“It is alarming and curious that Father Joseph Gor, one of the Catholic Priests that were murdered in Benue State today, raised alarm on January 3, 2018, through his Facebook account on the occupation of Mbalom community by herdsmen. Yet, the priest was killed,” the governor said.
“Why is the federal government allowing this seeming ethnic cleansing in Benue and other middle-belt States, such that President Buhari and the entire members of his government do not see the wanton killings as anything to be worried about?
“When did Nigeria degenerate to the level that people can no longer worship peacefully in their churches or go to their farms? When did Nigeria become a state of anomie where people are killed even after raising alarm that there was threat to their existence?”
On the illegal withdrawal of $496 million from the Excess Crude Account, Governor Fayose said; “One day, this federal government will even stop releasing statutory allocations to States and Local councils. They are behaving as if the constitution of the country is already suspended and this should worry lovers of democracy in Nigeria.
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