By Isa Isawade
Former Minister of Aviation and stalwart of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has said the reason he hated and continued to campaign against the incumbent administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was its refusal to declare the Fulani herdsmen as terrorists.
Fani-Kayode said this while on a television programme as a guest of the AIT Weekend show on Saturday morning.
According to him, the President has continued to protect the violent herdsmen against the rest of Nigerians.
He said other countries of the world had declared Fulani herdsmen as “Fulani Terrorists”, but that the Nigerian government under President Buhari had refused to do so, but would prefer to protect the herdsmen and allow them to continue to kill Nigerians.
On the RevolutionNow protesters, he declared full support for the group and its leader, Omoyele Sowore, adding that the group was just expressing grievance “legitimately and should be allowed to do so”.
“People have the legitimate right to come out and say whatever they want to say under freedom of speech.
“Protest is legitimate in every society. It’s done everywhere in the world! You bow to the will of the people, you listen to them, you don’t lock them up or charge them with treason”, he said.
Fani-Kayode added that what the government did by arresting Sowore was an abuse of power.
“You don’t start locking up people because they say they want revolution. Doing that will amount to killing a fly with hammer.”
He further went on to accuse the President himself and the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as once coming out in 2013 to call for revolution.
“Buhari, Tinubu once came out to call for revolution in 2013, and you now start locking people up for doing same now. Why the double standard? He asked.
When the interviewer pointed to him that there had been some violation of the law in terms of violent acts on the part of the organisers of the RevolutionNow protests such as videos of cars being destroyed, and pictures of the convener, Omoyele Sowore defacing public properties and so on, he said ” I don’t support violence. I was also in government for a long time. Nobody is defending that. However, when you have people go out for a legitimate demonstration, and a few of them misbehave, even though criminal and it’s wrong, you don’t get up and say the whole organisation is proscribed which is what happened in the case of IMN. In the case of IPOB, it is worse. You killed thousands of them. It’s IPOB today, it could be you tomorrow. People have the right to say they want to secede.”
When one of his interviewers urged him to exercise caution in his utterances which tended to promote disunity in the country, he responded angrily and charged at the interviewer by saying “it was too forward of you to tell me that”.