General Overseer of Citadel Global Community Church, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has said the security situation in the country has never been as bad as this, especially with the recent emergence of non-state actors such as Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.
Bakare, who spoke on Arise TV on Thursday, said the government should be more proactive in handling brewing security matters.
According to him, its about time the issues of disintegration were addressed directly.
He said, "We have so many people saying they are going, added to that is the recent Sunday Adeyemo's issue that almost created a lot of crisis in the Southwest part of our counry. Over time, you're seeing the South-East IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) and you have seen all different kinds of groups in our nation, the Middle Belt, South-South, it's about time that all those issues have to be addressed directly.
"Is the President not doing anything about it? I'm sure he himself is not comfortable with what is going on in the nation. Any leader would be concerned about it; he is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, a number of things are happening that will shock anyone. This is not the Nigeria I grew up in as a young child.
"I lived in the North and South, it was never as bad as this. I think the whole thing is coming to a crescendo. It is my sincere desire that the President, his government and the armed forces will be up to the task of not only dealing with terrorists but bringing the nation together in such a way that we can sit on the table of brotherhood and not tear ourselves apart. We need to sit together and talk, act and back our resolutions with actions that will unify the country rather than divide the country.
"As late as last night, I still had a chat with presidential aides, expressed my views and thoughts. I get to see the President whenever time permits. COVID-19 restrictions have made it impossible but I saw him late last year. I've not seen him this year.
"I will continue, as well as other men of goodwill, to seek a peaceful resolution of our crisis, more behind the scene than any public declaration. There's nothing you will hear me share in public that has not been discussed in private conversations."
The cleric, however, cautioned Sunday Igboho, saying he must act within the ambit of the law.
He said, "There may be other ways of resolving this crisis other than issuing death threats and beating the drum of war. Thank God it has come a bit down though not completely resolved. We will by God's grace, do all that God has given us to do. My intervention and (that of) other well-meaning Nigerians is to deescalate the tension generated by the 7-day ultimatum they gave and as much as possible, reset the narratives before it gets out of hand."
He said he was relieved to hear that Igboho had apologised to the Ooni of Ife over his inflammatory statement on the roles of the royal father and other Yoruba leaders in handling the issue of Fulani herdsmen terrorising the South-West.
He cautioned that there should not be an action that would make Yorubas in Fulani territory feel threatened.
Igboho had in a viral video apologised to the Ooni of Ife on Wednesday, stating that he never meant to disrespect the stool of the royal father.
"The ancient stool of the Ooni of Ife should be respected and all Obas should be respected, no one should drag their names in the mud. One of the things men of goodwill need to do; you can see that what is causing this is leadership deficit almost all over the country, South-West inclusive. We have to avoid all reckless rhetoric," he said.
Igboho had described the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi and Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, as Fulani slaves.
He said the Ooni and others were interested in their own gains despite claiming to represent Yoruba interest.
He said, “When Ooni visited Buhari, the president received him by standing up but he said something I don’t like. That is why the Alaafin called me. He wants to tackle what Ooni said.
“Ooni should be able to tell Buhari about what Yoruba want. But he has collected dollars from Buhari. He called me but I don’t want to see him. Only Alaafin is supporting us and he has written a letter to the president. Ooni disappointed me. Politicians are with him.
“The Oluwo (of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi) will wear turban and start calling himself an Emir, our people should call him and tell him to stop what he is doing. Our leaders are lazy and slaves to Fulanis. They visit Abuja to collect money, we will attack them and destroy their property. Ooni should be dealt with. I am annoyed. Why should we be afraid of the crown they (Yoruba monarchs) wear?
“Tinubu and other Yoruba politicians are Fulani slaves. We need not be afraid. I have not collected any money from anyone. I am a full Yoruba man and I will not allow Fulani people to enslave me, we do not look or behave alike in any way. The herders should go. Makinde is also a slave to the herders because of second term ambition.”
He, however, apologised to the Ooni on Wednesday, saying "Yoruba tradition doesn't permit the insult of elders".
Igboho has been in the news recently following an ultimatum he gave to herdsmen in the Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State to leave within seven days, blaming the leadership of the Fulani for being behind the rising insecurity in the state.
Days after, violence erupted in the area during which the houses and property of the Seriki Fulani, Alhaji Saliu Abdulkadir, were burnt.