The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Public Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi, has expressed fear that the current wave of killings by herdsmen in parts of the country would constitute a serious threat to the party’s 2019 presidential bid.
He therefore wants the problem resolved immediately.
Abdullahi, while speaking in Ikeja, Lagos, on Thursday night at the reading of his book, “On A Platter of Gold,” said the killings have “the potential to affect our political fortune if we don’t deal with it decisively with the way we dealt with Boko Haram.”
“If we fail to do that, we also know the consequences because we had a recent experience,” he said in response to a question at the event.
We are worried with the way herdsmen kill people.
“The significant part of it is that even as we speak, there are also interpretations of what is going on regarding the herdsmen that approximate closely to the interpretation President Goodluck Jonathan was being given about Boko Haram.
“You will recall that some people said what happened in Benue was a communal clash, some said it was Ortom who had some militia and refused to pay them and it was the militia who turned their weapons against the people.
“It is frightening for us to hear this. At the party level, we are having conversation, that we want to see the President and tell him that this interpretation you are being given is potentially destructive to our party and your own position as the President and potential candidate of the party.”
Responding to another question on why Buhari has not visited Benue State to douse the tension generated by the killings, Abdullahi said: “We don’t know the information the President has and we don’t know what the security people are telling him. When you are in power, you are being held hostage.”
Abdullahi, who served former President Jonathan as Minister of Youth and Sports, used the occasion to shed light on the circumstances that led to his sack.
Jonathan, he said had wanted him to deliver a speech publicly condemning the now Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who is well known as his (Abdullahi’s) mentor.
The former minister said he declined to do the dirty job.
“I said no and it is not because I am loyal to Saraki that I said so, but I will do it for everybody I have relationship with,” he said.
“To ask me to be the one to abuse him, no way. I take it to be hypocritical of me to stand for something and not get the repercussion. There was no bitterness at all with Jonathan or to get at somebody. Anybody reading this book will be looking out for vengeance words, but I tried to be objective.”