The United States of America team of officials on Monday met with Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, at his Lagos home to seek his views on the security situation in the country.
The 2 -man team of officials from the US Embassy in Lagos, led by the Political Officer, Shashank Iyer, and accompanied by the Embassy’s Political Specialist, Arnold Abulime, told Adams and some members of the Aare-in-Council who joined him in receiving them, that the US was concerned about the tension in the country, especially now heightened with the introduction of Ruga Settlements.
Ruga Settlements is the policy of the Federal Government establishing settlements for herders in states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Speaking during the visit, Iyer said the concern of the US was how all ethnic groups in the country can live peacefully, as it had been observed that the people of Nigeria had the capacity to pull through hard times economically, but some touchy issues such as plans to have Ruga Settlements established across the country had the tendency to make them drift apart.
“It is tricky getting all to live together, so that is why there is the need to meet and share perspectives.
“We need to be able to move forward together in Nigeria, deal with ethnic issues capable of destabilising the country.
“Nigerians will always find a way around economic issues, but ethnic issues have a way of destabilising the country,” the US team leader said.
Iba Adams, while responding, said the solution to all the crises bedeviling the country lies in restructuring the polity, expressing the belief that Nigeria’s numerous problems would be resolved within four years if the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration agreed to embark on the exercise.
This was just as he said it was in the world’s interest for Nigeria to go to war as the entire globe would be adversely affected, urging the team to prevail on the Buhari- led government to undertake the exercise.
“It is not in the world’s interest in Nigeria to go to war. The world will be affected. With a population of over 200 million, every part of the world will feel the disintegration of Nigeria.
“So what we are seeking for is for your government to prevail on Nigeria’s government to restructure. Most of our problems will be solved in four years once restructuring takes place,” he said.
Speaking further, Iba Adams said things in the country were going to a state of collapse, warning that they can only get worse if appropriate steps were not taken.
“Our system is going to a state of collapse, especially with the Buhari Government in the last four years. And it can only get worse.
“If Buhari does not restructure, it will get worse. To save this country, the only way is to accept the report of the Constitutional Conference of 2014 or revert to the 1963 Constitution.
“As it now, no zone is peaceful anymore. Even in Katsina, the president’s state, two traditional rulers were kidnapped without trace till today,” he said.
Adams, while recalling that the US had indeed helped Nigeria before now with the restoration of democratic rule in 1999, hailed the former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, for the role he .ed.
According to him, without such intervention now, a revolution is imminent in Nigeria, adding: “Lessons from Ilorin and Lokoja in the past when the Fulanis came to require for land for their cattle are imperative.”
“They gradually took the place over. The same happened in Plateau and Southern Kaduna.
The history and antecedents of the Fulanis do not make it possible for any sane Yoruba man to accept Ruga,” he recalled.
Adams also presented some documents, which he said contained part of his position, to the team from the Embassy before the closed-door meeting began.
Others present at the meeting included a former Minister of Defence, Dupe Adelaja; Dr. Akin Sonaiya; former Political Adviser to the President, Akin Osuntokun; Publicity Secretary of the Oodua Peoples Congress, Yinka Oguntimehin; and prominent businessman and politician, Kole Omololu.
They all spoke in support of the restructuring of the country and opposed the Ruga Settlements policy of the Federal Government, even as they queried the spending of money on the initiative when several other Nigerians running their private businesses had not benefitted in any form from the Federal Government and with many others going hungry.