Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The killing of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, daughter of the leader of pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, by people suspected to be Fulani herdsmen is generating anger in Yorubaland.
She was said to have been shot dead on Friday at Ore Junction, on her way from Lagos to Akure by people suspected to be Fulani herdsmen even as another report said the killing was perpetrated by armed robbers.
Already, the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has said the Yoruba people should not be blamed if they react accordingly to how suspected Fulani have invaded the South West of Nigeria, adding that the Yoruba race had taken to reacting in the media to let the whole world know the atrocities being committed against the Yoruba, before the development would turn to tit-for-tat.
In the same vein, the Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF) has also alleged that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has been giving kid-gloves treatment to the purported murderous excesses of the herdsmen, which, according to the forum, “is enough fillip for their continued killing of innocent souls, especially in places opposed to their archaic, backward, and crude method of pastoralism, hence, we see Mrs. Olakunrin’s murder, as another series, in that devilish plot of theirs.”
In a statement issued on Saturday by the Media Assistant to Gani Adams, Kehinde Aderemi, the Aare Onakakanfo said the Yoruba race was not at a loss as to what to do to put a complete stop to the atrocities of the Fulani herdsmen, but had continuously issued statements so as to call the attention of the entire world to the development in the peaceful South West.
He said the Yoruba people are not paper tigers and dogs, who can only bark without biting, adding “we only want the whole world to know what has been done and being done to our people.
“They should be aware of the actions that preceded our reaction when it eventually comes. We are not bereft of ideas of how to stop this criminality on our land.
“It is just so that we should not be blamed when the reaction comes.
“We are like the proverbial goat that is being chased. When it gets to the wall, it will certainly react. We are at that stage now.”
Adams stated that the Yoruba race had met over a period of three weeks on the security threat to the people, calling on governors of the south western states to ensure the conclusion of the security summit process.
He equally charged all traditional rulers to take bold steps to stamp out killings by Fulani herdsmen in their domains, adding that there should be a process of identifying visitors or new settlers in every community. He noted that the leader of the visitors or settlers must be known to the traditional rulers.
He commiserated with Pa Fasoranti, praying God to comfort him and his entire household, saying: “Papa, this is a very trying time. But it is certain justice will come.”
Also, the Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF), in a statement issued by its publicity secretary, Lanre Ogundipe, said it received with shock, sadness and trepidation, the news of the unfortunate killing of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin.
“While YUF commiserates with the revered Yoruba elder, his family, both nuclear and extended, and indeed all of Yorubaland on this unfortunate, yet preventable death, and sincerely pray that the gentle soul of Mrs. Olakunrin finds peace with her maker, we’re constrained to lay the entire blame of her sad demise on the doorstep of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The forum stated further that it was alarmed by the claim that Mrs. Olakunrin’s killing “was a failed armed robbery attack, for we’re yet to see where armed robbers, whose primary motive is to dispossess victims of their belongings, will kidnap or riddle the same victim’s car with bullets. YUF finds this claim spineless, and absolutely ill thought.
“YUF feels that, and rightly so too, that President Buhari’s continued emotional attachment to his folks, the Fulani, to the detriment of the rest of the country, is already the fuel for the eventual arson of the whole country, if unchecked.
“Whether in the attempt to establish a grazing reserve, cattle ranches, cattle colonies, special radio station, or the current RUGA that was hastily suspended, President Buhari has left no one in doubt of his morbid agenda to fulanise the whole country, continuing where his ancestor, Uthman Dan Fodio, left off.
“As a Yoruba nation, we’re deeply saddened by this killing, and many that have become daily occurrences as a result of the Buhari government’s gross ineptitude, and blatant bias towards the Fulani, noting that this may eventually lead to the destruction of Nigeria.
“YUF reiterates its call for the total restructuring of the country, as that in our well-informed opinion, is the panacea to the myriads of problems confronting a disjointed and faulty union like Nigeria.
“Without immediate restructuring along the lines of the 2014 National Conference Resolutions, the continued existence of Nigeria as one country is very much open to doubt.”