Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Pan-Yoruba socio cultural organisation, Afenifere, has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to end all forms of extra-judicial killings, especially the ones perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen in the South West geopolitical zone.
Rising from a special meeting at the residence of its leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti in Akure, Ondo State, yesterday, the apex Yoruba organisation bemoaned the rate of havoc, especially killings being perpetrated in the South West region by Fulani herdsmen.
The group in a communique read at the end of the meeting by its Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, said the Yoruba people have suffered tremendously in the hands of the Fulani herdsmen in the last four years of Buhari’s administration.
“Meeting reviewed the spate of wanton killings going on across Nigeria and being perpetrated largely by Fulani herdsmen, the only group that is in possession of unlicensed sophisticated weapons in Nigeria today without fear of any consequence as they seem to have official backing, promotion and defence.
“The killings targeted at non-Fulani groups across the country are wilful and deliberate in pursuit of expansionist and conquest agenda.
“And most unfortunately, the government in place has betrayed perceived complicity as we are not aware of any member of the group on trial for these monumental crimes even when Miyetti Allah has owned up to some of them. Instead, the regime has treated them with kid gloves, making excuses for their crimes with our information ministry and presidential media office being made to look like Boko Haram and Miyetti Allah media centre as they issue statements to defend these groups even when they are not defending themselves with the presidency equating Miyetti Allah with Afenifere and Ohanaeze in order to confer legitimacy on them.
“And of late is the insensitive and impunity-inspired decision of the Federal Government to open a Fulani Radio for the herdsmen in violation of the federal character spirit of our constitution.
“Those who have studied events in Liberia, Somalia, Rwanda and Sudan would not miss the fact that this was how events started until full-scale civil wars broke out.
“To avert this destructive scenario, we call on the Federal Government to immediately readdress its priorities in these matters and begin the process of running an inclusive country while re-defining law and order so that no citizen would take the life of another and not fear for consequences.
“We equally call on the international community not to stand aloof as Nigeria drives to the edge of the precipice. There is a big burden for the global community if things get out of hand in Nigeria.
“Meeting also frowned at the activities of the Fulani marauders all over Yorubaland in form of killings, kidnappings and rape of women.
“The situation has become much more frightening with the claim by a recently kidnapped don at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, that he noticed that policemen who stopped him at a checkpoint shortly before he was abducted, made a call.
“He said the policeman is of the same ethnic stock with the Fulani herdsmen who kidnapped him thereafter. We want the police authorities to properly investigate this as it sends a worrying signal.
“Meeting advised our people to active their traditional and communal self-defence system in the face of these existential threats.
“We commend former president Olusegun Obasanjo and other patriots. The meeting took note of the recent statements by Obasanjo crediting the wave of terror going on Nigeria by Boko Haram and Miyetti Allah in Nigeria to the Fulanisation project in West Africa. We commend his boldness in speaking the truth no matter how inconvenient it may be, which is the hallmark of a statesman.
“We also acknowledge the forthrightness of the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, General David Jemibewon, Col. David Bamigboye, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum, Middle Belt Forum and all other patriots who have backed Obasanjo’s statement.
“Meeting equally endorsed the Yoruba Summit Group position on insecurity in Yorubaland.
“Afenifere states unequivocally that it is only those who don’t wish Nigeria well and agents of destruction that would dismiss all these patriots as raising a false flag,” the group said in the communique.