From Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
The people of Oro kingdom in the Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, under the aegis of Oro Descendants Union (ODU), have issued a seven-day ultimatum to herdsmen in Okerimi-Oro community to relocate to ensure security in the area.
In a statement entitled, ‘WE REJECT UNLAWFUL OCCUPATION OF LAND IN OUR COMMUNITY BY BORORO/FULANI”, signed by the national president and national publicity secretary of the union, Alhaji Uthman Tunji Balogun and Mr Kayode Adeyipo, respectively, the people, who are kinsmen of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, allege that herdsmen evicted from Oyo State have occupied Okerimi-Oro community since the last week of January.
The people, who alleged that some traditional rulers in nearby communities connived with the herdsmen and purportedly signed an agreement to have them settle in their own area, said that the traditional rulers ‘discreetly brought the herdsmen to Okerimi-Oro land to settle”.
The eleven constituents of Oro kingdom include Okerimi-Oro, Ijomu-Oro, Aafin-Oro, Ido-Oro, Agbeola-Oro, Okeola-Oro, Iludun-Oro, Irebode-Oro, Oro, Sie and Olorunsogo.
‘The site where the Bororo/Fulani herdsmen are occupying now is part of Koshoni-Ola Farmland in Okerimi Oro. Everyone became scared, nervous and agitated demanding that they should be sent away from our locality because of their reported, evidence-based nefarious activities, which included kidnapping, maiming of innocent citizens, robberies and destruction of farm land. And to our knowledge, it is not the company that invited them.
‘The signed document had with the Aala of Ilala community and Baale of Buari community, the signatures of nine leaders of Bororo/Fulani, Seriki Fulani in Ajase-Ipo and Chairman of Miyetti Allah in Irepodun Local Government Area. The peace pact was witnessed by zonal heads of security agencies including Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Security (DSS) and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
‘Everything was without our knowledge; we are not party to it and we can’t be a party to any of such arrangements. Our people are vehemently against, they had long kicked against it. Now, the pertinent questions to ask are:
‘What right do the two community leaders have to bring Bororo/Fulani herdsmen to sojourn on Okerimi-Oro land?
‘Why can’t they settle them on their own land?
‘Is Kosoni-Ola Farm in Buhari or Ilala?
‘Their act is disheartening and disgusting. Can a house owner collect rent from anyone and direct the person to another man’s house to be received as tenant after signing tenancy agreement with him (i.e. the payer)? Buhari and Ilala are not part of Oro. In fact, it is a slap on our face for them to bring strangers to our Land for them to come and occupy it. It must be said that Okerimi Oro had given more than enough concession to Buari, years past, in settling boundary matters amicably for peace and development to thrive. Why are the people coming up with unwholesome moves at this time?
‘Enough is enough! What happened is a clear case of trespass. Buari people had entered our land without permission. They had put people/property on a land that doesn’t belongs to them without the owner’s permission. ODU frowns at such unfriendly and unruly act. It was an intentional malfeasance.
‘We know what to do? We have taken first line of action by reporting to the law enforcement agents who may not be aware the people of Buari that signed agreement with them didn’t settle the Bororo/Fulani on their own land. We also know that trespass can have both civil and criminal consequences.
‘It must be noted, we are not in enmity with anyone. But we have noted conspiracy against our people in this matter, hence we can’t tolerate such ignoble misdemeanour on our people’s ancestral land. Enough of the afront! We now implore Buari and Ilala to come and relocate Bororo/Fulani to their own land, which must be far away from our vicinity. And this must be done on or before the expiration of seven (7) days counting from today, Tuesday, February 16, 2021.’