By Vincent Kalu
Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere has stated that the statement by the National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Abdullahi Bodejo, that no power can force them out of Ondo State forests is an insult to Yoruba people.
Following the seven-day ultimatum issued by the Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu SAN to the herdsmen to leave the forests in the state because of their alleged criminal activities, the National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Abdullahi Bodejo, declared in an interview with Saturday Sun that no power can push Fulani herdsmen out of the State.
Reacting, the spokesman of the Yoruba group, Yinka Odumakin, said it was an insult to the state. According to him, the leader of the cattle breeders was holding unto such position because President Muhammadu Buhari is their grand patron.
“Even if Buhari wants those forests or land, he has to talk with the Ondo State governor by virtue of the Land Use Act. But these people are doing what they like because of the protection they are getting from their grand patron. Remember when they killed Benue people and the governor went to meet Buhari, the president only told him to go and live in peace with them. It is such thing that is giving them the impunity to behave anyhow. They are behaving like warlords in Nigeria because of the commander in chief, who is also their grand patron,” Odumakin said.
On the claims by Bodejo that they had settled in the forests for more than 250 years, and that the forests belong to the Fulani, the Afenifere spokesman said such statement depicts irrationality.
He said: “Can I go to Kano or Sokoto and make such a silly claim? Every land belongs to a state and the land in every state is vested in the governor. Claiming that the forests belong to federal government is exhibition of highest level of illiteracy. They should go and read the law, Land Use Act. It can be translated into Fulfulde; land in every state in Nigeria is vested in the governor by virtue of land use act. The land doesn’t belong to them, even their grand patron, President Buhari cannot lay claims to the land.”
Odumakin urged Governor Akeredolu to invoke the full weight of the law at the expiration of the ultimatum, and let’s watch them come and declare war on Ondo State.