From Fred Itua, Abuja
The senator representing Osun East senatorial district in the National Assembly, Francis Fadahunsi, has alleged that some traditional rulers from the South West, were supporting activities of some herdsmen cum kidnappers.
He made the revelation on Monday in Abuja when he spoke to some journalists. He said Obas encourage herdsmen in their various domains.
He said the unnamed Obas employ herdsmen to act as their marabouts in order to oppress their people.
‘I confronted this problem long ago when this thing was rampant in my area, I summoned the Obas in Ijesha land in my constituency. There were about four or five cases of kidnapping and they were begging Fulani with N2 million and anybody who could not pay, they will waste the man,’ he said.
‘So, I boycotted the protocol and summoned the Obas because I knew it was the Obas that encouraged them in their domains. We then had an agreement in a closed-door meeting; if we hear anything, where they came in where they escaped, automatically I will use the youth to chase the Oba away. That was the agreement, it went down for about 4-5 years.
‘Even during Aregbesola’s time, you won’t hear anything banditry in Osun state because he had maximum security. So, we found out that it was the Obas who employed the Fulani herdmen as their herbalists in their domains to oppress their people. We even got one or two Obas’ children that were buying food for them and their victims.
‘It was one of them that took us to 84 tents where they were in our area. We had to route them out. The are not the Hausa/Fulani that are living with us. When we asked them they said they don’t know them. Look at what is happening in Zamfara, Kebbi and Kaduna states, don’t we have Fulanis there? They’re destroying their farms too.
‘The only thing is that they are having sympathy for them because they of the same colour, tribe, and the same Fulfude language. Not all of them are Fulanis from Nigeria; they are from Niger, Chad, Cameron. If they are Fulanis from Nigeria they will be living with us, they will not live in the bush. I was laughing at someone who said ECOWAS’s protocol should be jettisoned because they are coming through the road.
‘Have you ever seen them coming through the road? It’s through the bush and rivers; while you are sleeping they are walking like animals. Our own people stay with us, the marry us and we marry them. Go to Iwo, you will see many Fulanis there. Even in Ogori where there was problem recently, they have been there for the past 200 years. In Isheyin, Ipeti, Igboho, you see them speaking Yoruba. In Oshogbo my capital you see their leaders speaking Yoruba, they don’t have another language.’