From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Yoruba World Assembly (YWA) has said that nothing good will come of the meeting of South-West governors with the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) and heads of security agencies to tackle security threats in the region.
The meeting, which was held on Monday at the International Culture and Event Centre, Akure, Ondo State, followed the rising spate of kidnapping for ransom, killings, rape and other social vices being perpetrated by criminals that reside in the forests across Yorubaland.
YWA Secretary-General Dr Victor Taiwo made the disclosure during a press conference held in Ibadan on Monday, ahead of a security summit scheduled to hold on Thursday, February 4, 2021, in Ibadan, towards having a collective and holistic approach to the general insecurity in the land.
He states that the YWA is solidly behind Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, and a freedom fighter in Ibadan, Sunday Adeyemo, fondly called Sunday Igboho, on the ultimatums they differently gave to criminal elements among herdsmen to vacate the forest reserves and Ibarapaland in Oyo State respectively.
Taiwo noted that the security has degenerated to the extent that the vacation order should be upheld, adding: ‘As far as I am concerned, it is too late to cry when the head is off. We have had enough of Miyetti Allah people. So, this is not the time to negotiate that they should stay. It is time for action. I don’t think any good thing can come out of that meeting.
‘I am not tagging any ethnic base. But to now say they held a meeting with the Miyetti Allah is a concession that the Miyetti Allah and the Fulani people are the ones causing this mayhem. It is a known fact.’
Taiwo stated that the way forward “is to protect ourselves. These people are incorrigible because they have godfathers, who are propping them. It has given them a licence to do whatever they like. Somebody is an irredentist ethnic person and. Fulani man. He has not pretended about this. He does not care what happens to anybody as long as Fulani people exist. So, how do you now come to the negotiation table at this time?
‘They have done enough for us. We just need to defend ourselves. There is no law in the world that says you should not defend yourself. It is time for us to defend ourselves. And we have already put machinery in motion.
‘There are people who are ready to defend us. We have these powerful people. They don’t need to carry certificates. Those Yoruba heroes, the Ibadan warriors, who fought the Fulani War of 1840 at Osogbo, did not carry certificates. They’re our people. We can still do the same. They are ready and they are charged. The only thing that they did not get earlier is coordination. Now, there is coordination on the ground.’
Taiwo also raised the alarm that there is a plan by some Yoruba youth to deal with some Yoruba leaders, saying five-man Gestapo-looking young men in uniform black suits and dark-eyeglasses that sauntered into his office unannounced on Friday, January 22, this year, made this known to him.
He stated that the young men introduced themselves as Young Yoruba Teachers, who are out to ‘to teach our Yoruba leaders good lessons.’
According to him, one of the young men pulled out a document and flashed it at him. The list, he said, contained names of rich Yoruba leaders and politicians they planned to deal with. He quoted them to have said: ‘These are the people we want to teach a lesson if they must only think of themselves and refuse to support the struggle for our emancipation and think of the good of we the youth.’
After the brief encounter, Taiwo said: ‘They rose and I courtesied them out of the gate, only to see two waiting exotic Range Rover SUV cars. They boarded and off the cars zoomed. This is no time for anyone to feel safe and unconcerned, lest we are all consumed together.’