Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has raised the alarm that the South West geo-political zone of the country is under the siege alleging that the Fulani herdsmen now terrorise the people of the six states of the zone without any aid from the Federal government.
To this end, the party appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, the security chiefs and the governors of the six states of the region to take measure to save the people from terrorists’ attack.
The National Vice Chairman (South West) of the party, Dr Eddy Olafeso, said the last four years of the Buhari’s government was unfavourable, adding that “Nigerians are full of fear and trepidation as insecurity across the length and breadth of the nation continues to grow in alarming proportion and with no sign that the President is in any manner ready, equipped and prepared to bail the nation out of the violence, war, destruction and needless deaths.”
Olafeso said: “It is unfortunate to state that the South West is today under the siege of Fulani terrorists or herdsmen who perpetrate criminal actions daily in the most unfettered manner.
“In our region, kidnapping, assault and rape by these marauders remain unchecked; this lethargy has even emboldened them to even attack a traditional ruler in his palace, without repercussions, thus egregiously making a bold statement that we the Yoruba have become their captives. This we condemn out rightly as a direct assault, insult and desecration of our corporate heritage as Yoruba people.
“Much as we know that we cannot use the activities of these criminals to judge the entire Fulani people, many of whom are accomplished and responsible leaders in our party and nation, we however restate that the average Yoruba man is now compelled to believe that plans remain afoot to conquer and subdue us in our fatherland.
“This belief is further reinforced by the fact that government’s security agencies directly under the control of President has so far done almost nothing to challenge and outrightly put a stop to these insidiously dangerous actions of the so-called herdsmen.
“President Buhari must as a matter of fact, know that Yoruba people have confidence in his ability to make peace reign in our nation which continues to sink every day. And there is the danger that resort to self help may soon become the order of the day, except he takes concrete security actions in the South West immediately.
“It is important that we put on record that when we contemplate the horrors of Rwanda in the 1990s and the possibility of same in our nation today, our hearts sink; we must begin to put in place, actions to safeguard our nation and particularly our God-given fatherland.
“In view of the foregoing, we demand that President Buhari should immediately order the security agencies to flush these criminals out of the South West. If he does, we the Yoruba will heave a sigh of relieve and discard our suspicion that ethnic cleansing is about to be prosecuted in our nation. We will sincerely appreciate him for it.
“However, taking due cognisance of the President’s lethargy and pussyfooting, we may not expect this to happen soon; our conclusion in this direction is reinforced by the fact that he only recently gave a directive concerning the Apapa road debacle after years of crisis and suffering it posed to the people and national economy.
“We also disagree with the governors of the South West states, particularly those of Ekiti, Osun, Ondo and Oyo for not doing enough to safeguard their people. Roads across these states have become the theatres of operation of these hoodlums and they seem to stand by helplessly and watching thereby making us query what indeed they spend the humongous sum they take as security vote on.
“When we recall that this same Ekiti that is the Fulani terrorists/herdsmen main operational theatre was bereft of developments of this nature under ex-Governor Ayo Fayose, it calls to question the commitment of all our governors to keep our region safe. It is in Ondo State that an Oba’s palace was violently invaded by herdsmen and all the governor did was an appeasement of the hoodlums; this is disappointing.
“It is now becoming a common occurrence for these hoodlums to enter houses and pluck people like oranges. The governors must compulsorily know that we are essentially Yoruba firstly, irrespective of partisan political affiliations, thus must assiduously protect our people and land through the instrumentalities of their offices. Their failure so far, which we suspect is dictated by the ephemeral need to be seen as being loyal to Mr President, and remain in his good books without briefing him adequately on the challenges of our region is absolutely sycophantic and condemnable. It is absurd and inexcusable for us to be under siege in our own nation,” he added.