By Zika Bobby
A coalition of Yoruba groups and organizations in the Diaspora, Yoruba One Voice (YOV), has expressed concerns over the breakdown of security in many South-West states, urging for the massive deployment of security forces in the zone, especially Oyo State, where many innocent citizens were recemtly killed and displaced following an ethnic conflict in Shasha area of the state.
This is as the foremost Diaspora group lambasted the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, for justifying Fulani herdsmen carrying guns, describing the governor’s statement as despicable and anarchist for a public official.
In a statement issued by the coalition and signed by its Secretary-General, Dr. Sina Okanlomo, the YOV said it strongly condemned the violence and provocation in Shasha, adding that the incident might be deliberately designed to subdue the Yoruba nation.
Several people lost their lives and property over the weekend in Sasha area of Akindele Local Government after two men had a misunderstanding and in the process, the cart pusher, said to be a Hausa man, stabbed the cobbler, said to be a Yoruba man, with a knife.
The stabbed victim was later confirmed dead in a hospital and this led to the crisis in the community.
According to YOV, the South-West has been a largely peaceful area because the Yoruba people are accommodating and friendly, adding that, ‘The spate of hostilities and unwarranted attacks against us (Yoruba) clearly shown that our affable trait is being taken for granted.”
Okanlomo stated further that the Shasha market, like every other ethnic conflict, has the potential of snowballing into another brutal riotous conflict like the civil war.
While urging for a swift homegrown solution to wanton killings in Yorubaland, the YOV leader called for a public panel of enquiry to probe the Sasha incident, just as he urged the six governors in the zone to develop an immediate and long-term blueprint on security.
YOV, which has membership in six continents and 176 countries, also said there is the need to assess the basis of existence among the various tribes in the country, adding that, “We are entitled to our rights. There is an urgent need for a referendum for us to know the basis for our existence.”
On Governor Mohammed, YOV said it is in sync with other groups in the South-West to declare the Bauchi governor a person non granta in the zone until he withdraws and apologise for his anarchist statement on herdsmen carrying arms.
“We are aware that some politicians are covertly sympathetic to the killer Fulani herdsmen in the South-West, but it was a surreal experience for us to see the governor boldly supporting their evil acts in the public.
” That a governor who took the oath to protect and preserve the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is now an apostle of lawlessness and killings, only shows the caliber of those leading Africa’s most populous country.
“He has in one breath conceded that Fulani herdsmen carry AK 47 and at the same time encouraging all to do likewise. The statement is uncouth, insensitive and despicable especially against families and people that have been at the receiving end of these killer herdsmen. This is simply a path to anarchy from the governor.
“Based on his support for herdsmen’s free movement around the country with sophisticated weapons, we declare him unfit for any leadership position and we support calls that he should apologise to all well-meaning Nigerians,” YOV said.