Another Traditional Ruler Writes Buhari, Warns Him Of Security Situation In The South-West

In yet another twist to the ongoing security challenge in the country, another traditional ruler has yet again sent out message to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi, on Sunday, has warned that the Yoruba people could resort to self-help against the “increasing and incessant menace of herders” in the face of “apparent helplessness” of Nigeria’s security agencies.

The Alaafin in a letter  – titled “Yoruba Question in Nigeria Conundrum” – directed at President Muhammadu Buhari, sounded the warning, expressing worry about the country’s insecurity.

“I am worried about the security situation in the country, especially in the South-west geo-political zone, nay the entire Yoruba-speaking area of the country including Kwara, Kogi and Edo states,” said the monarch.

“This has to do with the incessant and increasing menace of Fulani herdsmen that have laid siege in almost all the highways of Yoruba land.”

It should be recalled that President Buhari rode on the promise of ensuring national security to be elected president.

But it appears the nation’s security situation is getting worse by the day, with the South-west recording an alarming spate of violence, especially kidnapping.

Apart from the North-east ravaged by the Boko Haram, the violence in the North-west has risen beyond the police constabulary role.

The oil-rich Niger Delta still remains volatile and the farmer-herdsmen conflict that mostly affects the North-central, especially during dry seasons, remains a challenge.

Heightened tension

The Alaafin’s intervention is coming amid heightened tension following the killing of Funke Olakunrin,  daughter of Pan-Yoruba group’s leader Reuben Fasoranti. Mr Fasoranti’s group, Afenifere, blamed Fulani herdsmen, even though the police are yet to identify the suspect.

The killing of Fasorati’s daughter has escalated the issue of security in the South West.

“Whether in Owo, Akure, Ilesa/Ife-Ibadan road or Ibarapa zone and Ijebu area of Ogun state, the story is the same,” the Alaafin continued blaming the Fulani for insecurity in the South-west region.

“I have held series of consultations with opinion moulders and eminent Yoruba leaders across board about the menace of these cattle herders with such assault like raping of our women and in some occasions, in the presence of their husbands.

“That is apart from massive destruction of our agricultural lands; which ultimately points to imminent starvation.”


Historical Perspective

The herdsmen conflict dates back in time even to the Old Oyo Empire. The Fulani contributed to the collapse of Old Oyo Empire. They established an emirate in Ilorin, which was originally a Yoruba town, and made even made attempt to penetrate further before being stopped in Osogbo, present-day Osun State – a historical context which explains the distrust and tension between the Yoruba and the Fulani group.

“On top of it all is the menace of professional kidnappers usually in military uniforms. What is more worrisome about the kidnapping notoriety is what looks like impunity which these kidnappers enjoy their nefarious activities. Worse still is the confidence with which they demand ransoms and collect such illegal levies at designated spots without any arm of security being able to lay siege on them as it was the practice in the recent past.

“Now, we cannot even talk of parading suspects, when in actual sense, no major arrests have been made in this part of the country. Without arrests, we cannot talk of their facing of the law. Unfortunately, and painfully indeed, in the face of the apparent helplessness of our security agencies, where do we go from here?

“It is at the wake of this manifest frustration of our people that our people have found it unavoidable, even though reluctantly to resort to alternative measures to safeguard their lives and property.

“Suffice to say that in most part of Yoruba land, their pre-colonial military structures have not been totally collapsed.

Hence, such structures like Odua People’s Congress, Agbekoya and other vigilante,” the Oyo monarch wrote.

The OPC, an armed Yoruba militia involved in vigilante work in parts of the Southwest, recently told the authorities it would ‘respond appropriately’ after the killing of Mr Fasoranti’s daughter.

Source: Premium Times

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