Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Alaafin to Buhari: Yorubas have what it takes to defend themselves

There has been growing incidence of kidnappings and killings in the hinterlands of Oyo State.

• January 22, 2021

The Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III has decried the insecurity situation in the Southwestern zone of the country, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to stem the tide of the marauding “Fulani pseudo herdsmen” said to the perpetrating the crimes.

There has been growing incidence of kidnappings and killings in the hinterlands of Oyo State.

In a 2018 open letter to Mr. Buhari, Mr. Adeyemi said his confidence in the president remains unshaken amidst the insecurity posing threats and imminent danger to living in Nigeria.

The revered monarch noted that he has had series of consultations with opinion leaders and imminent leaders regarding the menace of the cattle herdsmen who “rape women in presence of their husbands.”

He also lamented the destruction of farmlands and kidnappings by men in military uniforms, he said, “what is more worrisome about the kidnapping notoriety is what looks like impunity which these kidnappers enjoy their nefarious activities.”

Mr. Adeyemi also recalled how he took proactive steps when the activities of herdsmen were first noticed in the Oyo/Oke Ogun area of the state.

While citing series of kidnap, rape cases, raids, and banditry in the zone, the monarch called on Mr. Buhari on “the urgency of the need to quickly respond to these and other issues concerning Yoruba land.”

“What we are witnessing in Nigeria is an anomaly because it is inconceivable that in the 21st century, when the whole world is making appreciable progress in providing enhanced standard of living, Nigerians will be living under the fear of banditry, brigandage, rape, kidnapping and terrorism.

“I trust that you will not allow this to happen and will quickly and decisively take immediate steps to re-established confidence in your government and demonstrate the capacity of the state to protect all legitimate interests,” he added in the letter reported by The Guardian.

Mr. Adeyemi maintained that the situation becomes more worrisome because the police are yet to apprehend anyone on the matter.

“As no major arrest of Fulani pseudo herdsmen has been made till date in Yoruba land, suspects cannot be paraded, let alone arraigned,” he said.

The monarch, however, warned that the Yoruba people traditionally have what it takes to defend themselves and interests against all enemy attacks, but the situation could trigger a total breakdown of law and order.

Earlier in the year, Fulani herdsmen and men of the Oyo State Security Network Agency (Amotekun), clashed in Ibarapa and Oke Ogun axis of the state.

The commandant of Amotekun in the state, Olayinka Olayanju, a retired army colonel, denied the clash.

Meanwhile, the governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde, in a statewide broadcast Wednesday said it is unlawful to drive the law-abiding herdsmen out of the state.

Editor’s Note: The letter from Alaafin cited in this report was first circulated in 2018. The Gazette published it after it was recirculated by The Guardian in its January 22, 2021, edition. All errors are regretted.

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