Yoruba lead­ers de­mand end to ‘crim­i­nal’ no­madic ac­tiv­i­ties in S/West

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Dele Ogun­yemi, Ibadan

Yoruba lead­ers un­der the Afenifere and Odua Foun­da­tion met in Ibadan yesterday and de­manded an im­me­di­ate end to law­less no­madic cat­tle graz­ing in Yoruba land.

The sum­mit came af­ter Chief Olu Falae’s farm in Akure was at­tacked for the sec­ond time within two weeks by peo­ple sus­pected to be herds­men who also kid­napped the for­mer Sec­re­tary to the Gov­ern­ment of the Fed­er­a­tion and kept him for four days.

In a res­o­lu­tion adopted at the sum­mit, the Yoruba el­ders de­clared that they would no longer tol­er­ate fur­ther en­croach­ment on their farm­lands and bru­tal at­tacks by no­madic cat­tle rear­ers.

The com­mu­niqué signed by the con­ven­ers in­clud­ing re­tired Gen­eral Adeyinka Ade­bayo, Pres­i­dent of the Yoruba Coun­cil of El­ders (YCE), asked peo­ple who want to en­gage in cat­tle busi­ness in the coun­try to es­tab­lish ranches.

“Our peo­ple are no longer pre­pared to tol­er­ate fur­ther en­croach­ment on their farm­lands and bru­tal at­tacks on them. To this end, all no­madic herds­men are to wind up their crim­i­nal no­madic ac­tiv­i­ties in Yoruba land as fail­ure to do so may war­rant var­i­ous con­se­quences”, the com­mu­niqué said.

They urged the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to en­sure the im­me­di­ate ar­rest and pros­e­cu­tion of the ab­duc­tors of Chief Olu Falae and per­pe­tra­tors of vi­o­lent crimes which have been re­ported at dif­fer­ent po­lice sta­tions in Yoruba land aris­ing from cat­tle rear­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

The sum­mit also de­manded an im­me­di­ate restruc­tur­ing of Nige­ria with the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the re­port of 2014 Na­tional Con­fer­ence as a start­ing point.

“If we do not see any step in this di­rec­tion within a rea­son­able time, the Yorubas may have to re­con­sider their place in a union that can­not pro­tect them. We will use all le­git­i­mate and peace­ful means to at­tain self­de­ter­mi­na­tion”, they said.

Gen­eral Ade­bayo who was the chair­man at the oc­ca­sion, en­joined Yorubas to make a firm stand on their po­si­tion just as he ap­pealed to them to end any ran­cour among them.

“We should come to­gether and be our broth­ers’ keep­ers. We should not be rel­e­gated be­hind, we should al­ways be the first as we have al­ways been,” he said.

Oyo State Gover­nor Sen­a­tor Isiaq Aji­mobi who was rep­re­sented by his Deputy, Otunba Moses Adeyemo, urged peo­ple of the South West not to take laws into their hands or re­sort to vi­o­lence.

He fur­ther ad­vised Yoruba farm­ers and their fam­i­lies to be law abid­ing even in the face of provo­ca­tion.

“Let us ab­stain from tak­ing rash de­ci­sions or re­spond­ing to vi­o­lence,” he said while ad­vis­ing law en­force­ment agen­cies to take proac­tive mea­sures against il­le­gal­i­ties. No­table among those present at the sum­mit were Arch­bishop Ayo Ladig­bolu (Yoruba Unity Fo­rum), Prof Banji Ak­in­toye (O’odua Foun­da­tion), Dr Fredrick Faseun (OPC), Chief Gani Adams (OPC), Mr Olani­wun Ajayi (Afenifere) and Dr. Kunle Ola­jide, the chair­man, Plan­ning Com­mit­tee.

Photo: NAN

From left: Deputy Gover­nor of Oyo State, Otunba Moses Alake-Adeyemi; Chair­man of the oc­ca­sion, re­tired Gen. Adeyinka Ade­bayo, and Chair­man, plan­ning com­mit­tee of the sum­mit, Dr Kunle Ola­jide, at the Yoruba sum­mit on na­tional in­se­cu­rity and the men­ace of herds­men in Yoruba land, in Ibadan yesterday.

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