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