Sunday Okobi and Oluchi Chibuzor
The Aare Onakakanfo- in-Council, chaired by Gani Adams has called on the federal government to caution the herdsmen operating within the South-west region as it will not hesitate to retaliate against any action that threatens their peaceful co-existence.
In a statement signed and made available to THISDAY recently by the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams; the Balogu Aare, Wale Abel; Baaregunwa, Hon Taofeek; Agba Akin Aare, Olusegun Dare, the body said Fulani herdsmen have been ravaging Yoruba land, kidnapping, killing, maiming and raping the people in recent years, adding that the federal government allegedly decided to shy away from truth by refusing to label them as Fulani bandits.
The council also warned violent herdsmen to leave the zone, warning that failure to live peacefully “may warrant maximum retaliation as the principle dictates that a ‘bully only respects a bully’.”
The group said also that the threat posed by the existence of the marauders cannot be overlooked, lamenting that despite several appeals, the herdsmen have continued to wreak havoc in the region.
According to Aare Onakakanfo in the statement, “They have proven that they have come to steal, destroy and kill as evident in the unmitigated attacks on communities where their nomadic enterprise takes them.
“As true spawns of Oduduwa, we are unequivocally forthright about this threat posed by these herders which the federal government has turned a blind eye to by refusing to call a spade by its name by dubbing the Fulani marauders as criminals, bandits, and pillagers.
“We are acquainted with the nature of Fulani nomads in the past, and we know as a matter of fact that they were not carrying AK47s. It is because of this naked truth that we ask that these people be labeled what they are. We are clamoring that the appropriate moniker should be used to tag them. They should be addressed as Fulani bandits.”
They however advised Obas and local chiefs to show more than ‘’passing interest in the activities of people in their domains,’’ saying they must know that they cannot be blameless for their failure to account for and monitor strangers in their areas of jurisdictions, particularly those whose activities run contrary to peaceful coexistence.
“We demand concrete action by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration over the activities of these murderous gangs. We are no longer comfortable with the continuing brutalisation and murderous humiliation of our people. Government’s silence is distressing as it is emboldening the criminals. President Buhari must act now,” the group stated.