The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has decried the high rate of crimes linked to Fulani herdsmen in the South-West geopolitical zone and declared that criminal elements among the herders in Yorubaland would soon be kicked out.
A statement by the spokesperson for the Ooni’s Palace, Moses Olafare, in Osogbo on Wednesday, said the royal father spoke while receiving the Emir of Borgu, Alhaji Muhammed Dantoro, in his palace in Ile-Ife on Wednesday.
Ooni Ogunwusi told his visitor that traditional institutions in Yorubaland had devised means through which the criminal elements among the Fulani herdsmen would be exposed and kicked out.
He, however, called for the cooperation of all stakeholders to end crimes linked to those he called enemies of the country.
The statement partly read, “We keep hammering on the Fulani herdsmen trying to take over everywhere; it is the bad ones that we want to kick out and enough is enough; we will kick them out and do justice to the peace and peaceful coexistence in our country.
“What has been happening in Yorubaland recently is alien to us. We will work towards bringing sanity to our communities; people should not live in fear but should have that freedom to move from one point to the other the way you all have moved freely for several hours driving from New Busa today all the way to Ife.
“Nigeria is our country and we are aware of all security issues confronting us. We know how everybody is panicking, it is about time for us to separate the wheat from the chaff.
“Some days ago, I was with the Sultan of Sokoto as the co-chairmen of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria discussing that it is important for us to stand against all the criminals that are hiding under the auspices of Fulani herdsmen.
“Everybody is saying they are Fulani herdsmen now, kidnapping everywhere. Enough of that! We must separate the wheat from the chaff, putting behind the past and letting peace reign in our land and in our country and that is what we stand for.”
Speaking earlier, the Emir of Borgu acknowledged the efforts of Oba Ogunwusi and other members of the country’s traditional council at addressing some of the challenges facing the country.
He restated the commitment of the traditional rulers to the oneness of the country, warning that those planning to divide the country should not be given opportunity to achieve their aim.
“This is a homecoming for me today. I said so because of the age-long tie between Borgu kingdom and Ile-Ife. As traditional rulers, we are for our people and we should be seen as working for them to enhance their unity.
“We should not allow anybody or group of persons to divide us with their personal interests; all we want is our country’s growth and development so that we all can be proud that we are Nigerians,” he said.