Stand up against Killer Fulani Herdsmen, ARG Tells S’West Govs

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Funke Olakunrin

• Says people are ready to give the maximum support

•Daughter of Afenifere leader for burial tommorrow
Gboyega Akinsanmi

Amid public outrage trailing the murder of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin penultimate Friday, the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) at the weekend asked all the South-west governors to stand up against killer Fulani herdsmen in the region.

The ARG, a pan-Yoruba socio-political and economic organisation, also told the governors that the people and leaders of Yorubaland would hold them responsible if they failed to work together for the security of the region and its people.

The warning was revealed in a statement the ARG Chairman, Hon. Olawale Oshun issued at the weekend, noting that the central government and its central policing had failed by all standards.
Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, had penultimate Friday announced the killing of a daughter of its leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, allegedly by Fulani herdsmen.

The Publicity Secretary of the organisation, Mr. Yinka Odumakin had noted that Olakunrin, 58, was travelling from Akure to Ore when some suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked her vehicle, leading to her death.

Olakunrin’s murder occurred amid heightening tension between the Fulani herdsmen and the leadership of socio-cultural groups, mainly in the North-central, South-east, South-south and South-west. In the last four years, the herdsmen have been accused of extreme violence in parts of Nigeria.

In its statement, the ARG challenged the Yoruba governors and the socio-political leadership to rise up to the occasion, noting that it obviously seemed that the central government and its clinging “to central policing has failed woefully in providing Nigerians the needed security.

“Our governors must realise that they shall be held responsible, individually and collectively, should they fail to prioritise and support one another in securing their people. The time to act is Now,” the group noted.

The ARG, also, observed that Olakunrin’s “is the latest victim of Nigeria’s wobbling and ineffective unitary governance structure,” which it said, had cost the country and its people so dearly in lives and properties.

It said: “The gory stories of kidnapping, maiming, raping and killing that emanate daily from Yoruba land should be stopped by whatever mean possible including pursuing the dismantling of this unworkable Unitary Constitution and replacing it with a truly Federal Constitution.

“The time for our governors to stand up on our behalf is now, they can count on the support of our people in their bid to drive out these senseless criminals from our land. It is only by doing this that Olakunrin and all those murdered by these beasts would not have died in vain.”

“Olakunrin’s death at the hands of these savage herdsmen could not but have been part of a grand plan to break the soul of Yorubaland and set the roof on fire. But the fire this time will consume the perpetrators and their collaborators.”

It, therefore, condemned Olakunrin’s murder, noting that this loss “is a burden too heavy and a steep price to pay for steadfastly serving this nation and our people.”
Olakunrin’s burial service will take place at the Saito David’s Anglican Cathedral Ijomu, Akure, Ondo State on Monday while interment follows at the church cemetery.
On Friday, a commendation and night of tributes was held in her honour on at Harbour Point Wilmot Road, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria lsland, Lagos.