North beats war drums over killer herdsmen
Drumbeats of war echoed in the country on Saturday as North’s most influential pressure group, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), threatened reprisal attacks on non-Northerners in their region if attackers of Fulani in the South-West states are not apprehended and brought to justice.
ACF’s position was contained in a statement issued by its national publicity secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, against the backdrop of the quit notice issued by a Yoruba freedom fighter, Mr Sunday Adeyemi, also known as Sunday Igboho.
In a swift reaction, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere blasted the ACF, saying the Yoruba would not provoke a war but would not run away from their land.
The country was plunged into a Civil War between July 6, 1967 and January 15, 1970, recording high casualty figures and huge destruction of properties.
The ACF said the Civil War country experienced by the country started in similar fashion as the onslaught on Fulanis in the South West, warning of a counter-attack if justice is not done.
“This morning, we received reports of an attack by Yoruba youths on Alhaji Saliu Abdulkadir, the Seriki Fulani in Oyo State.
“In the reports, he was attacked and driven out of his house, 11 cars and his house burnt with his family members now living in the bush.
“There are allegations that one Sunday Igboho, an agitator for Oodua Republic and who issued an ultimatum giving Fulani people seven days to leave Yorubaland, is the instigator of the attack.
“The most disturbing aspect of the attack is the allegation that the security agents who were earlier warned about its imminence stood by helplessly as the attack was carried out.
“The ACF is worried about this trend and calls on the federal and state governments in the South West to move quickly to avert a social upheaval that may destabilise the whole country.
“We recall that the civil war in the 60’s started with attacks and counter-attacks like this. The governments must be proactive and stop history from repeating itself.
“Those who carried out these attacks must be apprehended and due process of the law allowed to take its course.
“If this is not done, there may be counter attacks in the North and the country will be up in flames. The authorities must act. The ACF is very worried and calls on them to act fast,” the statement said.
You can’t threaten Yoruba with war, Afenifere replies
ACF Afenifere, in a statement by is national publicity secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin, described the statement by ACF as showing arrogance and insult.
“The attention of Afenifere has been drawn to the hypocritical tears of ACF over clashes in Ibarapa area of Oyo State occasioned by the inimical activities of Fulani herdsmen against indigenous Yoruba people.
“While we have gone to a great length to sue for peace and have appealed to our pained people to be law-abiding, even with the daily provocations of the Fulani and harassment of our people, we frown at the very arrogant and insulting ACF statement, especially their reference to the event of 1967.”
“We must make it clear to them that they cannot threaten us with a war at this stage as we will not provoke war, but never are we going to run for anybody on our land.”
“We are miffed that a body like ACF that has never shown any remorse over the killing of our people can open their mouths anyhow now because there are consequences for the irresponsible actions of their people.
“We advise them to call their criminals to order and not expect our people to sheepishly wait to be killed by those who value cow lives more than human beings.
“We do not want a repeat of 1967 event, but if there are people plotting such an event again, the rain will be over their heads,” Afenifere stated.
Aggression by Fulani herders can plunge Nigeria into anarchy —Middle Belt leaders
Prominent Middle Belt leaders have warned the Federal Government unregulated movement of foreign killerherdsmen into the country under the guise of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocols is capable of plunging the country into anarchy.
Speaking to Sunday Tribune, the national president of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), Dr Bitrus Pogu, said from all indications, the Fulani herdsmen, who have been terrorising the Middle Belt are now moving down south, precisely South West, adding that the notorious herdsmen hide under the cover of the ECOWAS protocol to foment trouble. “From all indications, Fulani aggressors have run to the South West. Though every Nigerian has the right to live anywhere in the country, where some people engage in criminalities, the host community and the government have the right to take action within the ambit of the law against the criminal elements.
“I don’t know why the Federal Government took sides on Ondo issue. The state government has the right to take such position to safeguard lives and properties in the state. I think these foreign killer-herdsmen simply want to do what happened in Central Africa Republic.
“The Federal Government has taken a dangerous position. It has to take a position that would urgently address the situation,” he said.
Pogu, who called on the Federal Government to advise the herders on modern method of animal husbandry, added that it was wrong for any group of people to enter a community and unleash terror on their hosts and expect both the people and government to fold their arms.
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