Sunday Igboho and rise of social order
On Friday, January 22, Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho stormed Igangan community in Oyo State to give an ultimatum to Fulani herdsmen to leave the community and oversaw the expulsion of the Seriki Fulani from the Igangan community. Igboho who before the events was known for political thuggery is now being acclaimed as a human rights activist. This is not baffling, for years, Fulani herdsmen have gradually transformed from nomads looking for green pastures for their cattle into a criminal conglomerate famed for kidnapping and banditry.
Both the media and communities in the South have raised the alarm over these happenings, but the Federal Government has maintained a sort of complicit silence. This silence has further emboldened them to continue their activities with the host communities being helpless in the face of the ravaging attacks. With the failure of the government to deal with the crisis and tame the bandits, the people desperately needed a leader.
Nature as we know abhors vacuum. The failure of leadership which has characterized government’s response gave rise to Igboho. With the people needing leadership desperately, any sort of leadership would surely fill the vacuum created by government’s failure. Igboho is an individual filling this gap, his methods are not perfect but his populism is surely speaking to the minds of the people. For those who have watched herdsmen commit acts of violence without being challenged, Igboho’s fire for fire approach is a sort of poetic justice. It seems a sort of social contract is gradually being struck and Igboho is getting informal legitimacy by the people to carry out his actions.
The Federal Government must show responsibility by condemning the criminal activities of the herdsmen. Those caught in criminal acts must be brought to justice and the government must genuinely make steps to resolve the crisis between farmers and herdsmen rather than their outright defence of herdsmen. An immediate ban must be placed on open grazing in forest reserves and farm settlements and herdsmen must be held liable for any havoc they wreak in host communities.
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