WHEN former President Olusegun Obasanjo raised the alarm of a Fulanisation agenda unfolding in the country months back, some raving dogs of the system asked for his head, claiming he was shouting hoax.
But events have moved at a frenetic speed to confirm the fears of the elder statesman with the latest being the “annexation” of some areas of Ekiti State by Fulani herdsmen.
Those who are not aware of what is going on would think it was the first time herdsmen would be hoisting their flag on Ekiti soil following the outcry by the people of Orin Ekiti in the Ido/Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti State on December 17, 2019, that herdsmen were taking over their community.
The placard-carrying protesting men and women lamented that the invading herdsmen had vandalised farms worth N50 million owned by 70 farmers as one of the placards they carried read “We won’t allow Fulani to chase us out of our land”.
The Onikare of Orin Ekiti, Chief Bamidele Fasuyi, alleged that the herdsmen, in addition to the occupation of the Orin Farm Settlement, which he said comprised over 2,500 acres of land, had destroyed crops planted by farmers in the community.
Fasuyi said, “From our records, over 70 farmers were affected. Crops worth N50 million have been ravaged. They ate up their products like cocoyam, yam, cassava and others and made them incur debts.
“Several hectares of land had been destroyed. They operate at night with AK 47 rifles. What they want is to invade our land and chase us away. They even killed one of our able-bodied men this year. They are imposing some curfew in this town because our youths can’t go to farm freely and the GOVERNMENT HAS NOT BEEN DOING SOMETHING”.
Speaking in the same vein, the Oniwaro of Orin Ekiti, Chief Mathew Oke, appealed to the Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, to make good his promise to build a police station in the town and rejuvenate the farm settlement to ward off herdsmen invasion in the area.
According to residents, the herders allegedly killed a hunter and farmer in the community, Mr Emmanuel Ilori, some months ago and as well chased away the Benue farmers working in the town.
A youth leader, Mr Kayode Omotoso, appealed to the state governor to compensate the farmers in order not to frustrate them out of farming.
Omotoso alleged that the herders were not discreet with their plan to take over the community and its lands, saying they had hoisted a flag at the farm settlement to warn the farmers to keep off or face death.
He said, “They wrote ‘keep off’ with a picture of cattle rearer on the flag. This is a serious threat. The police, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and soldiers removed the flag last year, but they have hoisted another one.”
The closing statement of Omotoso shows clearly there is a present and clear danger in Ekiti in particular and Yorubaland in general, as the enemies have surrounded. The serial threats of Fulani herdsmen made the former governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, to promulgate the anti-open grazing law whose coordinator has been suspended indefinitely by Governor Kayode Fayemi for announcing that Ekiti would register herdsmen in the state to monitor their activities.
The slavery APC rule means for Yoruba people is evident in the dead silence the government of Ekiti has maintained over this matter in spite of various protests by the affected communities.
Instead of taking steps to reassure his people that they would not be colonised or chased away from their ancestral land, the state governor has been junketing about to find peace between the Emir of Kano and the governor of Kano State as if he is a Fulani high priest who cannot be touched by the infirmities of his own people. I am not aware Ganduje came to Ekiti when Obas took exception to the imposition of an unqualified Oba by law as chairman of traditional council by Fayemi.
And it is not that the governor is not aware of the source of this problem. It has been building from his first term as the helmsman of the state. I have seen a letter he wrote to the Sultan of Sokoto in his first term as governor over the inimical activities of herdsmen in Ekiti which shows the dysfunctional country called Nigeria.
It would not happen that the governor of Kano will write to Alaafin of Oyo or Ooni of Ife if some Yoruba boys start to trouble the peace of Kano. They would be cut into pieces or rooted out with AK 47 within a jiffy. The day they said Gideoen Akaluka used a page of the Qu’ran to clean his backside in Kano, his head was dancing on a stick and one of those who beheaded is still around today.
In the letter to the Sultan as Patron of Miyetti Allah, the Ekiti State government gave the names and addresses of Fulani troublers of Ekiti. Some of them were traced to Kogi, Nasarawa and other states in Nigeria.
The Sultan who is not the head of the police in a move highlighting the helplessness and hopelessness of Yoruba within Nigeria as constituted set up a panel headed by a former Secretary of Miyetti Allah, Alhaji Saleh Bayari and now President of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association to interview the named persons with some of them refusing to talk to the panel. A report was submitted to the Sultan and that was the end of the matter.
Ekiti people must remember the Ogedengbes in history and brace up for the challenge as this is not a joke. Indeed, the entire Yoruba nation should be aware that Ekiti is the entry point for this cancer to spread.
If you wait for those who seek salvation in sucking up to the enemies to do Amotekun or Amotokoko to secure you from this threat, Gen. T.Y Danjuma already predicted your fate in Jalingo.
Re: O Nami
I appreciate your political tendency and commitment to the defence of Yoruba interests to a degree I won’t attain! But I think it will enhance the quality/believability of your arguments if your points are moderated by known facts of our (i.e., Nigerian) history especially since 1999.
You bemoan the fact that “With the two latest weeds everything…is now in the firm grip of the North:…” And then the reference to current “Security Architecture”. I will just hint at a few “known facts” between 1999 and now.
On the NNPC, Gaius Obaseki and Funso Kupolokun held sway as GMD, 1999-2007. On the NPA, Sarumi (from Ibadan) was MD for much of the OBJ period while late Anenih and Bode George were Chair.
On the FIRS, OBJ appointed/inherited Naiyeju from ODS as executive chairman and he was replaced with Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru who (after a brief Ag appointment by a Katsinawa regular staff) was replaced by Fowler who has served a full first term!
Between 1999 and 2010, the NPF was led by five Southerners, the first three in direct succession being Yoruba. On the armed forces, I recall that in all of the OBJ years, no NW/NE officer led any of the three components. Between 1999 and 2015, the army was led by Malu, Ogomudia, Azazi, Dambazau, Ihejirika and Minimah; so save for Dambazau under Yar’adua, the army leadership was largely a southern portfolio. In the Air Force, it was a NC/SW/SS preferment: Petirin and Dike moved from CAS to CDS. The Navy was similar: Ombu et al. Right now, Olonisakin is CDS and you know where he hails from. And like the current service chiefs, one of whom is from the CRS Olonisakin is on OVERTIME!
Before I sign out, may I also plead that you don’t make it a habit to raise the ethnic flag when some public officers lose office. When they got, and held it, I doubt that they consulted you. Or did they?
We can interact as occasions demand more by phone calls. I’m not too disposed to writing “rejoinders” to privately-held views. But while comments are free, facts are sacred. The Nigerian project is of interest also to some of us outside of active political engagement/visibility.
Regards to Joe.-Kemi Rotimi.
Dear KR: I usually don’t do this but this matter is so weighty and I need to make these two points.
One, to pick NNPC, COAS and NNPC GMD under OBJ-GEJ does not answer what is going on today where 15 out of 17 service chiefs are from the North, the heads of the three arms of government from the core North, all heads of courts and agencies under the judiciary (CJN, President Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of Federal High Court etc) from the north and all revenue generating bodies (AMCON, FIRS, NPA, NNPC, Customs, Ministry of Finance et al) are in the hands of North. No southern president can try this and remain in that villa without Boko Haram opening secretariat in Abuja. What is happening is sui generis.
Read all my writings and you will not see me “raising ethnic flag” because people lose positions. Hell no! I have been very critical of Fowler for example. I only defend Federal Character. Or you are saying there are no qualified people in the South to mix this “recklessness”?
Cheers my brother.