The Alaafin of Oyo , Oba Lamidi Adeyemi has written to President Muhammadu Buhari, warning him about looming anarchy in the country if the siege laid to Yorubaland by Fulani herdsmen and kidnappers was not brought under control.
In the letter titled ‘Yoruba Question in Nigeria Conundrum’, Adeyemi catalogued the spate of insecurity in Yorubaland brought about by herdsmen and their collaborators, saying the Yorubas would resort to self-help if Buhari fails to guarantee the safety of their lives and property.
The letter read:
“I have never been timid or failed in my total support for the success of your administration.
“My confidence had always been based on Your Excellency’s ability, fitness and competence in leading the country to the Promised Land where law and order will prevail, individual liberty is guaranteed and economic wellbeing of the citizens is assured.
“In recent time however, I am worried about the security situation in the country, especially in the South-West geo-political zone, nay the entire Yoruba-speaking area of the country, including Kwara, Kogi and Edo states.
“This has to do with the menace of Fulani herdsmen that have laid siege to almost all the highways of Yorubaland. Whether in Owo, Akure, Ilesa /Ife-Ibadan road or Ibarapa zone and the Ijebu area of Ogun State, the story is the same.
“I have held a series of consultations with opinion moulders and eminent Yoruba leaders about the menace of these cattle herdsmen with assault such as raping of our women and on some occasions, in the presence of their husbands.
“That is apart from massive destruction of our agricultural land which ultimately points to imminent starvation.
“On top of it all is the menace of professional kidnappers usually in military uniforms. What is more worrisome about the kidnapping notoriety is the impunity with which these kidnappers go about their nefarious activities.
“We cannot even talk of parading suspects because no major arrests have been made in this part of the country. Without arrests, we cannot talk of their facing the law. In the face of the apparent helplessness of our security agencies, where do we go from here?
“Suffice to say that in most part of Yorubaland, their pre-colonial military structures have not been totally collapsed. Hence, such structures like Odua People’s Congress, Agbekoya and other vigilante groups still exist.
“Certain individuals were kidnapped along Erio-Aromoko Road, Ekiti State. They were tortured and exposed to danger in the forest for over two weeks. These victims included the Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikole branch, Adeola Adebayo whose decomposing body was eventually found after a ransom price of N4 million had been paid.”
The went ahead to list other victims of the herdsmen to include two Yoruba officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps who were abducted along Ilesa-Akure highway, Musibau Adetumbi, a legal practitioner based in Ibadan, Prof. Adegbehingbe, a surgeon at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Dr. Muslim Omoleke, Mr. Ayo Oladele and Dayo Adewole, son the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole who was kidnapped on his farm at Iroko, a village located along Ibadan-Oyo road.
He added : “I am therefore writing to you, as a concerned stakeholder in your administration to alert you to the need to quickly respond to these and other issues concerning Yorubaland.
“There is a general impression among opposition group that you are not known to take decisive and proactive steps in many matters of national interest and that you are not usually too disturbed about the gale of insecurity in Yorubaland.
“May I also share with you the outcome or product of my wide consultations in Yorubaland to let you know, beyond what official security reports will make available to you that there is a growing feeling of frustration, disappointment and despondency among our people, which if not immediately addressed could lead to other serious national catastrophes and security challenges.”