We won’t cede our land for ranching — Yoruba leaders - The Gallant News


Thursday, 18 March 2021

We won’t cede our land for ranching — Yoruba leaders

  In the communique, the leaders said they are fed up with criminal herders as a result of terror unleashed on them.

They also backed the establishment of Amotekun as an additional unit in the security architecture in Yorubaland, while advising that the initiative be stretched further by allowing operatives of the outfit to bear arms.

The leaders also adopted the Yoruba national anthem by Osun and Ondo states, while recommending same to other South-West states.

Reading the communiqué, Secretary-General of the YCE, Dr. Kunle Olajide, said: “Our forests are sacred, untouchable, irreversibly a no-go area to terrorists and the Yoruba will not cede one inch of our forests to anyone under any guise.”

They concluded on this after various participants at the meeting said they were fed up with criminal herders as a result of terror unleashed on them.

The communique read: “That the Yoruba nation notes with dismay general state of insecurity in the country and the ancestral space of Yoruba nation, especially, a situation that has compelled a rigorous interrogation of our situation.

“That the Yoruba nation is currently living in a time of bad metaphors due to the almost irreversible abyss due to cases of daily incessant insecurity.

“That this august gathering of leaders of the Yoruba nation notes almost daily proof of government helplessness in face of the ugly peace and security problem. A few ugly happenstances offered credibility to this sorry state of affairs.

“For instance, Defence Minister of the nation, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi, retd, in a jolting moment of helpless exasperation, advised Nigerians to begin to defend themselves.

“Where else does self-help become an option other than in a situation of total breakdown of law and order? Following closely on the heels of that, is the Federal Government’s ‘no fly zone’ ban on Zamfara airspace. What more character of the official declaration of war is there beyond this?

“That the Yoruba nation is deeply worried by the unfolding anarchy, particularly as it affects the South-West region, almost rendered comatose by daily occurrence of kidnappings, arson, maiming, destruction of economic facilities and killings.

“That the acts of criminality being conniving tagged: ‘farmers-herders clash’, is a case of terrorism. Those who unleash attack on farmers, who kidnap fellow Nigerians for huge ransom, those who kill and rape women are no bandits but terrorists.

“When injustice becomes law, resistance will be a duty. That it is in the light of the foregoing that this gathering of Yoruba leadership has noted with concern the challenges faced by security agencies and lately, Amotekun.

“The Aare-Ona-Kakanfo of Yorubaland is hereby mandated by Yoruba leaders worldwide to complement official government law enforcement units.

“That this special internal South-West security group made up of all stakeholders in the security realm, including OPC, Agbekoya, Vigilante Group, Hunters, etc have been charged by leaders of our nation here gathered to help ensure our portion of Nigeria is safe again.”

Anger over absence of governors

Earlier, those present at the congress expressed displeasure with the governors over their alleged lackadaisical attitude towards the security of their people.

Apart from the displeasure expressed by participants, the guest speaker at the event, former chairman of Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Professor Olusoji Adejumo, asked if any of the governors in the zone was represented. Before the guest speaker finished, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State came in.

Adams defends S-West govs

However, Aare Adams defended the governors who shunned the meeting, saying “our governors should not be insulted.”

He said: “Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and I spoke for 45 minutes on Tuesday. When he told me the steps they had taken, I was surprised. I said we thought it was only Ondo State governor that is radically-minded among you. He said what Rotimi Akeredolu says is from all of them.”

Insecurity beyond rhetoric — Makinde

In his remarks, Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, who said the issue of insecurity is beyond rhetoric, frowned on those clamouring for the presidency to return to the South-West in 2023.

READ ALSO:Makinde inaugurates 11-man security task force
He said the current security challenges should be addressed by concerned stakeholders.

His words: “Some people are clamouring for the presidency to return to the south in 2023, but the situation at hand does not demand such talks. We need to focus more on the issues confronting us. We have to be diplomatic in our approaches.

“The issue at hand is beyond rhetoric. I am not bothered about my position or about 2023. I am bold to say it; I am not encumbered in any way. I have no godfather, but God the Father. I am bothered about the development of  Yorubaland and Oyo State.”

Pan-Yoruba Congress is work in progress —Gani Adams

On his part, the Aare-Ona-Kakanfo of Yorubaland restated his beliefs in the unity and progress of the Yoruba nation.

He said: “Yoruba people have asked: What is Aare-Ona-Kakanfo doing? Chief Ayo Adebanjo who is older than me, no one asks what he’s doing. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who is more powerfully politically, no one asked him. The burden of insecurity on me is more than that of the governors.

“I challenge our traditional rulers in Yorubaland that this period is not a time we should go to sleep; insecurity will harm the traditional rulers first because they are our custodians.

“This kind of meeting is not a meeting that should not attract more people than this. It is a meeting that the traditional rulers should commend us (subjects) for.”

Hunger is at our doorstep in S-West

In his lecture, Prof. Olusoji Adejumo said with the terror unleashed by criminal herders on the zone, hunger is already at their doorstep.

Adejumo said: “The Yoruba race is the oldest race. This is a scientific truth. Yoruba consists of 40-50 million people. Historical evidence has shown that when Yoruba are together, they prosper but when they are fragmented, they perish.

“Hunger is at our doorstep. 3,000 years ago, Yoruba practiced the earliest forms of agriculture and at that time, the race was living in abundance.

“In the North, only 35 per cent of their land is suitable for farming and 15 per cent can sustain their cattle. But, in the South-West, 65 per cent is good for farming, while 40 per cent of the land can sustain cattle.

“What they produce, they don’t eat; we eat what they produce; they don’t eat what we produce because we don’t produce anything.

“Every year in the South-West, 1.8 million people become jobless. The money terrorists can’t get through trade, they get through banditry. If we stop buying their meat, they will continue kidnapping us. We are in big trouble.

“Most criminals we talk about are not herders, they come from the Niger Republic. They are not herders but real criminals, terrorists.”

In his welcome address, chairman of the Congress committee, Mr. Sola Lawal, said: “There is no doubt that our land, the Yoruba nation, has, of recent, witnessed unabated disruption of her peace. The disturb-ing development flows from never-seen acts of violence on our people.

“It manifests in many folds, including kidnapping for ransom, maiming, raping of our women, destruction of economic facilities, especially farms across Yoruba nation and wanton killing.

“Not even during the 1967-1970 civil war, did we suffer losses of this magnitude as a people.  Frustrated and angry but determined, pockets of our youths have reacted to the menace in various forms in the bid to make their communities safe again.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright © 2020 The Gallant News