By Tunde Abatan
The boldest challenge to the power and responsibility of the SouthWest governors five of which are in the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) at the state and the centre is the recent confrontation between ideals and reality which the intransigence of the recalcitrant Fulani herdsmen on the geographical space of Yoruba land as typified by their effortery to challenge Governor Akeredolus banning of herdsmen from the Ondo forest reserves.
Yet,initially most of them for reasons best known to them appear tongue in cheek in their words and attitude but failed the people who elected them when the action of their Ondo state counter part ignited Fire of rebellion to APC status quo of seeing nothing wrong in President Muhammad Buharis tacit support for his ethnic trade group. The Miyetti Allah which has traversed Nigeria with audacity since he came to power six years ago.
However,the greatest test of any sense of responsibility to their people most of who have lost families and loved ones to the unrestrained attitude of Fulani herdsmen who at the last count have killed 2539 farmers and others in the last three years is their lackadaisical attitude to the brave expulsion of criminal minded Fulani herdsmen and their masters from Igangan a rural settlement in Ibarapa zone of Oyo north, easily the food basket of the West.
While the ultimatum of Sunday Adeyemo Igboho in itself could not have had official sanction for acting without state actors like Police,yet it must be admitted that the failure of the later to rein in the atrocities of promoters of kidnapping and banditry in the area tacitly gave rise to efforts by the people to seek refuge in encouraging non stake actors like Igboho in reining in the criminals backed by the local traditional Fulani ruler Seriki Fulani,Alhaji Saliu Abduladir,who became with the passage of time the all powerful supporter and encouraged of lawleness of the Fulani in a territory that does not belong to them.
That our governors especially Governor Seyi Makinde could not muster the courage to get his Security outfit to do necessary moderation of unlawful activities of the acclaimed Fulani leader who carved out an empire for himself and lord of his followers speaks volume of necessity of establishing and funding Amotekun.
What is more,the various documented atrocities of death through kidnapping of notable sons of the son and rape of not less than 15 women all traced to Fulani criminals operating in the axis is enough reason for them to loose confidence in an outfit which can neither bark nor bite even as casualties of their loss of prominent sons and daughters remain on the rise.
While Igboho might not necessarily be the needed liberator of the deprived communities like Iseyin,Eruwa,Igbo Ora in Ibarapa and other parts of the south west as he claimed in an interview to be his ultimate goal,the generality of the eoole have found in Igboho,an alternative to governors,senators,house of representatives and assembly members who as watched the criminal activities of the Fulani herdsmen and their overlords over the years with none of them ever brought to book.
That they surreptitiously supported the expulsion from their midst the settlers who have no iota of respect for their lordship over their ancestral land is a sign of absolute lack of confidence even in the Amotekun created by the government to guarantee their daily safety.
While the bravery of Arakunrin Akeredolu who issued a quit notice to the criminal herders in Ondo forest reserves serves as the tonic needed for other oppressed but unnoticed communities and states in the south west to launch out to free themselves,the invitation of Igboho a self acclaimed liberator is the game changer and turning pint needed for the ‘sleeping’ governors in the south west who seems preoccupied with maintaining their offices and respecting parry and godfather loyalty than in protecting their people who elected them into power to secure their lives and property.
That duty to me appears to be the irreducible minimum any government is elected or anointed to provide for its citizens.
Indeed,several stakeholders have expressed the view that,Igboho barely capitalised on the muddy feet of the elected leaders by seizing the initiative of the leadership lacuna to ‘save’ his people from the unrelenting push of Fulani’s to rule their state and reorder their values.
Besides,they are also convinced that struggle for personal survival and respect for party supremacy hidden under the cloak of future political gains that made the governors unable to voice out the way Benue Governor Samuel Orton,left the APC at the height of Fulani herdsmen uncontrolled onslaught on his hapless farmers who daily lost their lives to Fulani herdsmen.He look straight into Buharis face and told him the lives of his people is precious than allegiance to party supremacy.
“At the moment, to the ordinary man on the street, Chief Sunday Adeyemo Igboho, Akoni Oodua of Yoruba land, is better than all the 18 senators, all house of rep members and all the governors of South West combined together.” Was the remark of Professor Dayo Fasina on the inability of the governors to act.
But then,if other APC governors couldn’t act,what is the problem with Governor Makinde who not only belongs to the opposition party but held hope by his different approach to governance. Is he under any pressure to turn his back on efforts to liberate his people from decades on slavery and avoidable deaths in the hands of herdsmen whose value for life is direct opposite of the Yoruba natives he was elected to serve?
In spite of deliberate efforts to call Igboho a bad name in order to hang him obviously leveraging on his background others belief he has seized the momentum and provided leadership.
“It is too late to conspire against Chief Sunday Igboho now; he has knuckled the sharp knife( O ti so oju abe niko) and the blood is flowing:
It is inconsequential, irrelevant and ineffective wether he is a thug, hoodlum, assassin or political contractor; all that matters now is, he stood with our brutalised and cannibalised people as their “good Samaritan” in their hours of greatest need and has established himself as a leader.” declares
– Rev Tunji Adepoju…
Even as the indigenes of Igboho succeeded in chasing out the errant criminals who have held them hostage for years,the reaction of the government both before the Igboho led ejection and after when Governor Makinde orders the arrest of the new ‘liberator’ when the state sponsored Amotekun cannot lift a finger while all the atrocities are taking place leaves much to be desired.
Is Makinde playing to the gallery?.
Now the question remains,whose agenda is the government running?
Few days after the Igangan ejection,soldiers are used to escort fulanis to terrorize people of Ogun State in their villages.
“Can this ever happen in the north that I know? All the attrotices committed by fulanis in Benue, Plateau and other parts of the country what did the government do? The body language of the government is clear enough for us all to see.
AIG (RTD) Adenrele Shinaba .pondered on his reaction to issues.
Yet,as if the kow toing is not enough,Governors from the South West held a meeting Monday with the Miyetti Allah group at the end of which they surrendered Amotekun to work closely with the Fulani trade group which members are held culpable,in order to separate the violent group from the traders.
Besides, now that a soft landing has been given to Fulani herders,the next biggest headache the governors have to contend with is the influx of foreigners riding motor cycle that has dominated all nooks and crannies of the region.
What is more, even states in the North that has banned Okada were part of those buying motorcycle for their displaced boys to ply their trade in the region. Yet the governors do not consider the security risk when you have foreigners dominate your environment for altruistic reasons not far from using them as spies to penetrate nooks and crannies of the region.
Reacting to the agreement between South West governors with Miyetti Allah on banning night grazing a top leader who preferred anonymity wrote,”Our governors have already signed the death warrant of the entire citizenry of Yorubaland in their concluded meeting with the Miyetti Allah yesterday, by the acceptance of the proposal of the Miyetti Allah vigilantee group to form a collaboration with the Amotekun, to flush out the terrorist bandits.
I am yet to see where fire extinguishes fire. What all these gullible and politically blindfolded governors have succeeded in doing is giving official backups to the terrorists on our land. The Fulani can hibernate for a whole century, but their mission never die. In the case of Nigeria, they are not even mincing words on it. The believe that the entire landscape belongs to them.”
As for him and others who see no silver pinning in the governors volte face,”The only way out is a massive nonstop and organized protest across the entire Yorubaland. Let war be declared on any government official who stands against the people of the land. Sunday Igboho and other warriors should never letdown their guards, otherwise I fervently pray that we will not fall into the class of the original Hausa indigenous people, whose roots have been completely erased.
For now,with the continued influx of foreigners into the region,it would appear the governors have surrendered the citizens independence,liberty freedom to a people who never belief in conforming to establish living standards and norms of decent society but rather planning for total domination and control.
Waiting for 2023 to exercise their control is tantamount to selling their peoples birthright to satisfy temporal stability for a failed government.
Time will Tell how long the deceit will last!