The Secretary-General of the Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide, has accused herdsmen of laying siege on South-West states and attempting to collude with the Nigerian Police in the region
Olajide, in an interview with Punch, said the Yoruba were under the siege of the herdsmen.
“There have been kidnap cases in recent times and a few of the victims that were lucky to escape told us that their abductors were herdsmen speaking Fulfulde and Hausa languages. So, we are under the siege of the herdsmen,” the YCE leader claimed.
Continuing, he stated, “In my own view, I think they are just interested in committing crime; kidnapping people for ransom; killing and raping those they can lay their hands upon. And this, I think, is as a result of desertification in the North and the drying up of the Lake Chad.”
He, however, admitted that the herdsmen are moving southward because of the harsh climatic condition as well as the insurgency and banditry in northern states. “This threat to security in the South-West is a spillover of criminals from the northern states,” he reasoned. “These Fulani herdsmen are nomadic and they are always on the move. I don’t think they are planning any major attack on the Yorubaland.
“Their intention is no other than to continue to kidnap for huge ransoms in order to make a lot of money as well as corrupt the police system here. But I don’t think anybody can contemplate ‘Islamising’ or ‘Fulanising’ any ethnic group in Nigeria in this age.”
When asked how he wants the federal government to solve the issue, Olajide said President Muhammadu Buhari must set in motion true federalism and should decentralize the police.
“True federalism will lead to decentralisation of the police,” he argued, “and until the police are decentralised, policing cannot be effective.
The Yoruba leader recalled that Buhari had declared that it is only true federalism than could save Nigeria.
“So, I don’t think the same person that is talking of true federalism can be thinking of ‘Islamising’ or ‘Fulanising’ the country. We should get that out our minds because this siege we are talking about is from criminals,” he explained.