Earlier this month, Fulani herdsmen said they’d set up a vigilante group in the South East to help with insecurity. Ibos refused that plus plans by government to create RUGA settlements. They began to take proactive measures. Anambra state even has a “Cattle Menance Agency.”
Nigerians in the South West,who believe that Mr Buhari is their friend ,got a rude awakening. Monday, images of herdsmen militias bearing Myetti Allah IDs but with names and photos crossed out and whose faces are hidden behind masks on South West roads became public. The militias stopped people on the high way and “subjected ” them to all forms of harassment.
The lid was blown when the armed men accosted a prominent lawyer,Kayode Ajulo, who was travelling on one of South West roads. Mr Ajulo took photos of the men and some of their answers .
“They (herdsmen) are already mounting highways with guns openly doing ‘security work’ and they have direct phone lines with the neighboring police stations confirming they are legitimate.”
“A few days ago I condemned the mounting of roadblocks in the South-East by these Fulani Vigilante. Unknown to me, they are already in the South-West. They even showed me their identity cards,”
They claim that they work in coordination with regular police and actually provide the DPOs numbers.
A harassed nation, the Yorubas, are practically climbing walls. Some say that Ondo state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, secretly hired them. They have asked him to have the militias disbanded in 24 hours failing which a physical confrontation will have to happen. The governor denied any involvement in the takeover of the South West by Fulanis vigilantes. But the governor’s official response looks a bit hazy and raises some questions.
The governors’s commissioner for information, Donald Ojogo, said they “had sent for the arrest of the unauthorised group or person claiming to be Fulani vigilante in the state.
The Ondo State Government observes with concern trending pictures of an identity card carrying men identified as Fulani vigilante in the Akoko area of the state. Various claims have been as regards the activities, duties as well as supposed mandate of these men in question.
“It is pertinent to recall that at the height of the incessant kidnap cases, the Ondo State Government took some far-reaching drastic measures which included a marching order to the law-abiding Hausa/Fulani leadership in the area to fish out criminal elements among them who took advantage of the rosy relationship between the indigenes and their law-abiding guests.
“As a measure to curb and possibly, stamp out cases of kidnap in the area, the Hausa Fulani leadership was directed to select a handful of trusted men amongst them who could serve as tour guides in the thick forest as security agencies prepared to comb the forests. This measure yielded results.”
Some questions though.
How did they come unnoticed? Why are they basically masked? Why did the governor engage them without the involvement of locals? Why was manning road blocks a part of the modus operandi?
Why didn’t Nigeria’s security arrest them as armed criminals? When did it become legal for foreigners to take up positions in other parts of Nigeria and decide the movement of travellers, farmers, etc? Who is funding them? Why do they own guns and other regular Nigerians are forbidden to own machetes?
It is not only a problem for the Yoruba people but it is also a danger for travellers going to the rest of Nigeria from the South West.
It is a siege situation and the government is either quiet or tacitly providing cover for the militias. It is an irresponsible act no matter who is behind it.
In a tweet ,Femi Fani-Kayode a critic of Mr Buhari asked.
“What are Fulani vigilantes doing in the SW mounting roadblocks and harrassing people? When challenged they brought out Miyetti Allah identity cards! Have we become slaves in our fathers land? Every single Yoruba person that supports the APC should bow their heads in shame!”
Another prominent Yoruba leader, Ayo Odumakin said that:
“We have seen the pictures, It is a big affront on Yoruba nation, that the Fulani vigilante has now been set up throughout the Yorubaland, carrying arms, mounting checkpoints when our own elected governors would not be allowed to set up state police.”
Their presence has worsened a bad security situation. Fulani herdsmen are principally behind most of the kidnappings in Nigeria’s high ways and this move is a stealth to give them cover. Here is what I mean. The kidnappers, rapist and killers have now applied for a licence and seem to have it.
Now, they stay on the roads and select which vehicle to attack as cars must now slow down at “check points” mounted by armed foreigners without names. This is a classical method of penetration by foreign militias.
Nnamdi Kanu already thinks Yorubas are a conquered people. That the romance between Mr Buhari and some leaders of the South West point to that fact.
Mr Kanu also thinks that Yoruba kings ,particularly, are cutting subterranean deals with Mr Buhari and his men.
“They come like thieves in the night, by dawn they are everywhere. They slaughter your sons, rape your wives, defile your mothers and take your daughters as sex slaves.
“They kidnap your culture custodians and desecrate your traditions. They have infested your forests and sacred groves. They have become audacious on your own soil and search and interrogate your farmers and hunters as they peacefully pursue their rural livelihoods.
“They wreak havoc, ransack and loot. That which you hold dear mean less than Cows.”
Kanu: “the social media buzz arising from pictures of Fulani Vigilante in Yoruba land accosting prominent lawyer, Kayode Ajulo in Akure on July 22, has left many questions than the thousands of mixed comments across the social media spectrum.”
“Questions that stick out are, when did this Fulani herdsmen vigilante get formed in Yoruba land”?
“Is it ever possible that the entire Yoruba race was collectively unaware of this well-armed Fulani group until just yesterday when, by providence or happenstance, they revealed themselves to the public? Is this not the sort of vigilante that IPOB had completely rejected in Biafraland? Why did the Yoruba cave in”?Gani Adams, who is the “field marshal” of the Yoruba nation made some feeble threats to the federal government Teusday. I don’t think he will do anything. One of his handicaps is that, like most Nigerians, Yorubas are easily bought and the government/Fulani arrangement knows this.
Bola Tinubu, for instance, wants to succeed Mr Buhari. And some say he will sell his mother just to stay ahead.
All told, the bravura of a few violent people to take over a swathe of South West by force is very deplorable. It should be condemned by all who love life and peace. The whole scheme has no redeeming features and thus the group should be arrested and publicly interviewed.
And those who aided the infiltration of Yoruba land should be treated just like the infiltrators. Even if they are kings and governors. When you don’t send these people back to where they came from, they will spread and soon ,the entire South will be enveloped by armed foreigners. At that point, a nation already on dialysis will die.