The Publicity Secretary of the Yoruba Solidarity Forum, Comrade Olajide Odumosu, has described the statement made by the Northern Elders Forum urging herdsmen to leave the South as diversionary, adding that the Federal Government must investigate those behind the statement.
Members of the NEF and the Coalition of the Northern Groups have asked Fulani herdsmen to leave the Southern part of Nigeria and return to the North, where they said their safety and that of their property could be guaranteed.
But in a swift reaction, Odumosu expressed worry over the statement made by the forum under the Chairmanship of Prof. Ango Abdullah, who he said is elderly enough to know how to handle such sensitive issues.
The YSF Publicity Scribe noted that such comment can only heighten the tension in the country, saying the Yorubas in the South West are a well-coordinated tribe.
He said: “As a race, the Yorubas have a right to life, and to live in any part of the country. We are very accommodating and no tribe should take us for granted. Issuing a statement urging the herdsmen to leave the south is uncomplimentary, and it is like sending a wrong signal to the south.
“For years, the Yorubas have their ranches, spreading across the southwest, and prominently located in Imeko, Akunnu Akoko, and Oyo state respectively. Apart from this, we cannot keep quiet while our people are being kidnapped, killed daily on their land, and their farms burnt. It is not acceptable. So, when has speaking against injustice done to us as a race become a threat?”
Odumosu, however, spoke about the safety of three prominent Yoruba sons: Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams; spokesman of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin; and former Minister, Femi Fani Kayode, saying the trio have been unrelenting in their efforts to ensure that the South West is safe and for peace and tranquility to reign in the region.
He said: “Let us appreciate the efforts of the the three leading voices. They have been unrelenting. We cannot fold our arms, pretending that the southwest is peaceful, therefore, the Federal government must listen to us and make our region and the entire nation safe for us. No amount of threat can prevent us from raising our voices to these senseless killings in the South West.”
Odumosu,also praised former President Olusegun Obasanjo for raising his voice on the present situation, saying the open letter written to President Muhammadu Buhari was timely, urging other prominent leaders, especially from the North, to speak up against the killings perpetrated by criminal herdsmen.
He consoled the Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, on the gruesome murder of his daughter, Funke Olakunrin, praying that God will give the nonagenarian the fortitude to bear the loss.