By Luminous Jannamike
A group, known as Yoruba Collectives, yesterday, staged a protest in Abuja over the “painful and gruesome killing” of Mrs Funke Olakunri-Fasoranti, tasking President Buhari to do more on security.
The group, however, warned the Presidency to take decisive actions on the prevailing killings by marauding herdsmen, saying the incessant attacks on farmers and other Nigerians posed serious food insecurity in the country.
It, therefore, demanded for justice, restructuring and security overhaul, as well as an end to open grazing and massive security operatives in bushes.
Leader of the group, Comrade Ariyo-Dare Atoye, who addressed newsmen during the protest in Abuja, said President Muhammadu Buhari was elected as president of the nation and not only for a particular ethnic group.
The group used this year’s International Day of Justice with the theme: If You Want Peace and Development, Work for Social Justice, to appeal to Federal Government to address the issue.
He said: “Shall we abide under oppression so that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiated? Woe betides a nation where truth is forsaken and falsehoods are elevated to statecraft. Our dear nation Nigeria is on the brink of unimaginable catastrophe, except we act to stop the doom.
“Unfortunately, your regime and its poster boys have publicly narrowed down everything to politics and hatred for President Buhari.
“Security trumps every other consideration for many Nigerians who worked selflessly for your ascension to power in 2015.
“In many parts of our country, killer and terrorist herdsmen continue to unleash terror on our lands and make life unbearable for our farmers while the threat of food insecurity looms.
“The painful and gruesome killing of our dear sister, aunt and mother, Mrs. Funke Olakuri, the daughter of our father and an elder statesman, Pa Fasoranti by suspected herdsmen, has in the last couple of days brought to the fore, the terrible experience of the ordinary people and local communities in the hands of these herdsmen. This is one death too many.
“Several of our farmers have been killed, maimed, assaulted, their wives and daughters raped and brutalized and many have abandoned their farms and lands and become destitute in other places.
“The concerns over ethnic profiling of these herdsmen ravaging our lands as herdsmen were made worse by the refusal of Mr. President to show the kind of leadership some past leaders demonstrated while in office.
“We have come to ask, why are you refusing to act over the abundance of intelligence you have over the gathering storms in our nation?
“How can we address these problems and put an end to the killings, terror as well as the ethnic profiling based on truth and conscience? We do not intend to profile the ethnic group of our Fulani friends with criminality because we are all humans under God. We do not think any sensible Nigerian derives any joy in doing this. But the locals bearing the pains know their oppressors.
“Mr President, in your hands lie the opportunity to address this problem if you are ready to show leadership. We challenge you to demonstrate courage and call a spade a spade like other leaders. It is time to call Miyetti Allah to order. It is time to act over the herdsmen terrorising our lands. It is time to rule with justice and courage.
“Aside from the security challenges, we also want you to know that open grazing is not sustainable due to rising population explosion and the threat of climate change. Lands are not growing, while food security is threatened. This is the time to ranch and keep the cows healthy, this is the time to properly educate the herders and integrate them and not isolate them inside Ruga.”
“We also want you to know that the unity of Nigeria is negotiable.” Injustice and strife can never water the tree of unity and it can never be forced forever, except we allow justice reign. We, therefore, want to bring it to your attention that time is fast running out: without restructuring and justice, the union will end in chaos. It is our desire to remain a one, prosperous and united nation under God, but we must work for it. We must restructure Nigeria. Let us do it, Mr. President.”