By Dapo Akinrefon
The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has faulted calls by the northern elders for herdsmen to return to the North.
The Northern Elders Forum, NEF, had asked Fulani herdsmen to relocate to the North if communities in parts of the country are no longer hospitable.
However, reacting, Afenifere said nobody will lose sleep if herdsmen decide to return to the North.
Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin said: “Buhari has no issue protecting southerners who are being persecuted on their land.
“He should spread all his wings to protect the Fulani persecutors. Nobody will lose sleep if the killers decided to return to Futa Jalon.”
NEF’s position shameful, disappointing— Agbekoya
On its part, the guild of farmers from South-West, Agbekoya Farmers Society of Nigeria, blasted the northern leaders over “their unguarded utterances,” describing the call by the NEF for herdsmen to return to the North as shameful and disappointing.
Speaking after the emergency meeting of the National Executive Council and the Iwarefa-in-Council of Agbekoya, its President-General, Chief Kamorudeen Okikiola, bemoaned the utterances of the northern leaders, claiming that the entire country belongs to the Fulani race.
Chief Okikiola also said the call by some Northern leaders to Fulani herdsmen to come back home, if they were forcefully ejected them from the South and South-West, is shameful and disappointing.
He said that rather than address the menace of armed herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers perpetrating all manners of criminalities, they are making unguarded hate speeches.
Okikiola said: “Southerners and the Yoruba people in South-West have been living with Fulani herdsmen for many years without any problem.
“But the sudden change in the events and circumstances, especially the issues of destruction of farm products by cattle, kidnapping and killing of farmers and innocent citizens by armed Fulani herdsmen and bandits brought about a twist and turn around in the relationship between the Southerners and the Fulani.
“Northern leaders should address the issues of herdsmen carrying firearms and other weapons, kidnapping and collection of ransoms, raping and killing of innocent people in the villages.
“Yoruba people are always ready to live with other tribes, but not with criminals.
“Agbekoya calls on the Northern leaders to find positive and lasting solutions to the problems of armed Fulani herdsmen, bandits, and kidnappers who are killing innocent people all over the South and South-West rather than asking them to come back home.”