The Chairman, Oyo State Security Network Agency, codenamed Amotekun, Gen. Kunle Togun (rtd) has raised the alarm that armed foreign Fulani herders are increasingly entering into the country through Saki East, Saki West and Atisbo Local Government areas of the state.
Toogun disclosed this in a message to the Yoruba traditional security summit in Ibadan, on Thursday. The summit was organised by the Yoruba World Assembly (YWA).
Togun, who was invited as the Chief Guest of Honour, forwarded the message to leaders of YWA-Chief Taye Ayorinde who is the Chairman, Governing council of the assembly and Dr Victor Taiwo, who is the Secretary General of the Yoruba group. Explaining the reason for his inability to attend the programme, he said in the terse message: “I am still in Saki area. The Fulani herdsmen are trooping in, in large numbers to Saki East and Saki West as well as Atisbo Local Government areas of the expanse Opara Forest reserve.Our boys are highly inexperienced. I am employing the services of seasoned native hunters who are assisting our boys.”
“A lot of success is being achieved so far. Evidence abound that they are not Nigerians. Amulets, charms, poisoned arrows and daggers already seized from them are about six bags as of now,” Toogun added.
He further stated that some community chiefs and traditional rulers are those inviting them.
Togun noted that a meeting had been scheduled for January 14,2021 but had to be rescheduled for Tuesday.
“Two traditional chiefs who are among those inviting herdsmen into Oyo State are to report to Amotekun for investigations,” he said.
At the summit, prominent leaders in the zone brainstormed on how to check the incessant cases of kidnapping, rape, killings and wanton destruction of farmlands in some parts of the state by herders and other criminals. They agreed to embrace traditional method in tackling them.
Speaking on the worsening security in the state, the Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Security, Mr Fatai Owoseni, said: “We have a lot on our hands. As a Nigerian, you can live anywhere but not as a criminal.”
He said herders who see their cows as children should also understand that crops are like the same for farmers.
“If their cows are like their children, they should also not forget that the crops planted by farmers on their farms too are just like their own children. If I don’t disturb your cows, why should you destroy my crops,” the Special Adviser said.
Owoseni also said that there are saboteurs among the Yorubas, especially traditional rulers, who trade the safety of the lives of their subjects for cattle.
“Out of 10 cows that a Fulani herders is grazing, eight of them will belong to our people. Some of them are big men. When these criminals are arrested by police, these people will be begging for their release so that the cattle that herders graze for them will not suffer.
“There are so many hungry community leaders. Just because they have an event, they ask for cow from these herders and give them large expanse of land. When the herders see the land is okay, they will refuse to vacate it.These traditional rulers give out the lands without informing members of their families.
“Unless people from all walks of life come together on security matters no matter how strong Amotekun is, we may not overcome this insecurity menace,” Owoseni said.
To overcome the challenge, YWA Secretary General,Taiwo, said: “Representatives of the Agbekoya, hunters, Sango, Osun, Ifa, Islamic clerics were invited “to assure that the powers of the old are still here with us and that they are ready to deploy the the powers for our solution.”
In a communique issued at the end of the security summit, it was agreed that all associations, groups should come together and work to address insecurity in the state.