Your Excellency sir,
Greetings to you in the name of the most high God.
I salute you for carrying the burden of leading the state and I pray that God Almighty will assist you sir.
I have chosen this medium to express my feelings and to render a piece of advice to you as part of my own contributions to peace, orderliness, good Governance, security of lives and properties in Oyo State, particularly in Ibarapa and Okeogun where I hail from.
Let me inform your Excellency that His Imperial Majesty, Iku Baba Yeye, Oba Dr. Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, the Alaafin Oyo and the Head of Yoruba Monarchs prepared me, encouraged and supported my interest in and advocacy on security matters, particularly on Fulani /Farmers Relationship.
I noticed the Alaafin Oyo constantly and consistently talking to Fulani leaders and Yoruba farmers from Oyo and Okeogun areas and I enquired from him why he was doing that. Kabiyesi told me that he would not be able to sleep if he heard of any clash between Fulanis and the farmers in any part of Yorubaland, how much more Oyo state. That he had to deploy various means including Traditional means of conflict prevention and management to ensure the relationship between the Fulanis and the Yoruba farmers are cordial.
Kabiyesi Iku baba yeye, to the best of my knowledge and information which I could declare on oath that it is the truth , the whole truth and nothing but the truth spends heavily on security.
In July, 2019, I suggested to the Alaafin Oyo to let us bring the representatives of the Fulanis in Oyo state together and kabiyesi graciously approved some money for it. We tagged the programm Peace and Security Initiative of Alaafin Oyo, Oba Adeyemi III. The program took place at Ipapo Town Hall, Ipapo Okeogun, Oyo State.
What was the agenda of the program? Peace and Security in Oyo State.
All Okeogun obas attended the program and renewed their commitment to peace and security in their domains. Each went away from that Program with happiness that the Fulanis and the farmers having expressed their grievances and resolved to mutually respect each other and live together in peace that there will be no more conflict
At that venue of the program attended by not less than a thousand Fulanis, Iku baba yeye rather than taking money from the Fulanis gave them money
The Alaafin Oyo and with the cooperation of the other Traditional Rulers fund a joint local security of Yorubas and Fulanis to patrol both the interior and the outer parts of Okeogun and their efforts are yielding. I make bold to say that if not for this synergy, the situation would have been worse.
I know as a matter of facts that this combined security network of Yoruba/Fulanis and VGN have made some arrests and handed them over to the police. What become the fate of these suspects, only the police could say. I urge your Excellency to investigate.
At the program, Alaafin Oyo promised to continuously support anything that would enhance and sustain peace. He then donated heavily for this objective and promised the local securities additional motorcycles for their joint patrol of the high ways and the interiors. I reminded him of this later, and he fulfilled his promise by delivering motorcycles with helmets to the vigilantees in batches.
Your Excellency! With due respect your person and office sir, Please be more proactive and diligent on the issue of security in Oyo State sir, so that this will not mar your Administration.
I remember writing letters to you and your adviser on security on the 31st December 2020. I also wrote the Commissioner of Police on January 6, 2021, advising all of you to take proactive step by calling a meeting of all Fulani leaders. If the meeting had been called, I doubt if there would have been any need for Chief Sunday Igboho to have served any quit notice on the Seriki of Fulani in Oyo State. I mean, all what happened could have been averted. You may wish to acknowledge that in many videos trending online too, the people of Ibarapa alleged that they have written several letters and complaints without action, hence they enlisted the support of Chief Sunday Igboho.
Your Excellency! In order not to remain an arm chair critic, I wish to advise you without semantics to as a matter of utmost urgency constitute and inaugurate a Judicial Panel of Enquiry into the insecurity in the Ibarapa/Okeogun axis of Oyo State.
I suggest that the panel be headed by a retired or serving judge of the high court while other members should include at least a legal officer, police officer, civil Defence, Amotekun Corp, Traditional ruler, Estate Valuer, Agricultural Expert, Representatives of the farmers, youths etc.
I also wish to propose the 👇👇👇 as the Terms of Reference
1). Listen to and take evidence from all victims or the families of victims of banditry, kidnapping, rape, killings and farmers whose farms were destroyed by cattle in Ibarapa/Okeogun axis of Oyo State.
2). To stand as Truth and Reconciliation Committee that will allow living victims & their families to air and vent their grievances in public, extract apology forgiveness and undertaking from those Fulanis who are willing to stay in Ibarapa/Okeogun to pursue their legitimate business of cattle rearing in accordance with the extant law of Oyo State.
3). To determine the number of victims or the dependents of such victims who are entitled to compensation and the amount of compensation payable.
4). The Judicial Panel is also to determine the herders or anyone responsible for abusing any victim and to recommend the prosecution of such persons.
5). To make other or further recommendations as may be appropriate to the Government on how to prevent future occurrences.
6). The Panel has the power to compel and summon witnesses and necessary parties to appear before the Panel to testify.
7). The panel shall also have power to accept memoranda from members of the public on security and the way to prevent farmers/herders clash.
I believe all these must be documented and kept in the archives for future references.
Any obas/baales or security personnel found culpable should be legally, administratively and appropriately dealt with.
I sincerely believe all nerves will be calmed, tension doused and a reunion guaranteed between indigenous Fulanis and the farmers afterall we have lived together in the past with mutual understanding and peace.
The process of data collection and documentation of the Fulanis living and rearing cattle in Ibarapa and Okeogun must commence without further delay.
Thanks very much sir for your patience in reading this letter and I pray that God Almighty will give you the wisdom to do the needful sir.
Alh. AbdulWaheed O. Lawal is a Solicitor & Advocate, W.O. Lawal & Co, Aganmu Chambers.