Afenifere spits fire over cattle rearing in S-West

AFENIFERE, a Pan-Yoruba Socio Political group rose from an emergency meeting in Akure, the Ondo state capital and called for the stoppage of cattle rearing activities in  South West states following the menace of Fulani herdsmen.

The group said that the activities of the  herdsmen in the states have endangered the lives of the people.

Spokesman of the group, Yinka Odumakin said that their activities  should be stopped in every space of Yoruba land just as he called for the arrest of those who abducted a Chieftain of the group, Chief Olu Falae.

Odumakin declared that; “ In the event this call is not heeded then our people may resort to self help to protect themselves.’’

The  meeting lasted for over six hours and it was chaired by Afenifere’s National Chairman, Pa Reuben Fasoranti at his country home in Akure.

The group described the attack and abduction of one of its leaders who was the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Chief Olu Falae as an insult to the race.

A communique read  by Odumakin said: “We demand that nomadic cattle rearing should be stopped in ever y state of Yoruba land.

“We believe now that after what has happened to Chief Falae, people would not tolerate such thing in any part of Yoruba land .

“So while we await   the arrest of the criminals, the cattle rearing should be stopped in Yoruba land.

“Yoruba people go to any part of the country to trade, no history or record of such anywhere that the Yorubas destroy the business of their hosts. What we cannot do to others, nobody should do it to us.”

Odumakin said that the meeting” decried   insecurity in the country as relate to the unrelenting blood letting by the terrorist Boko Haram and the wave of unchecked kidnapping going on in the country.

“A special focus was beamed on the recent abduction of one of our revered leaders in Afenifere,Chief Olu Falae, also a former secretary to the government of the federation and former presidential candidate,while on his farm.

“We describe this as scandalous and chilling regarding the harrowing experience of the 77 year old man in the hands of vandals,miscreants.

“The meeting did not consider it as a mere coincidence that chief Olu Falae for two to three years has been having running battles with the Fulani herdsmen on the very farm before he was abducted.

“Last of such was about two months earlier when they entered his farmland and destroyed it and chief Falae pursued the matter with the Police and grudgingly accepted half of what the police said they should pay as compensation.

“The Fulani elements coming to abduct him two months later, is presumably a vengeance mission for justice that he pursued against the invasion of his farm and the destruction of his hand work.

“The meeting recalled that for years, farmers in Yoruba land have been complaining about what Chief Falae was going through in the hands of these nomadic cattle rearers.

“You will recall that in year 2000 in Oke Ogun area of Oyo State, the Fulani herdsmen and farmers had a major clash which led a strong delegation from Arewa consultative forum to storm the office of the then Governor Lam Adesina in a rowdy and angry manner on behalf of Fulani .

“The meeting also noted that the 2014 national conference in which Chief Falae led the Yoruba delegation ,extensively discussed this matter of nomadic cattle rearing and the conference resolved that it should be stopped and instead they should have ranches for cattle business.

“We condemned the abduction of Chief Olu Falae and his gruesome experience as shameful, insensitive and a violent violation of Yoruba culture, values and space.

“It is a total disrespect to us as a people and an insult that such a high prominent Yoruba person who almost became the President of this country, who is a traditional ruler in the community could be abducted by the vandals who have been busy destroying people’s farms robbing people and rapping women.

“We therefore demand the immediate arrest and prosecution of the abductors of Chief Olu Falae.

“Chief Falae sustained deep cut on his hand from these Fulani herdsmen,those cuts are on Chief Falae’s hand, they are deep cuts on the soul of Nigerians and the cut would not heal until justice is done, until these Fulani herdsmen are arrested and prosecuted, the wounds will not heal.

Odumakin said the group thanked” all those groups and individuals who raised their voices against this barbaric act of the abducting Chief Olu Falae.

According to him: “We are not unmindful of some silence, but the voices of those who spoke for solidarity and boldness with which they have spoken out on   this barbarity.

Leaders at the meeting include secretary of the group Basorun Seinde Arogbofa, former Education Commissioner in the state Chief Korede Duyile, former Police Affairs Minister Jelili Adesiyan  and other politicians from across the country.