Senator Francis Adenigba Fadahunsi representing Osun East Senatorial district, has alledged that some traditional rulers on the South West conspires with criminal elements among the Fulanis to kidnap, rape, and carrying out banditry and all forms of criminalities in the zone.
Speaking in a ‘no hold barred’ interview with journalists in Abuja, he lamented the involvement of some traditional rulers in criminality that happens in their domain, saying that the insecurity in South West has been on for long.
Reacting to eviction notice to Fulani herders by some South West governors, the lawmaker stated that its foreign Fulanis that are behind kidnapping, but were aided by some Obas who eventually employ them as marabouts.
He said: “If a stranger comes to your house, there is a norm, culture. Since the stranger cannot abide by your culture, he becomes an intruder, which is a criminal offence. In the whole Southwest today you cannot do what these animals are doing in the bush.
“What is ravaging the South West now; they are not the Hausa/Fulani people from Nigeria; not the Fulani who have been living with us for the past 100 years. They have not been killing people.
When asked, he denied that Yoruba leaders were divided in their reaction to the development in South West along party lines, lamenting that attacks knows no political party.
“They are the people shouting. The one in Niger state, are they not APC? The Fulani herdsmen, particularly the wicked ones from foreign land don’t know who is APC or PDP, Christian or Muslim. The only thing is that it is the government that encourages them.
“If you are arrested as a kidnapper and you are taken to court in Osun, which is 25 years and you are jailed, they will not do it.
“But the Fulani herdsman rearing the cattle up and down, the highest he can sell a cow is N300,000 to N350,000. By the time he sells one and declares N150,000 to the owner, he has nothing.
“Now that he has AK 47, which he brought from either Sudan, Libya, Chad, Niger, or Cameron, and he could come out, carry you, carry you, and your people are now begging him with N2 million, he will come back to the road.
“I confronted this problem long ago when this thing was rampant in my area, I summoned the Obas in Ijesha land in my constituency.
“There were about four or five cases of kidnapping and they were begging Fulani with N2 million and anybody who could not pay, they will waste the man. So, I boycotted the protocol and summoned the Obas because I knew it was the Obas that encouraged them in their domains.
“We then had an agreement in a closed-door meeting; if we hear anything, where they came in where they escaped, automatically I will use the youth to chase the Oba away.
“That was the agreement, it went down for about 4-5 years. Even during Aregbesola’s time, you won’t hear anything banditry in Osun state because he had maximum security. He bought bulletproof vehicles as if we were in war. He called the whole place security-wise. Even the case of a rape which he handled, was due to pleading we didn’t jail the Oba.
“So, we found out that it was the Obas who employed the Fulani herdmen as their herbalists in their domains to oppress their people.
“We even got one or two Obas’ children that we’re buying food for them and their victims. It was one of them that took us to 84 tents where they were in our area. We had to route them out. The are not the Hausa/Fulani that are living with us. When we asked them they said they don’t know them.”
“My opinion is that they are not Fulani per se. There is another problem in the Southwest now, the Zamfara illegal miners have moved into Osun destroying the land we are talking about and when they don’t have anything to till again or mine gold, they go to the road to commit crime.
“That is the problem we are having now. That of the herdsmen is a little problem there. Now that they have started leaving, reports have it that more than 4,000 of them have left for Kaduna and Kano.
“I salute the courage of the governor of Kano who has identified this enemy of peace and is going with southern governors that they should stop moving cows to that place because what is needed in the southwest, the cows are there with the Fulani rearers. So, we don’t need fbeso called Fulanis from Niger, Chad to be troubling us.
“By the time the President should agree that we should route them out, the IG tried his own because when I reported to him, he provided, he has been providing support but the problem is that most of the internal war which he is waging has been intercepted by the Army.
“If the Army has maintained their presence at the borders which Immigration and Customs don’t have the capacity to prevent these people from coming through the bush, if the Army had been there automatically they would not be able to penetrate into the internal security of the country.
“You see that they kill soldiers any how. About two weeks ago they went to Ifora, the home town of Pastor Adeboye, killed the police escort to to the Chinese other and carried the Chinese away. They kill any time.
“Those merciless people are not Nigerians. Why others are not doing the way we are doing is because they don’t have military background; they believe I the rule of law and these people believe in the rule of weapons.”
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