Need for caution by some traditional rulers over herdsmen crises
With every sense of modesty with truth however, I make bold to say that among the first class traditional rulers in the country, I stand as the one longest on throne so far. On this statement, I stand to be corrected.
With that, it follows that I have acquired experience more than any other traditional ruler across the country in relation to traditional rulership and political development of the country especially with regard to crisis resolution within the polity whether ethnic or religious.
It is on this note that I am appealing to all traditional rulers in the country especially those who are relatively new on the exalted throne, to be cautious and indeed circumspect in their public utterances especially in the trying period of the country’s sovereignty and national unity.
The greatest challenge facing the country at the moment is the herdsmen otherwise known as Miyetti Allah Cattle breeders. The recent Benue state experience is too fresh to be forgotten so soon.
While it is true that there had been co habitation between the Fulanis and indigenes in various communities in the country, this however is with the Fulani herdsmen not wearing political colouration.
For instance, the use of firearms including AK 47 gun to protect cattle is a complete novelty to what hitherto used to be a business endeavour. In those days stick was the only weapon with which the breeders directed their cattle. When was it the practice that Fulani breeders would arm themselves to teeth just to protect their cattle. In the past, part of the guidance which breeders gave to their cattle was to ensure that they did not destroy farm crops along their ways.
But today with the arm at their disposal, some Fulani breeders choose to target green leaves of farmers’ crops as good protein for their cattle and therefore lead their cattle aggressively to that direction. The big question therefore is that how do those cattle breeders come across the sophisticated weapons with which they arm themselves as if they are going to war. This is the task before the various security agencies to unravel in the interest of peace and unity of the country.
It is unfortunate that some highly placed traditional rulers should see the recent Benue incident as a justified reprisal quoting fictitious and imaginary figures of similar incident that had happened at another neighbouring state.
It is not only laughable but indeed ridiculous that as many as Eight hundred Fulanis with an imaginary one million cows would have been killed in one single attack without any documentations or report.
The level of mass communication in the country had gone beyond that dark age in sophistication and modernity.
The hands of any responsible traditional rulers should not be seen in any religious or ethnic justification in the present situation. Rather the institution of traditional rulers should use both individuals and collective efforts to quell the crisis from further escalation. That is what is expected of royal paternity.
Africa and Diaspora are watching Nigeria; the United Nation is watching us; President Muhammad Buhari has been boxed into a cul-de-sac by his kith kin the Fulani herdsmen. Let us help him to get of the quagmire.
If the home of the Fulani is as far West as North of Sierra Leone, i.e Futa Jalon Hills; and their kith and kin live in the cities and they make a substantial population in the Northern Nigeria townships, equity demands that the government at all levels and the people as citizens; should proffer a solution that makes peace that platform and goodwill, its anchor. We have managed in Oyo area to ensure that the cattle herdsmen are kept in proper place and the farmer’s crops and interest are adequately protected. Dialogue is the first option. War destroys Peace is to be preferred!
Iku Baba Yeye.
Oba (Dr) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, JP, CFR, LL.D, SAP, D.LLTS, DPA, is the Alaafin of Oyo
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