By Akin Ojumu
For years now, a violent insurgency has raged in the woods of Yorubaland, waged by a murderous militia comprised of hoodlums stoned out of their minds. These violent hordes are - allegedly - Fulani herders hell-bent on establishing a 21st century Usman Dan Fodio Caliphate all over Nigeria. The hooligans are mindless criminals running rampage over Yorubaland; abducting the people for ransom and killing them to satiate their murderous pleasure.
Viral social media images and videos of the atrocities of these murderers often reveal a bunch of ragtag malnourished young men holding what at times look like rabbit guns. While the hooligans in some of the videos look scared shitless and often appeared to be faking to be fierce because they are within a large group of fellow hooligans, no human being with any soul left in them can dream of engaging in the mindless savagery they are seen to commit.
When these hungry-looking gun-toting fools invade any village, they are like locusts; they leave an unthinkable degree of death and destruction in their wake. The reign of terror has turned Yorubaland into a place not any different from an Islamic State (ISIS) occupied territory. Like no other time in recent memory, a palpable feeling of helplessness and powerlessness, shrouds the land like dark clouds, in an eerie foreboding.
People who see themselves as victims are often left paralyzed with fear and have the tendency to seek out a strongman who will deliver them. For such people, they tend to thoughtlessly surrender themselves to, and sheepishly bow down and worship, any Jack, Dick, or Harry - or in this case, any Yekini, Jelili, or Mutiu - who steps forward and offers himself as the strongman who will be their savior. It was in this milieu of helplessness and powerlessness, fear, terror, and leadership vacuum that Sunday Igboho emerged to offer himself as the savior of the Ibarapa people, one of the many villages ransacked by the violent criminals.
After several abductions, tens of millions in ransom, and savage killings, culminating in the murder in cold blood of Dr Fatai Aborode on his farm, the people of Ibarapaland said, “Enough is enough.” The killing of the benevolent doctor, who left the comfort of Europe to come back home to help his people, became one death too many. The people of Ibarapaland wasn’t going to take it anymore; they got tired of offering the other cheek. So, they cried out to Sunday Igboho begging him to come and save them.
And like a strongman smelling an opportunity, Sunday Igboho answered their call, visited the village, gave a 1-week ultimatum to the Seriki Fulani to pack up and go. True to his words, he came back 1 week later to make good on his ultimatum. Along with his gang of modern-day Robinhood, he affected his ultimatum by unleashing the wrath of God on the Seriki Fulani and his fellow Fulanis.
What followed was like falling dominos. Sunday Igboho’s profile shot up to the skies and a cult following would quickly emerge. Not to be left out, the governor of Ondo State issued his own ultimatum to the Fulani herdsmen to vacate Ondo State forest reserves. An unfamiliar sense of unease and fear came over all the Fulanis. The Fulani-loving administration of PMB took immediate notice and sprung to action. Uncharacteristically, the normally taciturn and laconic President Buhari became animated when he saw that the livelihood of his fellow Fulani faced jeopardy.
The South West governors were summoned to an emergency meeting with Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to discuss this real and present danger to the Fulani herdsmen hegemony.
The meeting took place at the International Culture and Event Centre (DOME), Akure, Ondo State on Monday, 25th January 2021. In attendance were the following:
South West governors – Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti State), Seyi Makinde (Oyo State), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun State) and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State. (Notably absent were Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos State) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun State)). Northern Governors – Muhammad Abubakar (Jigawa State) and Abubakar Bagudu (Kebi State). MACBAN State and National officers and others. Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 11 and Security Chiefs in the South West region. Others include – Olufemi Agunbiade, former Deputy Governor of Osun State and Senator Iyiola Omisore.
At the conclusion of the meeting, it was resolved that:
1. The security and welfare of the people of Nigeria is the primary purpose of government as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended.
2. The stakeholders are committed to the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria.
3. Insecurity is a national challenge and not peculiar to any tribe or region but must be addressed by the cooperation of all.
To be continued tomorrow.
Ojumu, MD, MPH, wrote from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
writes on the African Plume Blog: https://www.africanplume.com/; https://twitter.com/PlumeAfrican;
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