Yoruba ready for war with Fulani – Fasheun
By FUNSO OMODELEOLAFOLLOWING the recent alleged attacks on Yorubas and their farmlands by Fulani herdsmen, the founder of Oodua People’s Congress Frederick Fasheun has threatened the largest ethnic group will defend every inch of her land with all her arsenals.
In a chat with the National Daily over the abduction of Olu Falae in Ondo, Fasheun explained that the region will no longer fold her hands and allow economic scavengers ride rough-shod over her people and their economic interests.
According to him, the Yoruba nation and her leaders believe the region consist of human beings and their territorial holding.“ And in a situation where another identifiable ethnic group is trying to annex and harass their region, the only alternative is to do the needful,”the medical doctor said.
He noted the easiest way to lose one’s identity is to lose one’s language and territory, and the Yoruba don’t want this to happen, after they have lost Kwara and parts of Kogi to the Fulani now attempting to encroach on more Yoruba’s territories.
Falae is one of the leaders of the Afenifere, a pan-Yoruba group. He has served as permanent secretary and minster in the finance ministry, and was the secretary to the federal government under Ex-General Ibrahimm Badamosi Babangida.
That some people from another identifiable ethnic group now went ahead to assault and kidnap him, we, at home and in the Diaspora, feel most embarrassed about this. Falae has a pedigree; he should not have been treated like that,” Fasheun said.
Going down memory lane, Fasheun said in the Oke Ogun area of Oyo,Fulani herdsmen have serially grazed on farms, and all the farmers get in return when they protest is to be physically assaulted, killed and their wives raped, sometime in the presence of their husbands.
“We did not say we are going to secede,” he explained. “We said if the Fulani are looking for war, we will give it to them very cheaply because those who herd the cattle are not the owners.”
According to him, the cattle owners are powerful Nigerians, and these herdsmen know they have Abraham as their father. He added that this kind of impunity breeds lawlessness and corruption, and nobody should encourage it.
“There was no pronouncement over the kidnap until I provoked the Presidency into action.We had to make a presentation to the Federal Government for four days for the Presidency to respond. Fifty million Yorubas were agitated and my office was a Mecca of sorts,” Fasheun said, accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of complacency in the wellbeing of the Yoruba nation.
“I don’t think President Buhari is the most innocent ethnic irredentist in Nigeria. He confronted the late Lam Adesina, the former governor of Oyo, over Adesina’s attempt to curb the excesses of Fulani herdsmen who destroyed farmlands in Oke Ogun then.”
He said the former governor was scandalized that a nationalist of Buhari’s stature would defend Fulani herdsmen plundering farmlands of Oke Ogun Yoruba farmers.
The current posture of President Buhari, the OPC leader insisted, is a departure from the promise he made at inauguration when he said he belonged to everybody and nobody.
“I was among those who hailed him as a patriot. But in just over 100 days his ethnic stock, the Fulani herdsmen, are attacking farms in southwest, southeast and north central, especially in Plateau.
“We want them to know that ethnic confrontation has history. We have not forgotten 1804; we have not forgotten our recent history as well. We are warning the powers that be that if we are not going to get our rights then why are we in this country.
“I fought for Nigeria’s democracy, I love my country, I will not want to see Nigeria shatter into smithereens, but not at the expense of the sweat, tear, and blood of my people,” he said, noting there is still a window for dialogue, going by the history of the two ethnic stocks that dates back to over 100 years.
“My best friend is a Fulani man who addresses me as my father. Some Fulani leaders have come to see me before the Olu Falae saga,” said Fasheun. “We have shown our anger, we do not want lawlessness to succeed our anger. But we will not be violent.”
Going further, he said nobody has monopoly of violence, and the combination of peace and violence amounts to no peace.
“We have being trying to negotiate with Boko Haram. Now another version of Haram is being created. To be forewarned, is to be forearmed.”
Fasheun warned President Buhari has come in at the right time he should not fritter away his good will by making the Fulani herdsmen stay in their area, establish ranch and graze their cattle there.
It will be recalled that notable Yoruba leaders held an emergency summit in Ibadan, last week, threatening to review its status in the Nigerian federation, and secede if need be.
The meeting, presided over by former the governor of the Western Region, General Adeyinka Adebayo, warned that the Yoruba will no longer tolerate the present structure of the country, which, they claim, undermines self-actualization of the southwest.
Reports from the summit said failure to restructure Nigeria using the 2014 National Confab report might force the Yoruba people to review her place in a political arrangement that cannot guarantee the protection of her citizens.
The summit strongly condemned what it described as the “invasion and killing of people in Yoruba territories” by the Fulani herdsmen.
The summit, themed “National Insecurity and the Menace of Fulani Herdsmen in Yorubaland”, held in the House of Chiefs Section of the Parliament building of the Oyo State Secretariat.
The participants also decried the continued oppression of the Yoruba in their homeland by some Fulani herdsmen.The summit cited incessant cases of rape, destruction of economic plants that form the bedrock of the livelihood of locals, the armed violence unleashed by the nomads coupled with the consequent cultural disequilibrium the displacement of people from crisis-ridden Northern Nigeria have brought to communities in Yorubaland.
They demanded an immediate end to lawless nomadic activities in the southwest, warning that any community who cannot establish ranches for their flocks should retreat from the Yoruba territories.
A factional leader of OPC Otunba Gani Adams said that the time to “leave Nigeria” and assert the sovereignty of the Yoruba people is now.
At the event were prominent Yoruba sons and daughters from the academia, politics and the Diaspora. The sponsors of the summit were Yoruba Council of Elders, (YCE), Oodua Foundation, Afenifere and the Yoruba Unity Forum, (YUF).
Some of the participants included the Oyo State Deputy Governor Otunba Moses Alake Adeyemo, who represented the Gov. Abiola Ajimobi; Sola Ebiseni, who represented the Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, Pa Olanihun Ajayi, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, Pa Supo Sonibare, Prof Banji Akintoye, Prof Toun Ogunseye, the first woman Professor in Nigeria.
Others were Dr Fredrick Faseun, Otunba Gani Adams, Dr Kunle Olajide, Chief Shuaib Oyedokun and the former Military governor of Lagos State, Brig-Gen Raji Rasaki among many others.
The Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG and many other Pan-Yoruba groups were however absent at the summit.
October 13, 2015 at 6:14 am
So Fasheun, after loosing the 2015 now still working to split this country! you better change your stand!!
December 5, 2015 at 7:05 am
U ar senseless fo dat comment. So we shd kip foldin our hands fo u ppl to eradicate us. We can’t liv in north and stil we cnt liv in our land too. Fulanis are the prob of dis country. Ibo wnts to secede, yorubas wnt to secede, tiv wnt to sucede evry grp wnts to secede all bc of hausa/fulana. U ar inhuman. U ppl shd nt b livin wit human bein