By Joseph Erunke, Abuja
Elders in the South West have condemned Friday’s attack on Sarkin Fulani, in Oyo State, Alhaji Salihu AbdulKadir and his family where houses were burnt down, livestock killed and 11 cars also burnt to ashes.
The elders, who stated their opposition to the action attributed it to some criminals led by a secessionist, Sunday Adeyemo, in a statement under the umbrella of Coalition of Oduduwa Elders, said the development was inimical to the unity of the country which they stand for.
Expressing shock that such ugly development can happen in Yorubaland which they noted, had been in the forefront of a united Nigeria, the elders tasked security agencies to immediately swing into action with a view to arresting the culprits so they can face the wrath of the country’s law.
In the statement signed by their National Coordinator, Dr Tunde Aremu and National Secretary, Barr. (Mrs) Folake Ajasin, respectively, the elders said the action does not represent the Yoruba people.
“We received with utmost shock and disbelief the burning down of the residence of Sarkin Fulani Oyo State, his livestock and 11 cars, by some suspected criminals in Yoruba land allegedly instigated by one Sunday Adeyemo otherwise known as Igboho. This action is unacceptable to us, it is criminal, barbaric and uncivilized, and we call for the immediate arrest and prosecution of Sunday Igboho and all the perpetrators of this dastardly and unwarranted act,” they said in the statement.
The elders said,” While we acknowledge the criminal activities of some suspected Fulani herdsmen in the state, we must state that the attack of the Sarkin Fulani Oyo is madness taken too far.”
“The Sarkin Fulani has lived in Oyo State for a very long time and has been known to be very peaceful. He has spoken publicly and privately against the criminal activities of some of their deviant youths and tasked security agencies to go after them. The Sarkin Fulani Oyo deserves commendation for his actions against the few criminals masquerading as herdsmen in Oyo and not this kind of evil and injustice meted on him by some of the criminals in our region,” they added.
Noting that, “This is highly condemnable and must be condemned by all”, the elders said: “Criminality is not a tribal trademark but a global trend involving people from every tribe and race.”
“We all know that they are more good Fulani people than the bad ones just like there are also criminals of Yoruba extraction, hence it will be wrong to attribute criminality to every Fulani person in the South West,” the statement added.
According to the elders, “We must remember that we have our brothers in the North who have been living there for ages as well. We shouldn’t set this country on fire for our selfish interest.”
” We, therefore, urge all the governors in the South-West states to take responsibility of their states’ security by ensuring that every lawful Fulani man and woman living in the South West is safe and protected from any form of attack and violence in the interest of peace and national unity, they must commence an immediate robust stakeholders’ meetings to engage all parties.
“While we call our Fulani and Northern brothers not to see this act as an act of Yoruba people but a clear act of criminality perpetrated by some misguided youths that will be brought to book in no time.
“The unity of Nigeria cannot be sacrificed on the altar of criminality,” the statement read.