Fayose, Afe Babalola, Kunle Olajide, others at Yoruba KOYA Movement’s Security Round-table with Informal Security Sector in Ekiti: Protect Your Land From External Invasion
…says restructuring, the way out of insecurity, killings, hunger in the land
…says hunters, vigilante trust worthy than police
Commercial activities around Dave Hotel, situated at Adebayo along Iworoko road, Ado-Ekiti, the capital city of Ekiti State, South West, Nigeria was for over five hours shut down today by self-determination groups such as Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN), Hunters, Harmonized Surveillance Guard (HSG), Farmers, Market Men and Women, Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Nigerian Artisan Technician Association (NATA) and several others at a no-holds barred session organized to discuss the ways out of the multiple cases of kidnappings, destruction of farms lands by Fulani Herdsmen and other security vices plaguing the state.
Speaking at the dialogue powered by a Pan Yoruba Socio-cultural Group,Yoruba KOYA Movement, the state Governor Ayo Fayose, Founder, Afe Babalola University, Aare Afe Babalola, Elder Statesman and Secretary General, Yoruba Council of Elders (PCE) Dr. Kunle Olajide, the Iyajoja General of Ekiti State, Chief (Mrs) Waye Oso and several others unanimously declared that Enough is Enough.
Cross Section of Participants at the Event
Yoruba Koya Movement also donated security gadgets such as Head Lamp, Torch Light, Raincoat, Hand Glove, Boots, Helmet, Whistle etc to the members of Hunters and Vigilante Associations at the event to fight insecurity in the state.
The Roundtable with the theme: Protecting Yoruba Land according to the National Director of Organization and Publicity of the movement, Mr. Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye was organized to examine the causes of kidnappings, armed robbery, Fulani Herdsmen and farmers crisis, ascertain the level of awareness of Ekiti people on security issues in the area; examine the level of food availability and accessibility as a result of Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis; evaluate the effect of Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis on food and security and discuss the management options of the Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis as it affects food and security in the State.
In his speech, Fayose said all Yoruba people irrespective of their political interest and religion should unite together to wage war against the quazi-invasion of Yoruba Land by external forces.
He further said that self-defense against criminal elements masquerading as herdsmen is not illegal buttressing his position with biblical verses that only the courageous will never make heaven.
In his speech, Fayose said “I thank everyone present. I am surprised seeing these people. The Convener of Yoruba KO’YA Movement, Otunba ‘Deji Osibogun and Dr. Kunle Olajide are men of great honour that i have great respect for; we have been together since at Ibadan.
“Let me say very expressly that resistance is not easy but only the courageous wins. I was at Ibadan restructuring crusade organized by Afenifere in September 2017, all that i said there, i have no apology for them.
“Yoruba people should be allowed to be in right places. If we are not allowed, we will all die. These poor people (pointing to the large crowd of participants) don’t have access to press but only people like you can help them. I want to appeal to our people that this is a collective struggle. If you say you cannot defend yourself, someone wants to cut you, you want to wait and allow people shoot you? Even God does not appreciate cowards.
Speaking on the recent honour bestowed on the winner of the assumed winner of June 12th 1993 Presidential Election, late Chief MKO Abiola, Fayose said “They refused to appreciate Abiola before but because of 2019 election, they are honouring him now. Though it is a good development, but they should please end hunger in the land.
“Let me say this that this struggle is not about Yoruba KOYA, it is Ekiti KOYA. All states should go and collate figures of Herdsmen and Cows in their land and bring it together. We must defend our land. Some of our leaders because of their political interest, they keep shot. I am a Nigerian, they should lock me up, i am not afraid; the power of the people is greater than those in position of power. Those oppressing us today will be out of power one day.
“I saw a video, they will capture people, cut their head and through them into pit. Yoruba KOYA should not be begging our people to free ourselves from oppression; this is our collective struggle, the anti-grazing law has come to stay in Ekiti. If the organizer had informed me earlier than yesterday that i was told,, i would have helped you to mobilize the people to an open pavilion. Anyone who says we should go back to darkness will die.
“Bashing the police for not doing enough to protect the people, Fayose said “I don’t trust police, but these people sitting are the real police; the hunters are the real police that i trust, the vigilantes are the real security; policemen are only accountable to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) not the people but the local people are the mightiest.
In his own presentation, Afe Babalola who was represented by a Professor, Deji Olofintila said he had written several letters to the Directorate of State Services (DSS), Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) on the need to step up surveillance across the state without any meaningful response.
“This is our fight in Ekiti, i am shocked that an Ijebu man, Deji Osibogun will come to Ekiti to mobilize our people. The role i played in the creation of Ekiti state cannot make me be watching helplessness without doing anything.
“Ekiti is a land of peace but it seems our land is being eroded now. The First Bank at Ifaki-Ekiti was invaded, the Union Bank at Ilawe-Ekiti was attacked, now Efon-Iwaraja road has been taken over by Herdsmen, terrorising our people in the process.
“One of the people kidnapped by these criminals on May 23rd this year is the wife of my staff; they killed her, in the presence of her three children. Following day, they kidnapped another person. On June 8th, they kidnapped a man along Efon-Erio road. It seems all the roads leading to Ekiti land have been taken over by criminals masquerading as Herdsmen.
“We must take action, Ekiti fought Kiriji War, we fought Ekitiparapo war, and we won. I am however not saying herdsmen are responsible for all the attacks in ekiti but today, herdsmen are bold enough to carry AK 47 gun that cost N2m. Who owns these cows? They are not owned by the herdsmen, but the big men in the society, those small boys grazing are working for the bureaucracy
“On cattle colony, no way; we must reject it, no one has power to take over your land to give to anyone. Your land is your right. Protect it jealously. We must all rise together, and i support restructuring. Quote me, i support the restructuring of Nigeria.”he said.
Olajide in his presentation said the military incursion into politics balkanised the political, economic and social structures of the nation, appealing to all Yoruba people to support the crusade for the restructuring of Nigeria.
“The British government gave Ahmadu bello a hint to enrol northerners into the army enmass, telling him that power lies in the hands of the Generals. Buhari, Babangida, etc were recruited into army to protect northern oligarchy.
“The soldiers took over in 1966 and reversed Nigeria. They started with federal character to please their people because they know they can’t pass entrance examinations. Buhari said the herdsmen killing people are from Libya, it is his responsibility to protect Nigeria territorial integrity, it is his duty to protect Nigerians from being invaded.
“Restructuring is the way out, Awolowo was able to implement free education because of education, if not for Awolowo, i will not be educated. Yoruba is yearning for leadership. I think Yoruba KOYA can take charge of the struggle to free our people from oppression.” Olajide said.
Olajide while commending the Osibogun suggested that Yoruba KOYA should be established in all the local government areas, towns and villages in Yoruba land to safeguard the region.
In his remarks, the Convener of Yoruba KO’YA Movement, Otunba Deji Osibogun appealed to the people of the state to stand in defense of their land; stating that his passion for Yoruba Land pushed him out of his corporate life to the street to agitate for the restructuring if Nigeria.
“I am from Ijebu Ode. I have no political ambition. I am not a politician. But we are here to talk to our people. The Fulani have been living with us for over 50 years. We live peacefully, we marry each other but today it’s another case. But recently, Gen. T.Y Danjuma spoke that we should defend ourselves. President Buhari also spoke that these herdsmen are not Fulani but foreigners from Libya hence the reason for this meeting.
Fulani herdsmen have not been tormenting us but why suddenly the invasion of our farms? All the billionaires and millionaires of Ekiti indigenes should support the hunters. We are not here for politics but i learnt Fayose is coming because we did not invite him. You should protect your land. Anyone coming into Ekiti after 7pm should not be allowed to offload their goods. Please don’t fight Fulani, they are our people but be vigilant, ensure that no one take over your land, and no one is allowed to oppress you out of your community.”
All the self-determinations groups said they lack informal tools needed to police their environment such as patrol vans, boots, and others.
Others who spoke at the roundtable are the Iyaloja General of Ekiti State, Chief Waye Oso, the Commandant of Vigilante in Ekiti State, Mr. Akin Olorunloni, Representative of the Police Community Public Relations, Engr. Babatunji Ogeyemi, Chairman, All Farmers in Ekiti State, Chief Femi Okeya and the Representative of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Mr. Babjide Egunlae.
Also speaking were the representative of the Tailors Association, Mrs Esther Clement, Vice Chairman, Harmonized Surveillance Guard in the state, Mr. Emmanuel Odunayo, the Chief Hunter of the state, Chief Joseph Awise and several others.
Governor Ayodele Fayose (Middle), Elderstateman, Dr. Kunle Olajide (left) and Otunba ‘Deji Osibogun (right) at the Event.