“BE VIGILANT, YOUR LAND HAS BEEN ENCIRCLED BY EXTERNAL FORCES” -Ayo Adebanjo, Banji Akintoye, Gani Adams, Osibogun, others tell Lagosians
By Shina Awopeju
…that there may be an Emir in Agege, Yaba, Lekki, Ikoyi Soon
…says 5, 736 migrants from the North, Mali, Senegal, Cameroon enter Lagos in June 2018
…want all Okada Riders, Drivers, Tricycle Riders, Bus Conductors, Home Guards in Lagos register with BVN, LRRN
…says Restructuring, New constitution, Panacea to Nigeria security quagmires
Reverberating like a valiant soldier without a dint of fear, prominent Yoruba leaders including various self determination groups on Wednesday spoke loudly to those who care to listen that there’s danger ahead if adequate care is not taken to address the threat being posed by the alarming rate of Migrant Incursion into Lagos and by extension, Yoruba land including Kogi, Kwara, Edo and Delta State.
“Your Land has been encircled by external forces”, they said in unison at a security roundtable powered by a pan-yoruba socio cultural group, Yoruba Koya Movement held at Oranmiyan Hall, Airport Hotel, Ikeja on Wednesday 15th August 2018.
The roundtable, chaired by the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Aare Gani Adams with the theme: Protecting Yoruba Land: Migrant Incursion and Threat to Peace and Security of Lagos State, was attended by the Governor of Lagos State; Mr. Akinwumi Ambode with representatives from various groups and informal security sectors such as Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN), Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Hunters, Traditional Council, religion Leaders, ACOMORAN, NURTW, Religion Leaders etc in attendance.
In a statement jointly signed by some eminent personalities present at the event such as Afenifere Leader and Elders Statesmen, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, represented by a renowned Emeritus Professor, Kolawole Ogundowole, Aare Gani Adams, represented by the National Publicity Secretary of OPC, Barrister Yinka Ogunmodimu, Second Republic Senator and Emeritus Professor of History, Professor Banji Akintoye, Chief Imam of Yoruba Land, Sheik Abudulahhi Aduramigba, Convener, Yoruba Koya Movement and many others stated that the current attacks being witnessed in Nigeria is part of the expansionist agenda of some vested Fulani Oligarchy to capture all land of Nigeria.
“We are in this precarious situation today because we have ignored the facts and counsel of history. When the British planned the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates to create Nigeria in 1914, their express intention was to make the rich resources of the South serve the interests of the North. Throughout colonial times, the British pursued policies that implemented that intention. Finally, at independence in 1960, they manipulated the constitution, the census, the politics, and the elections in such ways as to make the Arewa North the overlord of other Nigeria. And the Arewa Overlords have never hidden their resolve to use federal power to sustain Northern domination of Nigeria. Now, Arewa North is adding vicious violence and mass murders by Fulani herdsmen to enforce their will.
“May we further reawaken your consciousness by alerting you to what you never took serious. Today, all the Nigeria Military Institutions in Nigeria are domiciled in the North. Except that, thanks to Professor Yemi Osinbajo, one of them was recently booted out. The Defence Headquarters is more in Kaduna than Abuja; The Nigeria Military Training School is there, the Immigration, Civil Defence, Custom, etc training schools are all in the North.
“The Police Training College in Ikeja, Lagos is now an eyesore. The Warri and Portharcourt refineries in Southern Nigeria have been abandoned for a new digital refinery to be established in Katsina to link oil to Niger Republic while the Southern Oil producing States of Ondo and Edo, and the Delta are to get Cattle Colonies. Today, if there’s air attack on Lagos, there’s no Air Defence here that can repel it, since all Force Jets in Ikeja have been moved to the North.” The statement reads.
Praising Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State for being responsive, the leaders said “Most members of the public are not aware that nearly all the current equipments owned by the Nigerian Police Force in Lagos State are given to them by Governor Akinwumi Ambode.”
Continuing, the leaders alleged that “Since amalgamation, the Fulani hegemony has kept on pushing the process of having one united Northern Nigeria pitched against the other areas of Nigeria. They are now migrating non-Nigerian Fulani from Guinea, Senegal, Mali and carefully importing militants from Mali, Niger, Cameroon and Chad, all in a bid to fill the North and Middle Belt with Fulanis and establish strong Fulani presence all over Nigeria. The Fulani theory is to take Power, seize Power and use Power. The Fulani oligarchy carried out all the coups that have occurred in Nigeria. They are forever trying to perpetuate themselves in office and subdue all other ethnic nationalities of Nigeria.
“We say without any fear of intimidation that the current migrant incursions into Yoruba land through Fulani herdsmen, Okada riders, Boko Haram elements are all well coordinated, planned and executed to fit the expansionist plan of the Fulani. Today, a Northern Senator will buy 200 motorcycles, get the corresponding number of Fulani men and send them down the South, especially the South West. They are first deposited in the villages in Yoruba land like Akoko, Egbe, Ikun, etc so that they can communicate with Yoruba language before integrating the aggressors into cities like Ibadan, Ijebu, Lagos Main land, Agege, Yaba, Lekki and Ajah.
“From the empirical findings conducted by the Directorate of Organization, Research and Publicity of Yoruba Koya, we found out that a minimum of 500 migrants comes into Lagos State everyday from the Northern States of Borno, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto and Yobe State. Our research team found that 7, 356 migrants mainly from the aforementioned northern states came into Lagos State alone in the month of June 2018 without verifiable place of residence. Their first point of call and destination is usually at Yaba-Oyingbo axis from where they are distributed across the land.
“These migrants litter the streets of Lekki, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Ikeja, Yaba, Shomolu, Bariga, Oshodi, Ejigbo, Egbeda-Idimu, Agege, Ojodu-Berger, Alagbole Akute in Ogun State to Magodo phase I and II, and Festac, and they are currently making an inroad into Badagry. 80% of commercial motorcyclists plying Ojodu-Alagbole-Akute are from the Core Northern States; and it is the same scenario in Lekki, Ikeja, Oshodi, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Obalende, Ajah, Amuwo Odofin and other major areas of Lagos State.” the leaders alleged.
Stressing further, they said “But unfortunately, our Yoruba people are apathetic in the face of this danger. We think we are enjoying almost free labour from these migrants; we feed them; some of them are now marrying our vulnerable daughters; we are doing all these because we are friendly and accommodating. Unknown to us, these migrants have ulterior motives – to annex all lands in Nigeria. All our towns and villages in Yoruba land are in danger of being taken over by non-indigenes. Fulani herdsmen are buying lands in Iseyin, Igbeti and other parts of Oke Ogun in Oyo State. They are now the notable traders in Owo; they are installing Obas in Iseyin.
Investigations conducted by our Under-cover Research Team have it that these invincible Fulani men have bought about 50 houses in Agege area of Lagos state for only God knows reason. In some cases, they buy the houses but leave the tenants there. We say very expressly that there may be an Emirate soon in Oke Ogun area of Oyo State, the Yewa area of Ogun State and Agege here in Lagos if care is not taken.
“Our forefathers say “Ti ogiri o ba lanu, Alangba o le raye wobe.” Our impoverished Baales, Obas, village Heads, family heads are daily and constantly being induced with money to part with their lands. Our villages are being attacked and ravaged while our State Governors do nothing. I call on Yoruba men; let’s rise up and defend our land against external forces. We must not allow our homeland to be colonized.
On the efforts of the organization at safeguarding Yoruba land, the leaders said “The fears and experiences we are expressing today gave birth to the Yoruba Koya Movement, an organization brought up to reawaken the consciousness of Yoruba People. Yoruba sons and daughters in conjunction with the original Agbekoya, Afenifere, Yoruba Council of Elders, the OPC and many Yoruba organizations with their wisdom decided to float this organization to tackle food security, protect our land, promote youth empowerment, youth entrepreneurship and champion the crusade for the restructuring of Nigeria. We call on all Yoruba to heed the old saying, igi gogoro magun mi loju, okeere lati n wo.
“In 3 or 4 states in Yoruba land, we have been able to speak to our people and train them to defend themselves and how to identify hostile migrants. We are, among other defensive measures, calling on the wisdom of our people. We are able to report that farms have reduced considerably and are reducing.
“But we need help to sustain and repel further attacks on our land. Can we do this, can we achieve this? Tomorrow will judge. Our leaders must respond. Our governors, who now seem lost, must rouse themselves and support the youths who are rising up to defend our homeland. Kokoro to n je fo, ara efo lowa.
On the ways out of the emerging security quagmires posed by migrant incursion into Lagos State, the leaders proposed to the state government that all Domestic Security Guards, Private Security outfits, Vigilantes Groups and their personnel, Hunters, non-yoruba construction workers, members of NURTW, members of RTEAN, members of ACCOMORAN, Tricycles Riders, Bus Conductors and Goods/Service Delivery Riders in Lagos State should be appropriately licensed and identified with their Lagos Residence Registration Number (LRRN) and Bank Verification Number (BVN) as a must attached, warring that failure to register should mean a breach of the law and a revocation of license to carry out the aforementioned work in the center of Excellence.
On restructuring, the leaders, said “we want to say that the major panacea to this unfortunate situation we Yoruba find ourselves in Nigeria is for the country to be restructured politically, economically and socially. Yoruba Koya call for a return to regionalism. We call for a return to the constitution we were running before the advent of Military in 1966. We have a draft copy of people’s constitution already prepared by our research team. We have Elders here who know how Nigeria was being ran before 1966. Each region should be allowed to control their resources; let each region set up machineries to defend their people; we demand for regional police; we demand for independence of judiciary. We propose a one-term of five years for all executive elected public officials. We call for rotational presidency among the six geo-political zones.”
In his address, the Governor Ambode, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Security, Mr. Kunle Ajanaku declared support for the advocacies of the leaders on the platform of Yoruba Koya Movement.
He said the state government observed the rate at which migrants were trooping into Lagos unchecked hence, the establishment of Lagos State Neighbourhood Watch to assist the Police and other formal security agencies to track and report every suspicious movements and security breach in all parts of the state.
The Governor said the state government has spent over N10billion on the purchase of vehicles, arms, helicopters and other gadgets to security agencies in the last three years, promising to partner Yoruba Koya Movement to ensure that the state is peaceful and free of crimes.
Also in attendance at the roundtable were Convener of a policy think-thank Group, Voice of Reason (VOR), Prince Goke Omisore, Presidential Aspirant on the platform of Kowa Party, Dr. Shina Fagbenro, Controller of Lagos State Immigration Service, Mr. Rotimi Owoeye, Commandant, National Agency for Prohibition and Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), Lagos State, Mrs Kehinde Akomolafe, representatives of Ohaneze Ndigbo in Lagos State, Onua Jude and leaders of NUTRW, RTREAN and others.