Gani Adams, Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, says Fulanis are not a “problem” when it concerns insecurity in the south-west.
Adams stated this at a pan Yoruba congress held in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, on Wednesday.
At the congress, which focused on insecurity in the south-west, the leader of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) also expressed his displeasure over the arraignment of OPC members who arrested Iskilu Wakili, a Fulani leader in Ibarapa.
Wakili was arrested on March 7, after a gun battle involving OPC members and other security operatives.
Ibarapa residents had accused Wakili of being involved with kidnappers and armed herders, who attack farmers and destroy their crops.
The police charged him to court alongside his sons — Abu, Samaila and Aliyu Manu– on six counts bordering on conspiracy, murder, kidnapping, and armed robbery; they have been remanded in a correctional facility.
In his address, the Aare Ona Kakanfo lamented the absence of some Yoruba leaders at the event, noting that the issue of insecurity should not be left to a few individuals.
“If we don’t address the issue of insecurity in Yorubaland quickly, it is possible that things would get worse. We have some Yoruba leaders who used COVID-19 as an excuse to be absent from this meeting. The last meeting of this kind was held in Ibadan in March 2017,” he said.
“Since I became the Aare Ona Kakanfo, I have shouldered more pressure but people still ask me what am I doing about insecurity in Yorubaland. We have to come together to support our governors on insecurity. Some influential people in Yorubaland have forgotten their roots.
“For those who asked me what I am doing about insecurity in the south-west, I used only one of the powers I possess within two weeks and the whole place was shaken to the ground. Our boys went into the forest and arrested the deputy to Iskilu Wakili and three others and handed him over to the police.
“We then traced Wakili’s movement for a month and succeeded in arresting him with three others in Ibarapa. Those who arrested him were detained but later given bail. When they appeared in court on Monday, they were charged for murder, arson and belonging to unlawful association.
“This is where Yoruba should think. There is an attempt to cripple the security system in the south-west. Fulanis are not our problem, but our own people. I have information that Yorubas are the traitors among us. Whatever we do, we will not embarrass our governors.”
Adams also spoke on his meeting with Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti governor, on Tuesday, and commended the south-west governors for their cooperation in the fight against insecurity in the region.
“When I met governor Fayemi, he told me what the south-west governors have been doing on insecurity and I am pleased. He told me that Rotimi Akeredolu, the Ondo state governor, is their mouthpiece. He said as the chairman of south-west governors, everything Akeredolu says represents all the governors’ thoughts. Don’t think Makinde is not doing enough; he knows what he is doing,” the OPC leader said.
At the meeting was Seyi Makinde, Oyo state governor; Kunle Olajide, secretary-general of the Yoruba Council of Elders; Yemi Elebuibon, Ifa priest, as well as traditional rulers and other stakeholders.