Uncertainty is hanging as the Presidency has directed the Inspector-General of Police to arrest Sunday Igboho for ordering Fulani herdsmen to quit Yorubaland.
This may not be connected with the seven-day ultimatum issued by the Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu ordering unregistered Fulani herdsmen to quit their forest reserves.
Reports online claim the Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, ordered the Commissioner of Police in Oyo state, Ngozi Onadeko, to arrest Igboho.
Outrage from different individuals has greeted the arrest order by the Federal Government as ethnic war drums are being beaten by some socio-cultural groups.
Femi Fani-Kayode has said it would be dangerous, reckless and counterproductive of the Buhari-led government to arrest Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho, who gave a quit notice to Fulani herders in the state.
Reacting to this development via his Twitter handle, FFK wrote ”It would be dangerous, reckless & counter-productive for Buhari to ARREST or KILL Sunday Igboho.
”When the Northern youths demanded that Igbos should leave the north no-one was arrested. Why should Sunday be arrested or killed for asking KILLER Fulani herdsmen to leave SW?
I advise the FG to tread softly because Sunday has the full support of the Yoruba nation because he has spoken for the people. Kill him & you make him a martyr for Oduduwa, arrest him & you make him the greatest hero of the Yoruba since independence. Whichever way, he wins.
”The way to solve the problem is to arrest the herdsmen that kill & kidnap our people in the SW & not to arrest or kill those that are standing up & speaking for their victims. Sunday did not ask for ALL Fulanis to leave SW. He asked for the killers, terrorists& kidnappers amongst them to leave Ibarapa & the Yoruba people LOVE him for it. Is that a crime?
”Today I identify Sunday Igboho who has stood up against wickedness, injustice & apartheid in our land when other Yoruba leaders were too timid to stand. I commend his courage.”
Babatunde Agbenla tweeted ”This is the beginning of the end of this President of tribalism. But remember what goes round must surely come round. When the YORUBAS become angry then that is going to be the end of One Nation and we have had enough of all this rubbish.
”A bad Leadership act Unreasonable like never before.
Enough of you and the best thing is to resign and allow the right person to be there as you have mess up.”
Reacting to the threat, Sunday Igboho, the Yoruba activist, said he is not scared of the police arresting him over the eviction notice he gave to the Fulanis in Oyo state.
In an interview with BBC Yoruba, Igboho said he has been hearing that there are plans to get him arrested.
His words ”They say I am not part of the government. Why am I meddling in the affairs that is not my business? I am meddling in it because I am a Yoruba man and if the government does not do the things that the people who voted for them expect them to do, then the people have the right to talk.
”It’s not like I just gave a command or said something that just came out from my mind.
”Look at our doctor, Fatai, a PhD holder who is a Yoruba man. He worked abroad for many years and came back with money. He started a farm in his father’s place and employed so many of our people.
”Fulanis went there to scatter the farm. He went to meet the Seriki Fulanis to inform him of what his people had done. They tied him and killed him.
”There are so many people that these Fulanis have killed in such manner. They kidnapped some and collected money. They’ve collected N7 million, N10 million, N11 million…in our own fathers land.
”These things hurt me so much. That was why I went there, to tell them that you people have been living with us for years, we did not fight with you guys.
”This was what I was telling the Seriki Fulani when his people pulled a gun at me. I collected the gun from one of them. Another one pulled a cutlass while another one pulled a gun and fired. If you watch the video properly, he shot the gun at me before I collected the gun from them.
”I told them that if they cannot find a solution to the killings of my people, it is better for them to leave.
”All the Obas that were there were happy and said that the suffering is enough, they do not want Fulanis anymore. That the killings is enough and that it is their subjects that are been killing. The Obas have been silent because they are scared of being deposed by the government if they speak up.
”These Fulanis kidnapped a king’s son and collected N4 million ransom before they released him.
”If care is not taken, the Fulanis will kidnap a king and ask his subjects to come and pay ransom.
”We Yorubas are still sleeping and keeping quiet,”he said
Meanwhile, the order has precipitated ethnic colourations from different sections of the country.
Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, has reacted to the statement released by the Area Consultative Forum, in which they warned the South-West governors to stop the attacks on Fulanis in their states as it can lead to reprisal attacks in the North which in the long run can lead to a repeat of the 1966 civil war.
In a statement released by its publicity secretary, Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere said its attention was drawn to the hypocritical tears of the AFCF over clashes in Ibarapa Local Government Area of Oyo State occasioned by the ”inimical activities of Fulani herdsmen against indigenous Yoruba people”.
The statement in part reads “While we have gone to a great length to sue for peace and have appealed to our pained people to be law-abiding even with the daily provocations of the Fulani and harassment of our people, we frown at the very arrogant and insulting ACF statement, especially their reference to the event of 1966.
”We must make it clear to them that they cannot threaten us with a war at this stage as we will not provoke war but never are we going to run for anybody on our land.
”We are miffed that a body like ACF that has never shown any remorse over the killing of our people can open their mouths anyhow now because there are consequences for the irresponsible actions of their people.
”We advise them to call their criminals to order and not expect our people to sheepishly wait to be killed by those who value cow lives more than human beings.
”We do not want a repeat of 1966 event but if there are people plotting such event again, the rain will be over their heads.”