Some prominent Yoruba leaders, including the Aare-Ona-Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams have vowed to resist any attempt to cede any land in the South-West for cattle ranching.
This was part of a communiqué issued at the end of a meeting to discuss security and economy of the South-West region held at the ancient Mapo Hall, Ibadan, Wednesday.
This is the latest onslaught by some states against the Federal Government-proposed National Livestock Transformation Plan seen as another RUGA settlement as South-East Governors unanimously kicked against the policy and vowed not to cede their land for it.
Reading the communiqué, Secretary-General of the YCE, Dr. Kunle Olajide, said: “Our forests are sacred, untouchable, irreversibly a no-go area to terrorists and the Yoruba will not cede one inch of our forests to anyone under any guise.”
They concluded on this after various participants at the meeting said they were fed up with criminal herders as a result of terror unleashed on them.
The communiqué also read: “That the Yoruba nation notes with dismay general state of insecurity in the country and the ancestral space of Yoruba nation, especially, a situation that has compelled a rigorous interrogation of our situation.
“That the Yoruba nation is currently living in a time of bad metaphors due to the almost irreversible abyss due to cases of daily incessant insecurity.
“That this august gathering of leaders of the Yoruba nation notes almost daily proof of government helplessness in face of the ugly peace and security problem. A few ugly happenstances offered credibility to this sorry state of affairs.
“For instance, Defence Minister of the nation, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi, retd, in a jolting moment of helpless exasperation, advised Nigerians to begin to defend themselves.
“Where else does self-help become an option other than in a situation of total breakdown of law and order? Following closely on the heels of that, is the Federal Government’s ‘no fly zone’ ban on Zamfara airspace. What more character of the official declaration of war is there beyond this?
“That the Yoruba nation is deeply worried by the unfolding anarchy, particularly as it affects the South-West region, almost rendered comatose by daily occurrence of kidnappings, arson, maiming, destruction of economic facilities and killings.
“That the acts of criminality being conniving tagged: ‘farmers-herders clash’, is a case of terrorism. Those who unleash attack on farmers, who kidnap fellow Nigerians for huge ransom, those who kill and rape women are no bandits but terrorists.
“When injustice becomes law, resistance will be a duty. That it is in the light of the foregoing that this gathering of Yoruba leadership has noted with concern the challenges faced by security agencies and lately, Amotekun.
“The Aare-Ona-Kakanfo of Yorubaland is hereby mandated by Yoruba leaders worldwide to complement official government law enforcement units.
“That this special internal South-West security group made up of all stakeholders in the security realm, including OPC, Agbekoya, Vigilante Group, Hunters, etc have been charged by leaders of our nation here gathered to help ensure our portion of Nigeria is safe again.”