Alhaji Arogundade Rasak, President Oodua People’s Congress (New Era)
Igangan Crisis: Arrest Sunday ‘Igboho’, Face The Consequence, OPC ‘New Era’ Warned
The Oodua People’s Congress (new era), a factional group of OPC, has advised the Nigeria’s Inspector-General of the Police (IGP) to desist from the threat of arresting Mr. Sunday Adeyemi popularly called Sunday Igboho, over the recent mayhem that happened in Igangan, an Oyo town.
The OPC factional group presided over by Alhaji Rasak Arogundade, popularly called Saddam, gave the advice in a statement captioned ‘leave Chief Sunday ‘Igboho’ Adeyemo alone or face the consequence of tampering with his wellbeing and peace of mind’, issued on Sunday and made available to the newsdishng.com
The Arogundade led-OPC also decried the action of the government toward the Fulani herders, whom he said allegedly committed series of atrocities across the country without being reprimanded, but going after less deadly ethnic groups. While also described the IGP of being bias and always in support and favour of northern region, particularly the Fulanis.
The group’s statement reads in part: “the Oodua People’s Congress (New Era) condemns without any equivocation, the order of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) for the arrest of Chief Sunday ‘Igboho’ Adeyemo. It is our contention that this order is not only futile but also confirms our long held believe that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) is a tribalistic’ not fit for that esteemed position. Like the President and other heads of our country’s security apparatus, the IGP is clearly biased in favour of the northern region, particularly the Fula tribe. This is the same Fulani who have been rated as the fourth deadliest militia by the Global Terrorism Index from as far back as 2014, coming behind only Boko Haram, ISIS and Al Shabab in deadliness.
“How many people did the OPC and IPOB killed before being deemed terrorists and then hunted and hounded by security operatives? Why then is this government treating this murderous lot as if they are above the law, if there is no sinister conspiracy and abetting of the highest order? The two groups mentioned earlier did not do half of what the Fulani did to get reprimanded, yet here is a group which claims lives in the thousands annually being treated with kid glove and oft times defended by government officials as if they are an appendage of the government? These government’s actions smacks of hypocrisy.
“The same Fulani, also in the minority- are the ones who have thrown the Central African Republic (CAR) into the civil strife that has claimed several thousand of lives and has since defied solution. And like the Nigerian scenario, its largely a situation triggered by the land grabbing antics of the pastoral nomadic Fulani trying to dislodge the settled farming and indigenous land owners. Similar situations have been rebuffed in Ghana among others a few years ago.
“The Nigeria IGP’s actions, like his fellow security chiefs, has pandered to the interest of the north with particular emphasis on the Fulani nationality. We make bold to say this in the light of recent events, particularly that of the very reverend Father Matthew Kukah, the Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto Diocese, who was severally threatened with eviction and his life threatened by some unscrupulous elements in the north without the IGP as much as batting an eye lid let alone raise a finger. This is clearly ground enough to accuse the IGP of pandering to ethnic sentiments.
“Similarly, Miyetti Allah, other northern groups and so-called leaders have severally made inciting, disparaging and condemnable comments capable of raising tensions within the polity, but rather than to take the right step of calling them to order, the IGP refrains from doing so, thus giving the impression that some people or a section of the country is above the law. For us, it is dereliction of duty and as such, he is not fit for the office he presently occupies.
“For eons, Nigerians have been laid siege upon by murderous criminals. Countless number of people have been raped, maimed and killed by the attacking hosts. From the Sahel down to the delta of the Niger river, no part of the country has been spared by the marauders. And in almost all of the cases, the blame has been put at the door of the Fulani herdsmen by those at the receiving end of their atrocities.The president and presidency have on a number of occasions spoken in their defence. At one point, hapless Nigerians were given the condition of parting with their ancestral land for the creation of cattle colonies in all the states as a precondition for the murderous attacks to stop. The beneficiaries of this superfluous arrangement are none other than the FULANI.
“In Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun areas of Oyo State specifically, the impunity of the Fulani herders has been a source of worry and bafflement for the for the farming communities, as law abiding citizens, they had reported case after case to the police who have failed miserably to effect any positive change. Sometime just at the inception of this republic, year 2000 to be precise, the current president Muhammadu Buhari as the patron of the Miyetti Allah group, led a delegation of other notable Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) leaders including General Buba Marwa to Ibadan to protest the unfair treatment of his Fulani people. They eventually left, tails in-between their legs when the heads of the security apparatus in the state (Police and DSS) revealed without mincing words that the Fulani were the aggressors and at fault in the matter. This just to show that the matter of the Fulani cattle herders is not new and the approach of the north and its leaders has still not changed.
“The farmers are settled people because of their occupation. While not denying the Fulani the right to engage in their own occupation, it beggars reason for herders to deny the farmer the right to practice their own occupation, their means of livelihood. It is common knowledge that the Nigerian laws put the onus of restraining livestock trespassing on others property on the livestock or pet owner.
“Justice Adewale Thompson had on 17th April 1969 similarly ruled in suit no. AB/26/66 at the Abeokuta Division of the High Court ruled that ‘I do not accept the contention of Defendants that a custom exists which imposes an obligation on the owner of farm(s) to fence his farm whilst the owner of the cattle allows his cattle to wander like pests and cause damage. Such a custom if it exists, is unreasonable and I hold that it is repugnant to natural justice’. He went further to state that, ‘I banned open grazing for it is inimical to peace and tranquility and the cattle owner must fence or ranch their animals for peace to reign in these communities’.
“The Yorubas have been at the receiving end of the impunity of the Fulani herders, especially the criminal elements among them for too long. We as a people cannot afford to fold our hands while inept governments negotiate away our lives as it is presently being unashamedly done in Zamfara, Katsina (the home state of the president) and others in the north. The case of the Kankara school boys and the controversy that still rages in the wake of their release by their abductors is still fresh in peoples mind and should not be allowed here in the south as has become the order of the day in the northern parts of the country.
“And for those allegedly meeting to proffer a solution, we hope it is not a case of too little, too late. They have all been either negligent or compromised and are now considered to be playing to the gallery. Posterity will be the judge of the actions of these ‘leaders’ who have been grossly inept until matters came to a head.
“And on a final note, we want to reiterate the fact that the threat to the person, life and freedom of Chief Sunday ‘Igboho’ Adeyemo or any other person involved in the present misunderstanding is unacceptable to the Yoruba nation, as we believe in the maxim that ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’. If anything untoward were to happen to Sunday Adeyemo, it would be regarded as a declaration of war on the Yoruba nation. If you are to arrest him, you will need to arrest us all, as he is on a mission backed by all true Yoruba, whether at home or in the Diaspora. ‘Abo oro la n so fun omoluabi..”.