The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, Gani Adams, has lamented the alarming rate of insecurity in the southwest and called on the Governors and traditional rulers in the region to take urgent steps to curb the situation.
Adams, in a statement on Tuesday, said it was time for the leaders to come together and deal with the rising cases of kidnappings and killings in Yoruba land before it further gets out of hand.
The Yoruba generalissimo expressed worries that farmers can no longer go to their farms out of fear of being killed or kidnapped and called on the leaders to arise and wage war against the situation.
The Aare Ona Kakanfo, in a letter titled ‘Yorubaland is troubled, darkness looms,’ which was addressed to the South-West governors and traditional rulers in the zone, said foreign banditry is responsible for the situation.
He added that the silence of the Yoruba nation is now been taken as foolishness.
His letter reads: “Evil has entered Yorubaland. The more than 60 million Yoruba living in the South-West, parts of South-South and North-Central of Nigeria, are troubled.
“On November 26, 2020, a first-class traditional ruler in Ondo State, the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Israel Adeusi, who just left the Governor’s Office, Akure after a security meeting with the then Governor, the late Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, (may his soul rest in peace), was shot dead by suspected Fulani herdsmen on Akure-Owo Highway.
“All hell was let loose. Imagine the insult to the Yoruba race. The Yoruba, at home and abroad, saw this as an unprecedented sacrilege.
“Youths in Ondo State immediately threatened to take up arms but the then President Muhammadu Buhari pacified the Yoruba, saying the killers would be apprehended.
“Till today, the killers have not been apprehended. We thought we had seen the last of that sacrilege. But now, there is evil in the land. Even during the Kiriji War, I don’t think what happened a few days ago ever happened in Yorubaland.
“From Ekiti to Kwara states, three traditional rulers were shot dead by these blood-thirsty maniacs.
“The Alara of Ara who escaped in Ekiti narrated what happened and the people who perpetrated this heinous crime.
“Never in the history of Yoruba were three Obas shot dead in a spate of four days. So, evil has entered Yorubaland.
“And as our progenitors did, we must not appease this evil in our land. It must be dealt with immediately and decisively.
“But, that decisive action requires speed. The evil gradually creeping into Yorubaland is a monster which must be fought with all powers at our disposal.
“This scourge of foreign banditry is similar to the scorched-earth policy of the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, during the Second World War, an intentional course of military and para-military action that was drastic, maximum and ruinous.
“The ‘clear and present danger’ is to behave as if this hydra-headed monster does not already constitute a problem.
“The matter is so serious now that some Yoruba are being abducted on the highway. If our people are afraid of going to their farms and travelling on the highway, danger looms.
“Because this ‘cancer’ was not given an urgent and decisive operation when it started, it is now spreading like wildfire because the perpetrators get high financial returns with less risk, unlike armed robbery which involves a lot of risk and high uncertainty.
“We have a situation on our hands now in which if an intending victim escapes, the kidnappers will go for the wife. If she escapes, they will go for the children.
“Aside from making money from this evil venture, these killers and their sponsors want to destroy the economy of Yorubaland. That is why they must be stopped now.
“Kidnapping for ransom is already creating fear in Yorubaland and if our people can no longer go to farms or travel through the highways, our economy will be affected.”
“We must wage war against kidnapping and the time for that fight is now.
“When I was installed as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, on January 13, 2018, I vowed, before the distinguished audience, that I would do everything to project the image and protect the name of Yorubaland.
“I also said the first fundamental right of a Yoruba and a Nigerian is the ‘Right to Life’.
“Sadly, my zeal to protect Yorubaland, and the will of millions of Yoruba to defend their fatherland, are being tested with the invasion of some parts of our land by these killers.
“I find it difficult to comprehend this open insult that some murderers, whose kinsmen live in our villages, towns and cities, will invade Yorubaland at will and plunder by force.
“The insecurity in the land is reaching an alarming peak. Our people can no longer go to their farms.
“I ask if we allow killings of innocent farmers and destruction of farmlands in any part of Yorubaland to continue, where is our determination to defend the Yoruba society, values, culture and territory?
“Our silence is being misconstrued for foolishness.
“Elementary law of nature has taught us, for centuries, that you don’t appease evil. You crush it.
“Invaders of our land must not be given any breathing space. I still don’t know why anybody will choose to live in forests in Yorubaland and some external forces will defend such a barbaric action.
“We will not accept this open hostility. I believe the time to check this madness is now.
I Can Deal With The Situation
Speaking further in the letter, Adams said as the Aare Ona Kakanfo, he has the capacity to deal with the insecurity plaguing the southwest but can’t make any move without the approval of the Governors just like past Kakanfos can’t go to war without the approval of the Alaafin of Oyo.
“Since the killing of the three traditional rulers, I have received several calls, especially from outside Nigeria, from prominent Yoruba professionals who are afraid of what the future holds for us in the country.
“I told them that as the Aare Ona Kakanfo, I have the capacity and the network to deal with enemies of Yorubaland.
“But, I reminded them that even in the days of yore, the Aare Ona Kakanfo must get permission from the Alaafin of Oyo before embarking on any conquest.
“Now, we are in the 21st Century. Elected governors are the Chief Security Officers of their respective states. For me to move against the enemies of Yoruba in this land, I will need their permission and cooperation.
“Aside from the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, which has a solid network in all the wards, villages, towns and cities in Yorubaland, I also control 13 other groups working with the OPC.
“They are the South West Security Stakeholders Group, SSSG, and this group includes the Agbekoya, the Professional Hunters, Vigilante Groups of Nigeria, Vigilante Jahun, Agbekoya Peace Movement, Agbekoya Farmers Society, COMSAIC and Isokan Ile Oodua among others.
“We already have the troops and logistics to flush out undesirable elements in the land but I need the permission of our governors.”
Give Me Six Months
The Generalissimo of Yorubaland insisted that the South-West would no longer accept this open hostility, adding that the war against insecurity could be won in six months if given the opportunity.
He urged the southwest Governors to decide a date, venue and time for a meeting where he can meet with them and discuss the challenges of insecurity in the region.
He said: “I believe the time to check this madness is now “For this war to be fought effectively, coordination is central. And as the Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, I have my strategy and I am ready to give you my maximum support as the Chief Security Officer of your state.
“I can assure you that within six months, insecurity will reduce drastically across the southwest.
“This is not the time to be liaising with some groups in isolation, (the majority of them are members of South West Security Stakeholders Group and they are under my leadership as the convener of the group and as the Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland) to wage this battle against the marauders.
“I write to have an urgent meeting with Your Excellency and other governors on this threat to our collective existence.
“The agenda will centre on security in Yorubaland.
All the governors will also decide the date, venue and time for the meeting.
“It is high time we stopped this cancer that is spreading its virus across Yorubaland. We must act now before the situation becomes unbearable.”
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