By Akin Ojumu

Make no mistake about it: Yoruba people are in a dire strait all of their own making. They are permanently resident in crazytown and are perpetual dwellers in maddening villages. The pickle they are in is the result of their self-centeredness, lack of imagination, and absence of courage. And to make matters worse for them, they know the absolute square root of bob-all on how they are going to extricate themselves from their harrowing predicament. They are in deep shit, as the Americans would say.

For years now, a violent insurgency has raged in the woods of Yorubaland, waged by a murderous militia comprised of hoodlums stoned out of their minds. These violent hordes are - allegedly - Fulani herdsmen hellbent on establishing a 21st century Usman Dan Fodio Caliphate all over Nigeria. The hooligans are mindless criminals running rampage over Yorubaland; abducting the people for ransom and killing them to satiate their murderous pleasure.

Viral social media images and videos of the atrocities of these murderers often reveal a bunch of ragtag malnourished young men holding what at times look like rabbit guns. While the hooligans in some of the videos look scared shitless and often appeared to be faking to be fierce because they are within a large group of fellow hooligans, no human being with any soul left in them can dream of engaging in the mindless savagery they are seen to commit.

When these hungry looking gun toting fools invade any village, they are like locusts; they leave unthinkable degree of death and destruction in their wake. The reign of terror has turned Yorubaland into a place not any different from an Islamic State (ISIS) occupied territory. Like no other time in recent memory, a palpable feeling of helplessness and powerlessness, shrouds the land like dark clouds, in an eerie foreboding.

The result is predictable. Yoruba people have become weak-kneed, lilly-livered, disunited and disorganized. A severe form of victim mentality has taken root in the minds of the people. Like the children of Israel in the wilderness, the Yorubas see themselves as mere grasshoppers facing the sons of the Nephilim; shaking and pissing in their pants. Those who exercise rulership over Yoruba people are comprised of unscrupulous men and women who have compromised themselves with filthy lucre and sold their souls for wanton gain.

People who see themselves as victims are often left paralyzed with fear, and have the tendency to seek out a strongman who will deliver them. For such people, they tend to thoughtlessly surrender themselves to, and sheepishly bow down and worship, any Jack, Dick, or Harry - or in this case, any Yekini, Jelili, or Mutiu - who steps forward and offers himself as the strongman who will be their savior.

It was in this milieu of helplessness and powerlessness, fear, terror, and leadership vacuum that Sunday Igboho emerged to offer himself as the savior of the Ibarapa people, one of the many villages ransacked by the violent criminals. 

After several abductions, tens of millions in ransom, and savage killings, culminating in the murder in coldblood of Dr Fatai Aborode on his farm, the people of Ibarapaland said, "Enough is enough." The killing of the benevolent doctor, who left the comfort of Europe to come back home to help his people, became one death too many. The people of Ibarapaland wasn't going to take it anymore; they got tired of offering the other cheek. So, they cried out to Sunday Igboho begging him to come and save them. 

And like a strongman smelling an opportunity, Sunday Igboho answered their call, visited the village, gave a 1-week ultimatum to the Seriki Fulani to pack up and go. True to his words, he came back 1 week later to make good on his ultimatum. Along with his gang of modern day Robinhood, he effected his ultimatum by unleashing the wrath of god on the Seriki Fulani and his fellow Fulanis. 

What followed was like falling dominos. Sunday Igboho's profile shot up to the skies and a cult following would quickly emerge. Not to be left out, the governor of Ondo State issued his own ultimatum to the Fulani herdsmen to vacate Ondo State forest reserves. An unfamiliar sense of unease and fear came over all the Fulanis. The Fulani-loving administration of PMB took immediate notice and sprung to action. Uncharacteristically, the normally taciturn and laconic President Buhari became animated when he saw that the livelihood of his fellow Fulani faced jeopardy.

The South West governors were summoned to an emergency meeting with Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to discuss this real and present danger to the Fulani herdsmen hegemony. 

The meeting took place at the International Culture and Event Centre (DOME), Akure, Ondo State on Monday, 25th January 2021. In attendance were the following:

South West governors – Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti State), Seyi Makinde (Oyo State), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun State) and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State.

(Notably absent were Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos State) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun State))

Northern Governors – Muhammad Abubakar (Jigawa State) and Abubakar Bagudu (Kebi State)

MACBAN State and National officers and others.

Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 11 and Security Chiefs in the South West region 

Others include – Olufemi Agunbiade, former Deputy Governor of Osun State and Senator Iyiola Omisore

At the conclusion of the meeting, it was resolved that:

1. The security and welfare of the people of Nigeria is the primary purpose of Government as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended.

2. The stakeholders are committed to the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria.

3. Insecurity is a national challenge and not peculiar to any tribe or region but must be addressed by the cooperation of all.

4. The order of the Ondo State Governor was misconstrued and misrepresented by a section of the media. He only ordered those occupying the Forest Reserves in Ondo State illegally to quit.

5. Criminals should be apprehended and punished, no matter their origin, class or status.

6. Security agencies have been trying to stem the tide of criminality in the country but must step up their efforts in the fight.

7. There is the need to build partnership for peace and security with MACBAN and jointly wage war against criminality.

8. No one had sent anyone away from any state or region, but all hands must be on deck to fight criminality.

9. MACBAN is a peace loving, law abiding organization which does not habour or condone criminals and agreed that:

9.1 Night grazing should be banned henceforth

9.2 Underage herding is Inimical to security and hence be banned

9.3 Occupation of State Forest Reserves illegally is condemned.

10. MACBAN also suffers insecurity and kidnapping and thus desire peaceful coexistence.

11. MACBAN is ready for any peaceful move by the states to engender security.

12. Fake news is another issue that makes our security worse than solving it.

13. There must be an enduring framework with MACBAN in a way that will help address security issues.

14. That free range grazing must be stopped to avoid conflicts between the farmers and the herders

15. Strengthening alternative security arrangements and make them complementary to the mainstream security agencies in Nigeria.

16. MACBAN should embrace and be committed to modern breeding process by creating grazing reserves and practice ranching to prevent cattle roaming about.

17. Standing Committee comprising of farmers, MACBAN and the Government should be set up in each state (where they don’t exist) to ensure synergy and result.

18. We must create economic opportunities for our people and reduce opportunities for criminalities in our country

If you ask me, this is nothing but a bunch of garbage. I call BS!!! What's wrong with these fools? Who do these people think they are fooling? What koolaid are they drinking? Have they completely lost their minds? 

These resolutions are empty rhetoric and a fat heap of hot cow dung. What you have here is a passive ineffectual nothing burger that will accomplish nothing. These are toothless aspirations that, at the end of the day, will not result in tangible actions that will curb the menace of the Fulani herdsmen. 

For whatever reason, it seems as though the supposed "leaders" of the South West have signed on to a secret pact that permits the terrorizing of the people whom they are supposed to lead. Empty suit politicians, with some of the highest ratios of ambition to accomplishment of any politician ever, have resolved to grant ravenous wolves an open sesame and the free rein to slaughter the people they swore an oath to protect and preserve.

The cowardice of these feckless fools offends me greatly. That they are able to sleep at night while the people of the South West can't even afford to entertain a wink of sleep is troubling. The lack of concern of these compromised Judases about the helplessness and powerlessness the Yoruba people feel in their predicament sickens me to the core. I am mad that, by their deafening silence, Yoruba "leaders" have given their consent to the terrorizing of their own people. It is such a real shame and it infuriates me greatly.

At this juncture, what right do I have to criticize a Sunday Igboho? Who am I to denounce his actions? Can I in all honesty complain that a hoodlum has been asked to help get rid of another hoodlum?

I cannot, in good conscience, fault Sunday Igboho for stepping forward to offer his protective services to the Ibarapa people. It'll be disingenuous of me to say I'm against what he is doing to liberate the villages of Ibarapaland. Since the government in place has woefully failed and the "leaders" - political, traditional, and otherwise - have turned their backs to the plight of their own people, someone else has to do it. The vacuum of responsible and responsive leadership created must be filled.

It is just unfortunate that our "leaders" having sold their people into slavery and having reduced them to slaves in their own lands, the Yorubas now have to seek help from a man like Sunday Igboho. That we have been made to turn to a political thug whose own past deeds and actions put many of these politicians in office in the first place, sticks in my crawl.

The thought that this same man who had in the past been used by these politicians to create an environment in which they stole their elections is a reflection of how low the Yorubas have fallen as a tribe of once proud people. That Sunday Igboho, a man who has been involved in the shedding of Yoruba blood, is the one that has been called upon to come and save the people from bloodshed should prompt a deep soul searching amongst all Yoruba people.

If only the Yorubas would unite, organize, and quit the victim mentality, perhaps, they’ll be able to think and strategize and come up with a effective solution that will eradicate the menace that lurks in their farmlands and eliminate the terror that roams in their backyards. Maybe if the Yorubas learn to choose their leaders with greater care and deeper introspection, they would be able to find a creative solution to the problem they themselves have created.


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