PRESS CONFERENCE DELIVERED BY THE ASIWAJU OF AKURE KINGDOM, PROF OLU AGBI, ON BEHALF OF THE AKURE COMMUNITY ON THE SPATE OF ATTACKS BY FULANI HERDSMEN IN THE KINGDOM.
It has come to the notice of Akure community the incessant attacks on the farm of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, an illustrious son of Akure by Fulani herdsmen.
The attack is not only limited to Chief Olu Falae’s farm but has spread to the farm of a serving judge, Justice Michael Owoyemi another son of Akure kingdom and former Commissioner for Youths and Sports in Ondo State, Mr Dayo Awude.
The palace of Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi Ogunlade Odundun 11has been inundated with reports on the destruction of farmlands in the kingdom by these Fulani herdsmen.
Media reports have indicated that Akure, the Ondo State capital, is unsafe for residents, visitors and businessmen as a result of the recent attacks by these herdsmen.
We are disturbed by these reports more so that Akure before the recent events has been peaceful. We accommodate people irrespective of their tribes, cultures, social status or creeds. Non-Yoruba speaking people and other ethnic groups living among us will attest to the fact that Akure people are loving and very accommodating. We have Sabo in the heart of Akure. There is Shasha market where people of northern stuck trade without hinderance.
In our farmlands, we welcome non-indigenes to reside without being discriminated against and this made it possible for non-indigenes to bag chieftaincy titles in our communities.
However, our accommodating nature has been taken for granted as these herdsmen who are not indigenes of our community, have unleashed terror on the residents with reckless abandonment.
Apart from killing of hapless people, these herdsmen have made residents to live in fear especially those who reside in our farm settlements. This, we insist, must stop. We are disturbed that despite the attacks and killings, the law enforcement agents seemed to be helpless in dealing with this menace. We are uncertain who may likely be their next target as these hoodlums have been going from one place to another attacking harmless people and destroying farmlands.
Attack on Chief Olu Falae
A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae was abducted by suspected herdsmen in his farm in Ilado in Akure North Local Government area of Ondo State.
Since his release and the conviction of the suspects, the farm of the senior citizen has been subject of attack by herdsmen. Apart from killing people in his farm, neighbouring farms have been subject of attack by these gun wielding herdsmen. The recent burning of Chief Olu Falae’s plantation by these same elements call for worry.
We call on the security agencies to protect the life and property of Chief Falae. We are making this appeal not only because he is an Akure chief but to prevent tribal war as the Olu of Ilu Abo’s stature transcends Akure and Yoruba.
We warn the herdsmen not to create an opportunity for a civil war because any further attack on Chief Olu Falae or his farm would be resisted.
The word colony has political connotation not economic. A colony is a political entity which someone said he wants to create in the territory of another; that is a provocation; that is terrible thing for anybody to contemplate. I can tell you that Akure does not have land for be colonized.
Akure kingdom welcome genuine farmers and agriculture entrepreneur who want to invest in any form of farming including animal husbandry. But we did not have land for colony.
We did not find our father as slaves and let us say that we have the capacity to defend our lands against Fulani herdsmen invasion.
We call on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Director General of the State Security Service (SSS) and other security agencies to protect the residents so that people would not be forced to resort to self help.
Prof. Olu Agbi,
Asiwaju of Akure Kingdom