The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has alerted Nigerians to the machinations of war-mongers, who are contriving to cause unrest in the country.
The traditional ruler raised the alarm in Abuja on Thursday when he met with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa.
The Oba, who said he was in the villa on behalf of his colleagues in the Southwest, frowned at political elites misinforming and instigating youths to beat the war drum in the country.
He said: “Before I came here, I discussed with the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who has been there for close to 50 years and we cannot tear away such a very massive experience in terms of knowing the structure of Nigeria.
“And also by virtue of that, Alaafin is in constant touch with Awujale and very much we are all on the same page.
“So, I’m here and I had a discussion that is very fruitful with Mr President about what we all know – the security situation in the country.
“We made him to know that the issue at hand in the Southwest is real – the issue of insecurity.
“We live in the remote and rural areas of the south western part of the country, most of those bushes and those forests are being occupied by strange people and we have decided to take it upon ourselves to try as much as possible to work with the government to fish them out.
“Why I’m here again is, everybody is beating the war drum; we don’t want war; who can stand war? We want something better for our youths.
“We should better use them for something good other than shouting war and anarchy – we don’t want that.
“And to the glory of God we told Mr President that and he is on the same page with us.’’
The royal father, therefore, enjoined leaders and politicians to be wary and careful while commenting on the country’s security developments as some of their utterances may throw things out of proportion.
“We should make sure that things are right. Mr President has actually given good directives to all the security chiefs, especially the Inspector-General of Police.
“They will visit all traditional rulers’ palaces that are very sensitive in the southwest with immediate effect – he is going to give that directive.
“We need to work very closely with them and every other security agency in the country.
“We all must put them to use now; it is very important for us to put them to use and work with the locals,’’ he said.
The Oba also revealed that the president would soon clarify his stance on the proposed Ruga Settlement scheme which had generated mixed reactions from socio-political groups and individuals across the country.
According to him, traditional rulers are disturbed with the reactions of citizens to the proposed Ruga project and cautioned against stigmatisation of the herders.
“Another thing that he assured me of before leaving – which I will go and give back to much more experienced traditional rulers in the southwest which I have mentioned their names earlier and even our leaders across bound – is that he would say his own side of the story about Ruga (settlement).
“He wants to let the world and Nigerians in particular to know the true side of the story because he is being read out of context.
“So, we should give him that opportunity as the number one citizen of the country and what is important for me is the youthful exuberant nature of our youths in Nigeria; they should not take laws into their hands by going into those places and begin to kill and maim.
“We don’t want that. The war drum is resurrecting too much and we are very worried,’’ he added.