Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has slammed the Presidency for protecting Fulani headers against other tribes after faulting the 7 days ultimatum given to the herdsmen to vacate all forest reserves in Ondo State.
Afenifere said in a press statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, that it will stand by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s ultimatum despite Presidency’s provocative intervention.
Akeredolu had given unregistered herders seven-day ultimatum to vacate the forests located within the state following heightened security challenges allegedly occasioned by the activities of criminal elements that have been linked with the herdsmen.
The Presidency through a press statement released by a spokesman Garba Shehu faulted Ondo’s position.
Afenifere said it was not surprised the Presidency is siding with the herders. The group alleged that the “Fulani criminals have caused untold hardships in Ondo State and other Yoruba towns and cities in recent time and only an irresponsible government that wants to behave like our Federal Government that cares will continue to fold its arms.
“Are Ondo Forest Reserves under Ondo State Government or the Federal Government and Miyetti Allah? We agree with the Ondo State Government that the insensibility of Garba Shehu violates the corporate existence of Nigeria.”
In the the statement, titled: ‘ONDO FORESTS: Fulani Presidency Again, reads: “The intervention by what we mistakenly call the Federal Government of Nigeria on behalf of marauding Fulani herders in Ondo state against the lawful government in that state did not come to Afenifere as a surprise as it is in line with non – pretence by this regime that it represents only Fulani interests against those of Yoruba, Igbo, Junkun, Ijaw and other tribes in Nigeria.
“That the Federal Government and its minion, Garba Shehu, could only hear Ondo state when Governor Akeredolu was very loud and clear about herders to vacate forest reserves in the state is symptomatic that this Government has a serious problem with heating the rest of us when the issue involves its anointed Fulani.
“What has this government done to assure our people that it can protect our lives with the open murders of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, The Olufon of Ifon and the Deputy Registrar of FUTA among many others? The lives of our people and other non-Fulani communities are daily being taken by local and foreign Fulani bandits without any sign that these lives matter to the government with its desire to shield the Fulani from the laws.
“Nobody would ever have believed that it would get to this irresponsible stage that the Federal Government will one come to this barbaric level Garba Shehu has taken it and the peak of their direct salvos against Amotekun since it started. All true- born Yoruba should stand behind Governor Akeredolu in these trying times.
Afenifere insisted that Governor Akeredolu must do all within the law to flush Ondo forests of all criminals. The group also enjoined other governors to emulate their Akeredolu, “ and free our land from Fulani herders who have surrounded us with the shield of the Federal Government. Let them declare open war on behalf of the Fulani and our ancestors will all wake up in their graves.”