OLUWO of Iwo Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi has written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari warning him of an impending war as the ongoing murderous attacks by Fulani cattle herdsmen continues unabated.
Over recent years, Fulani cattle herdsmen have been guilty of murderous attacks on farming villages across Nigeria, carrying out violent assaults on farming communities that protest damage to their crops by livestock. In recent months, the situation has got worse with the herdsmen adding kidnapping to their activities and they have now opened camps in forests across southwest Nigeria.
Community leaders across southwest Nigeria have warned that if not checked, the activities of the herdsmen could spark off a wave of sectarian killing. Adding his voice to the debate, the Oluwo recommended short and long term solutions to tackle the menace, stressing the need for peace and unity over any kind of knee-jerk decision.
Oba Akanbi’s letter part-read: “I am compelled to write at this fragile moment our togetherness is under threat. I rarely write but for the purpose of Nigerians, my race and my promising subjects, I chose to communicate this solution based epistle for two things, to avert a journey of no return and to kill negative ambitions with alternative means.
“The recent security threat emanating from incessant kidnapping by bad elements or alleged Fulani herdsmen most especially in south western Nigeria is not without general knowledge. Many brainstorming sessions have been conducted by stakeholders and just three days ago, I was with vice president Yemi Osinbajo at Osun State Government House, Osogbo, addressing the same burning issue.
“I’ve suggested both long term and short term solutions for policymakers’ attention. Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.”
“Education is a tool to peace, though does not guarantees peace as understanding is the primary key to peace. Had Yugoslavia, Liberia, Sierra Leone knew this, maybe they would have avoided the blood baths as war knows no status, age, influence, identity.
“Liberia’s Mano and Gio tirelessly committed atrocities against the Kru tribe and the whole nation was tore a day to Christmas in 1989 under the watch of Charles Taylor. It consumed over 250,000 souls including leaders.
“War turns the rich to beggars and something to nothing. I’ve seen many survivors of war including professors, doctors, ministers and even kings lining up with plates begging for food, human eating humans during war. Nothing except your cloth is yours in a war zone.
“My domain is the biggest host of the Fulanis in Osun State. Before the escalation of the kidnapping menace, I’ve visited the Fulanis in my domain mandating formal education and threatened to arrest parents of teen children rearing cattle during school hours.
“They obliged although not completely. Recently, Seriki Fulani brought one of their children who graduated from university to my palace. Understanding is key while education is the door to peace. I want to appeal to your excellency to assent a legislation that will compel education for children and enact strict punishment for parents refusing to educate their children.