PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari and the Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi held a closed door meeting at the presidential villa in Abuja today in a desperate bid to find a solution to the ongoing insecurity crisis in southwest Nigeria.
Over the last week, the presidency has been rocked by growing demands for Fulani cattle herdsmen to leave the southwest geo-political zone. In Ondo State, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu asked the herdsmen to leave because of their involvement in kidnapping and violent crime, while in Oyo State, political henchman Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Igboho has been involved in a big altercation with the local Fulanis.
Yesterday morning, Mr Adeyemo’s house in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital was set ablaze by hoodlums suspected to be Fulani herdsmen. Despite the fact that several meetings have been holding to calm tempers, tensions remain high, with some northern groups saying that if the Fulanis are forced out of southern Nigeria, southerners will be made to leave northern Nigeria too.
With the crisis threatening to escalate into an ethnic war, the Ooni and President Buhari met today at Aso Rock to find ways of averting mayhem. One of Oba Ogunwusi’s aides said that the monarch told the president the positions of traditional rulers from across the southwest on the activities of the herdsmen.
He added that the Ooni told the president about the damage done by some criminal herders in Yorubaland. In addition, the Ooni also briefed the president about steps taken by traditional rulers to ensure peace in the region.
“Their meeting was supposed to have held before now but it was postponed till early next month for some reasons. They had to meet again because of the latest development in Yorubaland involving herdsmen,” the aide added.
President Buhari’s aide-de-camp, Col Abubakar as well as his chief of staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, also attended the meeting. It is not yet clear of a communiqué will be released revealing the details of what was agreed at the meeting.