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- Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has called on all other governors in the South-West to emulate Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, by freeing the region from the Fulani herders who it says have had surrounded the Yoruba people with the shield of the Federal Government.
It would be recalled that Akeredolu few days gave seven days ultimatum to herdsmen in the State to immediately vacate forest reserves within the state.
The Federal Government had, in a statement issued by presidential spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu, said Akeredolu was not expected to oust Fulani herders from Ondo forests or he would be going against the constitution of the country.
In reaction to the Federal Government’s intervention on the quit order, Afenifere in a statement entitled ‘Ondo Forests: Fulani Presidency Again’, made available to journalist by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin, called on all true-born Yoruba to stand behind Akeredolu in these trying times.
The group said the governor must be allowed to do all within the law to flush Ondo forests of all criminals who had caused untold hardships in the state and other Yoruba towns and cities in recent time.
Afenifere said the intervention by the Federal Government on behalf of the marauding Fulani in Ondo State against the lawful government in that state did not come to it as a surprise, saying such was in line with non-pretence posture of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration that it represents only Fulani interests against those of the Yoruba, Igbo, Junkun, Ijaw and other ethnic groups in Nigeria.
The group said the fact that the Federal Government and Shehu could only hear Ondo State when Governor Akeredolu was very loud and clear about herders to vacate forest reserves in the state was symptomatic that this government had a serious problem with hearing the rest of Nigerians when the issue involves its anointed Fulani.
“All true-born Yoruba should stand behind Governor Akeredolu in these trying times.He must do all within the law to flush Ondo of the Fulani who have surrounded us with the shield of the Federal Government,” Afenifere stated.
The group, while decrying the Federal Government’s response to the quit order by Akeredolu, recalled that the Fulani criminals had caused untold hardships in Ondo State and other Yoruba towns and cities in recent time, leading to the gruesome murder of prominent citizens, pointing out that “only an irresponsible government that wants to behave like our Federal Government that cares not, will continue to fold its arms.
Afenifere, while lamenting that lives of the people of South-West and other non-Fulani communities were daily being wasted by local and foreign Fulani bandits without any sign that these lives mattered to the government with its desire to shield the Fulani from the laws, however, said the Yoruba ancestors would all wake from their graves to defend their own should the Federal Government declare open war on behalf of the Fulani.