Taking orders from the Police high command in Abuja, the Ogun State Police Command has warned that it was ready to “deal decisively” with anyone who deny Fulani herdsmen their constitutional right to rear cattle in any part of the state.
In a statement released on Friday by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi titled ‘The attack on herdsmen’s settlement in Ogun State must stop now’, he said some of the Fulani in the area qualify to be called Yoruba and therefore have the right to rear their cattle without any molestation.
Part of the statement read, “There have been some attacks in the past three days on herdsmen’s’ settlements in the State, especially in Yewa part of the State. The Command notes with sadness that the settlements affected have been in existence in the area for many years, in some cases over 20 years, and inhabited mainly by Nigerian herdsmen of Fulani extraction, some of whom were born and brought up in the area, and speak Yoruba language with proverbs fluently and elegantly. They generally qualified to be called fellow Yorubas!
“Therefore, it is unlawful, indeed unconstitutional, to deny fellow Nigerians the right to live in any part of the country and pursue their legitimate businesses, including cattle rearing. However, it is also advisable that herdsmen should avoid the destruction of farmlands, which have been identified as the reason behind their unending disharmony and clashes with farmers and host communities.”
He also called on both farmers and herdsmen in the area to fish out the criminals among them.
“The Command also calls on both farmers and herdsmen, indeed the entire Yoruba and Fulani communities in Yewa and across the State, to fish out criminals especially herdsmen visiting from other states and neighbouring countries who are perpetually creating tension amongst them, thus undermining their long and cherished history of peaceful coexistence.
“It is, however, gratifying to note that at a stakeholder meeting on Thursday 4th February 2021, held at the palace of Alaye of Ayetoro, attended by representatives of the Fulani and Yoruba communities, and heads of all the security agencies including the army and the DSS, wanton destruction of farmlands by cattle, kidnapping and raping of women as well as reprisal attacks on Fulani settlements were unanimously condemned as criminal and unacceptable, irrespective of the status, tribe or nationality of the perpetrators,” he added.
According to him, some residents in the state have been arrested for attacks on the Fulani settlement.
“Meanwhile, the Command has arrested some suspects in connection with the recent incidents and will make example of them to serve as a deterrent to others. Kingpins, procurers, and counsellors of these hoodlums will also be fished out to face the law.
“The Command, therefore, enjoins all the good people of Ogun State to join hands with security agencies in promoting peaceful coexistence amongst all Nigerians living in the State. In the same vein, all the security agencies, have resolved to deal decisively with miscreants and brigands alike, who are bent on fomenting trouble in the State.
“Ogun State is known for peace, and peace must continue to reign in the State. Parents are therefore advised to call their wards to order, as anyone caught fomenting trouble in any part of the State will be dealt with decisively.”