GOVERNOR Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State; founder, Afe Babalola University, Aare Afe Babalola and Secretary General, Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE, Dr. Kunle Olajide, yesterday, proffered ways out of the multiple cases of kidnappings, destruction of farm lands by herdsmen and other security vices plaguing the state.
They said this at a dialogue themed: “ Protecting Yoruba Land,” organised by a Pan Yoruba Socio-cultural Movement, Yoruba KOYA Movement in Ado-Ekiti.
We must defend our land —Fayose
In his address, Governor Fayose said all Yoruba people, irrespective of their political interest and religion, should unite together to wage war against the qazi-invasion of Yoruba Land by external forces.
Fayose said: “Let me say very expressly that resistance is not easy but only the courageous wins. I was at the Ibadan restructuring crusade organized by Afenifere in September 2017, all that I said there, I have no apology for them.
“Let me say this that this struggle is not about Yoruba KOYA, it is Ekiti KOYA. All states should go and collate figures of herdsmen and cows on their land and bring it together. We must defend our land. Some of our leaders because of their political interest, they keep shut. I am a Nigerian, they should lock me up, I am not afraid; the power of the people is greater than those in the position of power. Those oppressing us today will be out of power one day.”
Protect your land jealously —Afe Babalola
Also speaking, Chief Afe Babalola, who was represented by Professor, Deji Olofintila, said he had written several letters to the Directorate of State Services, DSS, Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, on the need to step up surveillance across the state without any meaningful response.
Babalola said: “This is our fight in Ekiti, I am shocked that an Ijebu man, Deji Osibogun will come to Ekiti to mobilize our people. The role I played in the creation of Ekiti State cannot make me be watching helplessly without doing anything.
“Ekiti is a land of peace but it seems our land is being eroded now. The First Bank at Ifaki-Ekiti was invaded, the Union Bank at Ilawe-Ekiti was attacked, now Efon-Iwaraja road has been taken over by herdsmen, terrorising our people in the process.
“One of the people kidnapped by these criminals on May 23rd this year is the wife of my staff; they killed her, in the presence of her three children. The following day, they kidnapped another person. On June 8th, they kidnapped a man along Efon-Erio road. It seems all the roads leading to Ekiti land have been taken over by criminals masquerading as herdsmen.
Support Nigeria’s restructuring —Olajide
Olajide, who said the military incursion into politics balkanised the political, economic and social structures of the nation, appealed to Yoruba people to support the crusade for the restructuring of Nigeria.
The YCE scribe said: “Buhari said the herdsmen killing people are from Libya, it is his responsibility to protect Nigeria’s territorial integrity, it is his duty to protect Nigerians from being invaded.”