OYO STATE: THE ULTIMATUM FOR FULANI HERDSMEN TO LEAVE THE STATE IS DIVISIVE AND ENDANGERING THE LIVE OF FULANI WHO ARE NOT CRIMINALS
SPN condemns the high spate of insecurity in Oyo, holds various anti-people policies of successive pro-capitalist governments responsible, rejects attempts to profile all Fulani herdsmen as criminals and calls for the formation of a multiethnic defense committee under a democratic control of the working people!
The Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN, Oyo State, condemns the inability of the government at all levels to curb the spate of insecurity in the state especially in the Oke ogun and Ibarapa areas of Oyo where there have been reports of prevailing cases of kidnapping, banditry, violence and killing in the recent time.
In the last two weeks for instance, no fewer than five cases of kidnapping and killing were recorded in the area. Notably among these is that of one Monsuru Aderoju who was reported to be kidnapped at Oke Agbède area of Igangan, one of the towns in Ibarapa area, on the 4th January, 2021. He was kidnapped three days after the killing of Mrs Sherifat Adisa, the owner of Subawah petroleum, who was kidnapped with her two children. Two days after this, there was another report of a medical Doctor who was also kidnapped in the same area.
We note that criminal elements of Fulani extraction have been fingered as the perpetrators of these crimes. We condemn the failure of both the PDP- led state and APC- led federal government and also the police to bring to justice these criminals. At the same time, we consider it unacceptable and reprehensible the quit notice issued to Fulani people resident in the Ibarapa area and other parts of the state by one Mr Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, because of criminal activities linked to some Fulani. This is tantamount to criminalizing an entire ethnic stock.
The SPN will only support any genuine independent democratic mass effort or measure to protect lives and property in the face of the rising cases of insecurity, not only in Ibarapa, but also across the state as a whole. However, we reject any false impression that giving an ultimatum to every resident of the state of Fulani extraction to vacate the state is a reasonable approach to resolve the problem of insecurity in the state. As a matter of fact, such kind of approach is divisive and capable of creating unnecessary hostility among the working people of Fulani and Yoruba extraction not only in the state but across the country at large.
The SPN being a party that always stands for the unity of the working people across the ethnic extraction condemns this kind of divisive approach. Ethnicity is one of the tools often use by the thieving ruling elites to divide the working people who share common oppression and exploitation by the capitalist ruling elite irrespective of ethnic origin in order to weaken their capacity to be united in a struggle to better their living condition. We equally reject any narrative that seeks to profile all residents of Fulani extraction, particularly the herdsmen, as criminals and the only criminals in the Oyo State especially in Ibarapa and Oke Ogun Axis of the state. In fact the rising case of insecurity including kidnapping recorded in Ibadan in the last few weeks clearly showed that some of the criminals in the state are also from other ethnic groups, Yoruba inclusive.
Specifically in the last two weeks alone, a number of working people family who reside in Mokola, Ajibade, Akinyele, Kudeti, Gate and many other areas in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, have been thrown into mourning. A farmer, Mr Oluwole Agboola, was reportedly abducted in Ibadan and later found died after his family had allegedly paid a ransom of 1.6million naira. Last week some residents of Coca Cola, Leventis, Ajibade, Ajegunle, Oke-Itunu and many neighboring communities within Ibadan North Local government had to desert their homes to escape attacks from hoodlums. One of the leading stories in the dailies today is the killing of one Mr Teslim Akinpelu in his hotel room around the Iyaganku area in Ibadan.
As far as we are concerned in the SPN the rising insecurity in the state is an indictment on Engr Seyi Makinde-led government in the sense that its monthly security vote which was alleged to have recently increased from N250 million earned during the late Senator Ajimobi-led administration to N1billion has failed to translate to any improvement in the security of life and property in the state. It has also shown that propaganda made by the regime over the procurement of vehicles for security agencies, the convocation of a security summit including establishment of the Western Nigerian Security Network (popularly called Amotekun operation) is just a mere grandstanding as they have individually and collectively failed to uplift the security of lives and property of the working people in the state. In fact the recent activities and operation of Amotekun operatives have recently turned out to be a threat to democratic rights and human dignity of the ordinary people including extortion, extra-judicial killing, within the short period of its existence.
Therefore, it is our belief in the SPN that is the vacuum created by the failure of the Makinde regime and Buhari government to guarantee adequate protection of lives and property as it currently manifesting from one part of the state to another particularly in Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun areas of the state that has provided veritable ground for the sudden emergence of Mr Sunday Igboho whom many victims of insecurity of Yoruba extraction in Ibarapa area in the state are now looking up to their savior.
Furthermore, the SPN condemns the attempt by the rival sections of the pro-capitalist politicians of both APC and PDP in the state and their surrogates who masquerade as freedom fighters to turn the ongoing conflict between Yoruba and Fulani residents in Ibarapa area to ethnic and religious war. As far as we are concerned in the SPN none of these factions of the thieving capitalist politicians must be trusted by the working people and members of the oppressed class. The fundamental motive behind their respective responses to the conflict is never to ensure that the protection of lives and property of the working people in the area, either of Yoruba or Fulani extraction, is guaranteed but to take the advantage of the crisis to promote their self-serving political ambition towards the 2023 elections. Besides, they all subscribe to pro-capitalist policies that create and maintain material conditions for insecurity in the first place. So it will amount to a mere illusion to think that any one of them mean well when they talk about the safety and protection of the working people either in Ibarapa area or in the state at large.
It is in the recognition of this we of the SPN have consistently called for the formation of multi-ethnic and multi-religious defense committees in communities which could be armed if necessary but whose operation must be under the democratic control of the community people as the only way out of this conflict. This kind of multiethnic defense committee will no doubt guarantee the kind of cooperation necessary between the Yoruba and Fulani residents in Ibarapa area to be able to ensure that criminals of both the Yoruba and Fulani extractions perpetrating the crimes in the area are apprehended and handed over to the Nigeria police for prosecution.
While we support the arrest and prosecution of criminals of Fulani and Yoruba, or other, extraction, we hold that law and order approach is not enough to resolve the crisis. We therefore reiterate our support for the call for ranching of cattle with government intervention as part of a democratic controlled massive public investment in the modernization of agriculture (both crop and livestock) including setting up of democratically managed public large-scale farms and the development of the rural areas in terms of providing basic infrastructures and social amenities. This will not only prevent conflicts between herders and farmers but also create jobs and address food security.
The SPN notes the statement credited to the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government that “our enemies are not Fulani but the kidnappers, bandits and murderers” tormenting the state but, however, holds that the bigger enemies are the pro-capitalist politicians and the anti-people government formed by them known to be responsible for all of the anti-people policies that created and maintained the material condition for insecurity. Hence the need for the pro-peoples’ government of workers and poor formed on the basis of socialist programme to commence the process of reconstructing the society in the interest of the working people. This is the only way we believe that, all of the problems of insecurity, poverty, mass unemployment, ravaging the country at this present time can be brought to an end.
Comrade Ayodeji Adigun
SPN State Secretary