Akintoye, Ihekire raise alarm over proliferation of Fulani settlements
Despite demand by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari for cattle colonies, it has been discovered that dozens of Hausa/Fulani settlements are currently scattered in the South West and South East regions.
A Second Republic Senator, Prof. Banji Akintoye, and former Chairman of the National Task Force on Illegal Importation of Small Arms, Ammunition and Light Weapons (NATFORCE), Major General Collins Ihekire (rtd), made the disclosure yesterday in Lagos.
Akintoye said a recent research by some intellectuals in the South West showed that not less than 175 Fulani settlements are dispersed across Yoruba land, warning that each portends danger to the host communities.On his part, Ihekire disclosed that the settlements are 250 and that they host armed herders capable of fomenting trouble.
Also, the President General, Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Olorogun Moses Taiga, noted that there are over 300 armed Fulani herdsmen currently scattered across Urhobo land with the possibility of the number increasing.The contributors spoke during a colloquium titled: ‘Herdsmen as a threat to national security’, organised by The Ife 12.
According to Akintoye, a professor of History, unless something urgent is done to address the danger posed to the entire South by the herdsmen, “each of the Fulani settlements are going to be making demands that will not augur well for their host communities.”He said findings revealed that some people are being paid to start insurrections against Yoruba land and the southern region. He therefore charged the leadership of the South to rise up to the challenge of Fulani hegemony, which is subtly being extended to the Middle Belt under the guise of Fulani herdsmen crisis.
He warned: “If we leave the people of the Middle Belt to face the present crisis, while we fold our arms thinking that we are safe, we will regret it. The plan of the political Fulani, currently in power, is to use the nomadic Fulani and their cows to overrun the Middle Belt and later face the South. And by the time they face us, there will be little we can do.”
While emphasising the need to strengthen ongoing relationship among South West, South East, South South and the Middle Belt leaders, he charged the southern and Middle Belt youths to stand against the insurrection.
“What is happening in the Middle Belt is not an attempt to spread Islam, as some people are thinking but just one of the agenda. The demand for cattle colonies is not an attempt to create ranches for their livestock. The animals are battle instruments for penetration. The real agenda is to spread and extend the Fulani empire across Africa and Nigeria.”
He also expressed concern that some peace loving Yoruba Muslims are gradually surrendering the leadership of mosques to the Fulani.Ihekire said: “What we are dealing with is the Fulani and not herdsmen. Both the herdsmen and their cows have become facilities for political agenda and the only way to stop the aggression is to have state police. We also need to review the type of federation Nigeria currently practices.”
In his presentation, Engr. Mark Lipdo of Trauma Healing Institute said the agenda on board now is to get the South West and subdue the South East. “If this is achieved, then the Fulani will dominate Nigeria,” he said.