The Wednesday kidnap of the traditional ruler of Apaa Bunu, Oba Adebisi Obademi point to future violent resistance from Yoruba communities, the Oodua Nationalist Coalition, (ONAC) stated on Friday.
His Royal Majesty, Oba Obademi was kidnapped on his way to another town in Kogi by Fulani herdsmen, coming barely a week after a prominent Yoruba politician, Chief Olu Falae was kidnapped by the same herdsmen.
ONAC in a statement made available to Irohinoodua today and signed by Mr Olubodun Akogun, the Kogi State coordinator of the group cautioned that what has now become the frequent kidnap of Yoruba political and traditional leaders has the potential of fueling greater violence if the herdsmen are not put into check.
‘We warn that affected communities are running out of patience. The herdsmen come with sophisticated weapons. They take over territories that are not theirs. They molest people, old and young and even rape women and teens. A corrupt and inept police have found it difficult to deal with the menace. Our people are going through horror. They are suffering in silence. From Oyo, through Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Edo, Kwara and Kogi States, the story is the same. There has come a period that the Yoruba youths cannot watch the destruction of their values any longer. There has come a time that the natural law of self-preservation needs to take its course.’ The group said most violent crimes in Yoruba land are perpetrated by non Yoruba people saying that kidnapping for ransom was uncommon in the South West until recently.
ONAC said it is unimaginable that Agbekoya, a Yoruba group will for instance go to Kano or Sokoto to kidnap an Emir or a political leader saying what the herdsmen did to Chief Falae and Oba Abidemi is like a Yoruba group kidnapping Fulani leaders in the heart of their territory.
ONAC said most of the herdsmen are armed and many belong to extremist Islamic groups whose main aim of kidnapping is to collect ransom to procure weapons for their planned future battles against their host communities.
ONAC berated the Police Spokesperson, Mr Emmanuel Ojukwu for blaming the communities for the spate of kidnap. “We are alarmed that Mr Ojukwu said the communities rebuffed attempts by the police to fish out kidnappers in their areas because, according to him, the community leaders said they would rather pay the ransom.”
The group said if that was the case, then instead of condemning the communities, the police should feel rather ashamed that the public has lost trust in the institution and would rather prefer to live with their nightmares than to be helped by a police which appear not different from the kidnappers in the first place, due to the high level of corruption among the force.
ONAC also berated Yoruba political leaders, saying that ‘many of them are naïve and bereft of initiatives making the people to lose confidence in their ability to protect them’. The group added “While in the Northern states, vigilante groups are armed and are involved in policing, the political leaders of the South West are looking for an impossible Supreme Court order to empower them to create groups that can save the constantly threatened livelihood of the people.’ The group said most Yoruba leaders are desperate for political power for personal enrichment instead of safeguarding the future of their long-suffering people. The group warned that the history of the Yoruba people indicates that every oppressive system will run over and in its womb are planted the seeds of the system’s own fatal destruction, which may soon consume the same leaders.