The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi has warned that drums of war were resonating too much in the country.
The traditional ruler gave the warning in Abuja on Thursday when he addressed statehouse correspondents after a closed door meeting with president Muhammadu Buhari. He said he is worried that youths from South West might be tempted into taking laws into their hands in retaliation against activities of criminal herdsmen in the region.
He said, “We shouldn’t keep over hyping it and say what is next is war. No. We know what Mr. President has been saying about the South-western part of the country for a long time – the peace and peaceful co-existence in the South West. We still want to keep that. We don’t want any war to happen. We don’t want any attrition. We don’t want any anarchy. So, that is the reason why I came to discuss with him.
“Another thing that he assured me before leaving, which I will go and give back to much more experienced traditional rulers in the South-west and our leaders across board is that he has assured that he will say his own side of the story about Ruga because he wants to let the world and Nigerians in particular know the true side of the story because it’s being read out of context. So, we should give him that opportunity to speak on his behalf as the number one citizen of the country.
“What is important for me is the exuberant nature of our youths in Nigeria, for them not to take laws into their hands, go into all those places and start to kill and maim. We don’t want that.. The drums of war is resonating too much and we are very worried.”
He said he came to seek for reinforcements from Buhari because the region do not want war.
“I mentioned to you that it is real we have wrong people in our midst so when we have wrong people in our midst how are we not going to defend ourselves, that is why I came here that in terms of defending ourselves, we need more federal government apparatus to defend ourselves because we don’t want to be defenceless, it is very important. It is about the mission of defending ourselves that I am here, we need reinforcement from federal government and I just mentioned to you that the President has said he will give directives to the IG to go and see every nooks and crannies of our traditional institutions in South West and that would probably extend across the entire country because he mentioned to me that he worked in North East and North Central discussing and working with the traditional institutions.
“So for us to defend ourselves is for me to come here to meet Mr. President for us to have reinforcement. We understand our territory more than anybody. We understand our territory very well. What is important is that everybody in the South West right now, we are all on the same page. We don’t want war and we want to work with Government to defend our land,” he added.
Ogunwusi said the region is not stigmatizing the Fulanis adding that not all of there are bad.
“Well it is not about stigmatisation. It is about separating the corn from the chaff. A lot of them are mixed up with the good ones. We are not saying all Fulanis are bad. It is not only about the Fulanis. It’s not only about them. It’s about the bad miscreants that are even hiding under the name of Fulanis.
“We want to try as much as possible to work with the government right now. They have all the security apparatus. They are meant to defend us. That is what we are looking up to now. We have to stand up and meet with Mr. President and he has given us a listening ear and you see a lot of results going forward.”