Yoruba elders laud Buhari on RUGA suspension, tasks president on security

Members of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) [Photo: Sahara Reporters]
Members of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) [Photo: Sahara Reporters]

The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for suspending the RUGA project.

The pan Yoruba group made this commendation in Ibadan on Thursday at the end of its special meeting on the state of the nation.

The Secretary-General of the council, Kunle Olajide, who spoke on behalf of the elders, said the conference unanimously urged Mr Buhari to do more to restore the full confidence of Nigerians in his administration.

The YCE expressed worry that the grazing routes of the pre-independence era and the First Republic had been wiped off and in most cases, taken over by housing estates.

The group said the idea of “nomadic grazing is no longer feasible because of the destruction of farmlands and crops by cattle led by herdsmen, which had impoverished the farmers.

It, therefore, urged the state legislature in the Yoruba speaking states to enact a law outlawing nomadic grazing in their respective states.

The council noted the palpable tension in the country arising from the frightening state of insecurity, which had now spread from the North East and was gradually enveloping the whole country.

The group urged the president to heal the wounds in the polity by reassuring Nigerians of the safety of their lives with actions.

It urged Mr Buhari to revisit the 2014 National Conference reports and the El-Rufai Committee report on devolution of powers, advising him to send relevant bills to the National Assembly in that respect.

The council also advised him to study the report of the 2014 National Conference and identify the aspects of the document that could be implemented immediately for the security and unity of the county.

The elders, however, expressed shock by the gruesome murder of Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of Rueben Fasoranti, Afenifere leader, describing it as one too many.

The council called on the South West governors to embark on the deployment of technology to monitor forests in the zone so as to flush out criminals masquerading as herdsmen.

It assured the president of its support to build a truly egalitarian Federal Republic of Nigeria, where justice and progress would reign supreme.

Also, the YCE called on all Nigerians to avoid making inflammatory statements in this difficult time but to let their efforts and speeches unite the people ‘not to polarise them’.

Meanwhile, a retired judge, Ademola Bakre (rtd), has emerged as the new President-General of the YCE during the special meeting.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that representatives of the council from the Southwest states; Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Ekiti, Oyo and Osun unanimously elected Mr Bakre.

Members of the council from Kwara and Kogi states also attended the meeting.



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