A self-styled Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, has issued a fresh eviction notice on herdsmen in the six South-west states of Nigeria.
Mr Igboho issued the fresh notice in an interview anchored by his spokesperson, Oluyomi Koiki, on Wednesday.
“We want all Fulani on Yoruba land to leave. I, myself will monitor compliance to the eviction notice,” he said.
“I don’t issue an order without ensuring compliance. As from Monday, we don’t want to hear of any kidnapping in Yorubaland again. I will show them the stuff Yoruba people are made of.
“Tell President Buhari, if he doesn’t understand Yoruba, tell him in English Language that we don’t want bandits in our zone again. Work has begun already and as from Monday, I will begin combing all forests in Yoruba land.
“How can six million people be commanding about 250 million other Nigerians? Marriage is not by force. We can’t live with you again.
“Yoruba nation is a vehicle of salvation and I want all Yoruba to board the vehicle and have their seats.
“There is no going back on the agitation for the Yoruba nation. How can we go back when we are almost at our destination? Those who have not joined us should do so now because there’s no election coming in 2023. Yoruba will go,” Mr Igboho said.
Prior eviction notice
His latest eviction notice came five months after his earlier attempt to send herdsmen out of the region.
In January, Mr Igboho had led a group of men to Igangan in the Ibarapa axis of Oyo state to eject the Seriki Fulani of Igangan, Salihu Abdulkadir, triggering a face-off with the state and federal governments.
He accused Mr Abdulkadir of backing criminal herdsmen behind the kidnapping and killing of farmers and residents of the community. Mr Abdulkadir denied the allegation but he was nonetheless forcefully ejected from a community he had lived in for decades.
The federal and Oyo State governments frowned at the development, saying no citizen has the right to eject other citizens from wherever they wished to reside in the country.
But in early February, Mr Igboho rebuffed authorities and proceeded to neighbouring Ogun State to purportedly evict herdsmen residents there. During that visit, he also vowed to dislodge herdsmen from the entire Yoruba land.
On February 26, he claimed some security operatives attached to Oyo State Operation Burst attempted to arrest him at the Lagos-Ibadan expressway while on his way to meet elder statesman, Ayo Adebanjo, in Lagos.
In April, he alleged another plot to arrest him but the police and the State Security Service denied attempt to arrest Mr Igboho or attack his home.
His action recently led to a midnight attack that claimed several lives in Igangan community, Oyo State last week.
Residents said the assailants, who were Fulanis, came to retaliate how they were attacked and forced out of Igangan.
PREMIUM TIMES Thursday contacted the spokesperson of Arewa Consultative Forum, Emmanuel Yawe, for a reaction to the fresh eviction notice by Mr Igboho, but he did not respond to calls and text messages.
This newspaper also contacted a leader of Miyetti Allah in the South-west, Bello Garba, for comments but he did not respond to enquiries.
To ensure the safety of lives and properties, 17 southern governors in May already declared a ban on open grazing, asking the mainly Fulani herders to practise a settled form of livestock production to control their incessant violent conflicts with farmers and host communities over resources.
In the wake of that declaration, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami, controversially challenged the governors and set an equivalence between banning open grazing and banning auto parts trading in the north.
This newspaper also reported how Mr Malami’s comparison was seen as a false equivalence and disguisedly targeting the Igbo group, who are known for auto parts trading, prompting protests on social media.
After Mr Malami’s challenge, a presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, also said the ban by the southern governors was lawless and his principal had a better plan.
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