A Fulani socio-cultural group, Gan Allah Fulani Development Association, has called for joint community responsibility between the Yoruba and Fulani leaders to find a lasting solution to insecurity in the South West region.
The association said this on Saturday in a communiqué issued at the end of a meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, at the Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta.
The communiqué, which was jointly signed by the chairman of the Gan Allah Fulani Development Association, Sale Bayari, and Mr Obasanjo, said that from all the evidence available, those who perpetrate crimes like kidnapping in the region are both non-Fulani and Fulani.
“We should begin to do things differently and in a new way, bring them out for sanctions. One of the problems worrying the society is the problem of cover-ups and denials by both community and public institutional leadership, who ought to expose these problems and deal with them,” the communiqué stated.
The association also pointed out that there appears to be complacency among some public institutions such as the security and judiciary, where reported cases are not taken seriously and dealt with justly and promptly.
“There has to be a deliberate community effort to address the problems. Joint Community Responsibility MUST be established among the Yoruba and Fulani leaders at the community levels. From all the evidence, those who perpetrate these crimes, they are both non-Fulani and Fulani. We should begin to do things differently and in a new way, bring them out for sanctions”.
The communiqué also resolved that: ‘It is important to call on leaders who failed to do what they are supposed to do. Fulanis, who know the criminals among them must expose and report them to the appropriate institution. So must other ethnic groups.
“There should be cooperation among our people. Fulani leaders and other groups are urged to approach the traditional institutions anytime they find something that is not right within their communities. They should refer concerns among themselves to the different levels of traditional leadership, up to the paramount traditional rulers.
“Identified criminals within the community should be handed over to the appropriate agency to be dealt with. Key stakeholders should be informed to ensure that justice or sanctions are carried out against culprits and not swept under the carpet.
“We have to work as one community through our various efforts and responsibilities to protect and safeguard the interest of the community. Criminal Fulani herdsman and non-herdsmen must be identified, exposed and brought to book, to serve as a deterrent to others. There must be punishment for lawbreakers. The same must apply to other criminals from other ethnic groups.’
Meanwhile, the participants agreed to meet within three months to review the progress of implementation of the recommendations.
They also noted that the stigmatisation and victimisation of a group of people, in this case, the Fulanis, is of grave concern. They admitted that the Fulanis have both good and bad people, adding that the actions of the ‘bad Fulanis’ should not be taken against all the Fulanis.