IBADAN—SOME traditional rulers in Oyo and Ekiti States have said that there is adequate arrangement to check the excesses of herdsmen in their domain.Herdsmen along with their cows wait for buyers at Kara Cattle Market in Lagos, Nigeria, on April 10, 2019. – Kara cattle market in Agege, Lagos is one of the largest of West Africa receiving thousands of cows weekly due to the massive consumption of meat in Lagos area. (Photo / AFP)
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In a chat with Vanguard, the Alago of Ago Are, Oba Abodunrin Oyetunji Kofoworola, said his people and non-violent herders have been living together peacefully for ages noting that the cordial relationship between them has not been ruptured.
He, however, added that as for the violent ones who roam from one place to the other, he would not take any nonsense from them.
He said: “The Fulani herders are not the same. There are some black Fulani who are law-abiding and peaceful. They have been living with us for so long. We don’t have much problem with them.
“But, there is another type of Fulani who are called Bororo. They are always in transit. They don’t care a hoot neither do they have respect for anyone including land owners and farmers.
“Since I became king, I have been able to scale down crisis between the farmers and herders. We organise town hall meetings with Fulani living in our midst on monthly basis. The meeting includes security chiefs. As a result of this, kidnappings and killings have been effectively checked.
“As for the violent ones, I don’t give a damn. I will deal with them the way the issue is. When they graze their cattle on farmlands which others had spent all their entire life on, can they really pay for the money, time and energy the farmers have expended? And usually, they offer peanuts.
“I have never given or sold land to any Fulani herder. We have only been managing the ones we have been living with”.
Also speaking, the Oniro of Otu, Oba Sunday Oyetunde Adepoju, said he has heard about the banditry and killings being perpetrated by some herdsmen.
He, however, said that regular meetings and dialogues have been the solutions to the imbroglio in his domain.
I treat herdsmen according to their attitudes— Arowojoye
On his part, the Iba of Kisi, Oba Moshood Oyekola Lawal, Arowojoye 11, said he treats the Fulani herders according to their attitudes.
He said: “They are of three types. We organise meetings with them from time to time. Besides, we have Association of Farmers. Whenever their cows eat crops on farmlands, we refer them to the disciplinary committee. If there are strangers coming in, the Fulani herders who have been living with us would alert us on time.
“Even if the cattle that ate the crops belong to children of the friendly Fulani, their parents would hand them over to the police for proper sanction and peaceful resolution.
“If they are strangers, we push them away from our community towards the borders. We push them to Igbeti or Igboho and alert them too to be wary of them. It is this kind of cooperation that has enabled us to manage the Fulani herders in our communities.”
We‘ve set up vigilante security network —Ekiti Monarchs
Similarly, the Olu of Iyemero, in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Oba Ebenezer Ogungbemi; the Iyemero Council of Chiefs and the traditional native hunters have set up a vigilante security network in the town.
Speaking withVanguard over the weekend, Oba Ogungbemi, disclosed that the village hunters have begun the surveillance, monitoring and patrol of the entire town and its suburbs.
The monarch said: “They were charged to work closely with the military security stationed in the town by the governor.
“Presently, Mr. Governor has permanently deployed and stationed armed mobile policemen in Iyemero Ekiti for almost one month.”
The spokesman of the community, Prince Ogungbemi Adefemi said: “Kabiyesi has been appointed into a special security committee in the state in order to give adequate report and feedback in areas of security inadequacy, threat or breakdown of law and order in his domain.
“The special state security committee comprised some traditional rulers, Nigeria Police and other security agencies, they meet regularly to review, manage and solve security threats in his domain and the state in general.
“There is an ongoing construction of the military post situated few kilometres away from the main town; there is a need to still situate a Police post at the centre of the town, which will be close to border of the town to arrest danger that may erupt into crisis from the porous border linking Ekiti, Kwara and Kogi states.
“The village hunters have been organised into a vigilante group, identity of each member had been registered in the palace for proper monitoring and reporting on a weekly basis,” Ogungbemi said.
Community policing is necessary—Omoseebi monarch
The traditional ruler of Erinjiyan community, in Ekiti West Local Government Area of the state, Oba Adegoroye Omoseebi, whose subject was kidnapped and released some weeks after, said community policing is necessary to tackle the menace.
According to him, indigeneship should play important roles when considering postings of security agents and there is the need to involve vigilante and local hunters in the security arrangement, while the role of the traditional rulers should be defined.