Kaduna, Lagos — The Leadership of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has fumed over the various attacks on Northerners in western part of the country.
It then demanded for the reversal of the quit notice order by the Governor of Ondo State Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN to herders in the state.
On Saturday 16 January, an Ibadan-based politician and youth leader, Sunday Igboho had also issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Fulani community in Igangan, Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State, over an allegation that they were responsible for the rising insecurity and kidnapping in the area.
Following the quit notice, many were feared dead after a number of youths stormed Fulani communities in Ibarapa North of Oyo state on Friday evening.
The President of the forum, Shettima Yerima, in a statement described the destruction of property of herders in Oyo as not only worrisome but disturbing.
He said, "Let it be known that the constitution of Nigeria guarantees every Nigerian to live in any part of this country and free to engage in any legitimate business of his or her choice, the Governor of Ondo State being a learned person is expected to know better.
"AYCF will not support any group that engages in any form of criminality and such People should not be identified by their religion, tribe or ethnicity but should be treated as a criminal.
"The subsequent attack that followed the quit notice in Oyo State is rather uncalled for and condemnable.
"The perpetrators must be brought to book and made to face the full wrath of the law.
"AYCF supports constitutional ways of every state protecting her citizens but quit notice should be out of it and must not be considered under any circumstance.
"Nigeria is an indivisible entity and whatever has the tendency like happenings in Ondo and Oyo must be discouraged in the interest of peaceful coexistence and one Nigeria."
He called on the government of Ondo and Oyo states to give peace a chance and rescind the quit notice order while those whose property were destroyed be compensated accordingly.
"Finally, we must guide against any act that will create a war like situation in Nigeria, we must learn from mistakes of the past and avoid a repeat because it's consequences may be unimaginable," he added.
"Watch your utterances"
Meanwhile, the Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams has cautioned the Arewa Consultative Forum, (ACF) and the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to be mindful of utterances that could fuel more crisis in the country.
He said the threat of reprisals following Friday's attack on a Fulani settlement was a joke taken too far.
He declared that any attempt by the north against the southwest will fail.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, Aare expressed concern about the security situation in the South-West region, stating that threats of attack on the southwest can fuel further crisis in Ibarapa, Oyo and Ondo and will certainly affect the entire nation.
The Yoruba generalissimo also said his silence in the last three days should not be construed as being cowardly.
He said: "From my findings, what is playing out in the last three days, (especially in the social media) it is evident that there are some enemies and political elements both within and outside our region are now using the bravery of Sunday Igboho as a coordinated attempt to soil my name, and also put my efforts in the past 28 years in the struggle to test".
"My silence in the last three days doesn't portray me as a coward, but by virtue of my position as the Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, I am bounded by my conscience and conviction to act accordingly when the time is right. And I must also consult widely before taking any action"
Adams stated further that the situation in the two states truly justified the huge security challenges perpetrated by herders, that had on several occasions kidnapped and killed many Yoruba in their various communities, adding that Yoruba are too well aware of the looming crisis in the country.
The Yoruba generalissimo, however, maintained that he would not be stampeded into falling into a pre-arranged trap by the political elites.
He said: "The apex organization in the North and the herders Association should watch their statements or face the wrath of the Yoruba nation.
"By their inciting statements, the north are beating war drums. But we will resist any attempt by the north to turn our region to war zones and no amount of threat will stop us from securing our region from killer herdsmen".
"From my findings, what is playing out in the last three days, (especially in the social media) it is evident that there are some enemies and political elements both within and outside our region are now using the bravery of Sunday Igboho as a coordinated attempt to soil my name, and also put my efforts in the past 28 years in the struggle to test".
"What Igboho said was not even as damaging to the sanctity of the nation than the call for civil war by the ACF and the Miyetti Allah put together. The killer herdsmen are the major problem, but sadly the Federal Government remains silent"
"There are reports that the Fulani herdsmen have, in the past five years, killed over 300 Yoruba people from different communities while several other people have been kidnapped with abductors paying several billions as ransom".
Adams, however, warned the North to stay away from any attempt to cause mayhem in the southwest, hence, the situation could degenerate into further chaos that might affect the entire nation.