Ooni to Buhari: Drums of war sounding in Nigeria

…says South-West forests overtaken by strangers

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi yesterday told President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja that the drums of war were fast sounding loud across the country.

Oba Adeyeye was at the Villa in view of the rising insecurity challenges in Nigeria, including banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and insurgency.

Speaking to State House Correspondents after the closed-door meeting, the traditional ruler explained that the South-West does not want to experience any other war.

The royal father said that he came to speak to the President on behalf of traditional rulers towards improving security situation in the country.

He said: “I came to speak on behalf of other traditional rulers. Before I came here I discussed with the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who has been there for close to 50 years and we cannot tore away such a very massive experience in terms of knowing the structure of Nigeria.

“And also by virtue of that Alaafin is in constant touch with Awujale of Ijebuland and very much we are all on the same page.

“So, I’m here and I had a discussion that is very fruitful with Mr. President about what we all know – the security situation in the country.

“We made him to know that the issue at hand in the South-West is real – the issue of insecurity. We live in the remote and rural areas of the South Western part of the country, most of the bushes and forests are being occupied by strange people and we decided to work with the government to fish them out.

“Why I’m here again is, everybody is beating the war drum. We don’t want war. Who can stand war? We want something better for our youths. We should better use them for something good other than shouting war and anarchy. We don’t want that.

“We told the President that and he is on the same page with us. Politicians should be careful not to throw things out of proportion. We should make sure things are right and the President has given good directives to security chiefs, including the Inspector-General of Police to visit all traditional institutions in the South-West.” Oba Adeyeye stressed that everything must be done to put all security agencies to good use and work with the locals to separate the bad eggs.

“We shouldn’t keep overhyping war and we still want to keep the peace in the South-West. We don’t want anarchy,” he restated.

According to him, President Buhari, during the closed-door session, assured him that he will explain his side of the story on the issue of Ruga settlement because it was being taken out of context.

According to him, traditional rulers are disturbed with the reactions of citizens to the proposed Ruga project and cautioned against stigmatization of the herders.

“Another thing that he assured me of before leaving – which I will go and give back to much more experienced traditional rulers in the South-West and even our leaders across bound – is that he would say his own side of the story about Ruga (settlement).

“He wants to let the world and Nigerians in particular to know the true side of the story because he is being read out of context.”

The first class monarch frowned at political elites misinforming and instigating youths to beat the war drum in the country.

“What is important for me is for the youth in Nigeria not to take laws into their hands, they should not go into all those places and start to kill and maim. We don’t want that. The drums of war are resonating too much and we are very worried.

“We need more federal apparatus to defend ourselves, reinforcement from Federal Government.

“We understand more than anybody. We don’t want war and we want to work with government to bring peace.

“A lot of them are mixed up with the good ones. We are not saying all Fulani are bad. It’s not only about the Fulani, it’s about the bad miscreants that are even hiding under the name of Fulani.

“We want to try as much as possible to work with the government right now. They have all the security apparatus that are meant to defend us. That is what we are looking out for now. We have to stand up and meet with Mr. President and he has given us a listening ear and you see a lot of result going forward,” he added.