Francis Adenigba Fadahunsi, Senator representing Osun East Senatorial district, on Monday, Febuary 15, has stated that kidnapping, rape, banditry and all forms of criminality are carried out in connivance with some traditional rulers in the South West Nigeria.
Speaking in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Monday, Fadahunsi lamented the alleged involvement of some traditional rulers in criminalities that happen in their domains, saying that the insecurity in South West has been on for long.
Reacting to eviction notice to Fulani herders by some South West governors, the lawmaker stated that it’s foreign Fulanis that are behind kidnapping, but were aided by some Obas who eventually employ them as marabouts.
He said: “If a stranger comes to your house, there is a norm, culture. Since the stranger cannot abide by your culture, he becomes an intruder, which is a criminal offence. In the whole Southwest today, you cannot do what these animals are doing in the bush.
“What is ravaging the South West now; they are not the Hausa/Fulani people from Nigeria; not the Fulani who have been living with us for the past 100 years. They have not been killing people.”
When asked, he denied that Yoruba leaders were divided in their reaction to the development in South West along party lines, lamenting that attacks know no political party.
“They are the people shouting. The one in Niger State, are they not APC? The Fulani herdsmen, particularly the wicked ones from foreign land don’t know who is APC or PDP, Christian or Muslim. The only thing is that it is the government that encourages them.
“If you are arrested as a kidnapper and you are taken to court in Osun, which is 25 years and you are jailed, they will not do it.
“But the Fulani herdsman rearing the cattle up and down, the highest he can sell a cow is N300,000 to N350,000. By the time he sells one and declares N150,000 to the owner, he has nothing.
“Now that he has AK 47, which he brought from either Sudan, Libya, Chad, Niger, or Cameron, and he could come out, carry you, and your people are now begging him with N2 million, he will come back to the road.
“I confronted this problem long ago when this thing was rampant in my area, I summoned the Obas in Ijesha land in my constituency.
“There were about four or five cases of kidnapping and they were begging Fulani with N2 million and anybody who could not pay, they will waste the man. So, I boycotted the protocol and summoned the Obas because I knew it was the Obas that encouraged them in their domains.
“We then had an agreement in a closed-door meeting; if we hear anything, automatically I will use the youth to chase the Oba away.
“That was the agreement; it went down for about 4-5 years. Even during Aregbesola’s time, you won’t hear anything about banditry in Osun State because he had maximum security. He bought bulletproof vehicles as if we were in war. He called the whole place security-wise. Even the case of a rape which he handled, was due to pleading we didn’t jail the Oba.
“So, we found out that it was the Obas who employed the Fulani herdsmen as their herbalists in their domains to oppress their people.
“We even got one or two Obas’ children that were buying food for them and their victims. It was one of them that took us to 84 tents where they were in our area. We had to route them out. They are not the Hausa/Fulani that were living with us. When we asked them they said they don’t know them.”
Senator Fadahunsi was a former Custom officer, and now a Senator.