Kinsmen of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Chief Olu Falae have warned that further attacks on him or Akure farmlands by Fulani herdsmen would be seen as invitation to civil war, stressing that the community would be ready to defend itself.
Speaking on Tuesday, the Akure community decried the incessant invasion, harassment, intimidation and threat to the life of the former Finance minister. This was as they rejected the idea of cattle colony, stating that “Akure does not have land to be colonized”, as “a colony is a political entity which someone said he wants to create in the territory of another”.
Falae, who is the traditional ruler of Ilu-Abo, in Akure North area of the state had over 125 hectares of his palm oil plantation and crop farmland set ablaze by suspected Fulani herdsmen who invaded his Ilado farm on Sunday.
Community leaders who stated this at a press conference held at the palace of their paramount ruler, Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, include: Chiefs Segun Adedipe, the Elemo, Ayo Oluyide, the Ojomu, Adebayo Ajewole, the Sao, Anthony Falowo; the Aro, Rotimi Olusanya; the Asamo, Prof. Olu Agbi; Asiwaju of Akure, Prof Olu Aboluwoye and Erelu Olu Adekanye.
Speaking on behalf of the community, the Asiwaju of Akureland, Prof. Agbi said the spate of attacks on Falae and other people by the herdsmen has become a dangerous trend that needed drastic action.
He said: “The attack is not only limited to Chief Olu Falae’s farm but has spread to the farm of a serving judge, Justice Michael Owoyemi, another son of Akure kingdom and former Commissioner for Youths and Sports in Ondo State, Mr. Dayo Awude.
“The palace of Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi Odundun has been inundated with reports on the destruction of farmlands in the kingdom by these Fulani herdsmen.
“Reports have indicated that Akure, the Ondo State capital, is unsafe for residents, visitors and businessmen as a result of the recent attacks by these herdsmen.
“We are disturbed by these reports more so that Akure before the recent events has been peaceful.
“Apart from killing of hapless people, these herdsmen have made residents to live in fear especially those who reside in our farm settlements.
“This, we insist, must stop. We are disturbed that despite the attacks and killings, the law enforcement agents seemed to be helpless in dealing with this menace.
“We are uncertain who may likely be their next target as these hoodlums have been going from one place to another attacking harmless people and destroying farmlands.
“Apart from killing people on his farm, neighbouring farms have been subject to attack by these gun-wielding herdsmen. The recent burning of Chief Olu Falae’s plantation by these same elements, call for worry.
“We call on the security agencies to protect the life and property of Chief Falae. “We are making this appeal not only because he is an Akure chief but to prevent tribal war as the Olu of Ilu Abo’s stature transcends Akure and Yoruba.
“We warn the herdsmen not to create an opportunity for a civil war.”
The Akure community equally vowed not to allow the establishment of any cattle colony in Akure, by the federal government, saying the policy would be resisted at all costs.