The Igbomina Professionals Association (IPA), has rejected the influx of Fulani herdsmen, recently expelled from some South West towns, into Igbomina land in Kwara State.
Going by stories surrounding the activities of these people in their areas of former abode, the IPA, had rejected in totality their relocation to the area and illegal occupation of the lands on which they are currently erecting their new homes.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Fulanis have lived with us for ages without much fuss until recently when the criminal variants of the herders joined the fray. We are particularly alarmed that those currently settling on Igbomina land are the same ones that were sent out of Oyo State on account of their criminal activities targeted at their hosts.” IPA noted.
The Association observed that not only do they kill, kidnap, maim and rape members of their host communities, they also let their cattle loose to eat up and destroy their farm crops and as such no reasonable host, no matter how accommodating, would allow known criminals into his vicinity, going by the antecedents of the guests. “Anything to the contrary would amount to deliberately sitting on a keg of gun powder.
This is why we are calling on all Igbomina stakeholders to be on red alert, as no part of our land should be ceded to these arms bearing herdsmen. Now is the time to be extra-vigilant and inter-communal cooperation in this regard is needed now more than ever before.
Our traditional rulers, in particular, should eschew the temptation to collude with the invaders while also resisting any attempt from any quarters to cajole them into ceding any inch of Igbominaland to any suspicious guests.
The issue at stake is not about religion! In fact, these marauders are no respecter of religion, as they often unleash their aggression on anybody perceived to be against their destructive pastoral interests regardless of the person’s religious affiliation. So, we must not allow religious sentiments to creep into this matter, as we must confront the marauders as one indivisible Igbomina people.
We appreciate the assurance by the state government that security of lives and properties of the people remains its top priority. However, we strongly feel that security matter is a very serious matter and there should be no lip service or politicking about it. Government should therefore walk the talk about securing the lives and properties of the citizenry.
We also call on the security agencies to up their ante and double their surveillance activities in all nooks and crannies of the state and Igbominaland in particular, to ensure adequate security of lives and properties of our peace loving people. Any suspicious movement should be promptly tackled without fear or favour. For, it is better and cheaper to nip crime in the bud” IPA warned.