The Yoruba Council of Elders has raised the alarm that Yoruba land, Southwest Nigeria, is under siege of herdsmen.
The council therefore called on the Yoruba nation in Nigeria to be awake and brace itself towards halting the insecurity in the country.
The council raised the alarm in a statement in Ibadan, by iits President, Col. Ade Agbede (retd.), tasking the governors of Southwest states with putting security on the front burner in all the states
According to the YCE, the abduction of a professor and lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife on the Ibadan-Ife road, as well as several killings of Yoruba sons and daughters in their farmlands by herdsmen, justified its worries, insisting that the trend should stop.
“As elders and leaders in our own rights, we owe it a duty to speak up. There are said to be 1,123 cells belonging to armed Fulani herdsmen located across Yoruba nation. The cells are said to be well organised and they appear to network with each other as the cells may not be known.
“We are not oblivious of the great task of the military in nearly all parts of the north and some parts of the south against the insurgents and the bandits. This has made the military very stretched thereby needing the understanding and cooperation of Nigerians to render a helping effort if only in intelligence gathering to forestall what appears like a planned invasion of Yoruba nation.
“This is part of the reasons why we are now calling on our people to be on guard and forge a common front to ensure the security of lives and property in our region. A released victim from herdsmen captivity said it unequivocally that Yoruba nation is under siege as he recounted how about 10 armed men dressed in army uniform (camouflage) kidnapped him.
“To free our nation from this perceived siege, the struggle calls for collectivity and so, there should be inter-community collaborations among our people. We all have to wake up from our slumber and flush out all strange and potentially dangerous people hiding in our forests”, the council said.
Continuing, YCE also called on the Federal Government to put in more efforts in curbing the menace of kidnappers by empowering the security agencies to increase their air surveillance activities across the country.
“The moment the kidnappers know that they have no hiding place anywhere around the country, they would abandon the illicit venture”, it said.