*says it fell short of expectations
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) on Wednesday declared that representatives of Yoruba people, Socio Cultural organisations were not invited to Akure meeting between the Nigeria Governors Forum and leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, (MACBAN).
YCE otherwise known as the Igbimo Agba Yoruba stated this in a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan signed by its Secretary General, Dr Kunle Olajide.
Dr Olajide emphasized that the Akure meeting no doubt felt short of expectations as it was held without all the parties in the dispute in attendance as complainants and victims of the Herders moderous activities.
” Yoruba Council of Elders notes with grave concern and reservation the meeting of the Governors Forum with MACBAN held in Akure on the 25th of January, 2021. It is our belief that any meeting convened to resolve a dispute must have all the parties in the dispute at the meeting”, he said.
Dr Olajide added, “the Akure meeting fell short of that expectation because the complainants who are victims of the Herders’s criminal act were not invited to the meeting. The representatives of Yoruba people i.e. Socio Cultural Organisation ought to been invited as complainants and victims of the Herders moderous activities”.
“Pa Fasoranti in Akure would have sent representatives from Socio Cultural Organisation to the meeting. Watching on Television the participants at the meeting, one would think the meeting took place in Emir of Kano’s Palace. Only Southwest Governors were the Yoruba Leaders at the meeting and they are minority”
He emphasized, “however, our Governors were not at the meeting to represent us as they were the conveners representing the Nigeria Governor’s Forum which is the arbitrator of the dispute”.
“In elementary Law, the axiom ” Audi alterem partes” meaning hear the other sides was not observed at this meeting only MACBAN the umbrella Association of the Herdsmen were present. We observed that nothing was said in the Communique condemning MIYETTI ALLAH for continually threatening other Nigerians in the Media that the Country belongs to them”.
Dr Olajide maintained that the “ominous silence of the Federal Government especially the Presidency to the persistence complaints about the activities of this criminal Herders is very frustrating to Nigerians and creates the impression that the Federal government is indifferent to murderous act threatening the Unity of the Country.”
“There is no free Forest in the Southwest to accommodate Criminals. Our Forest are either Forest Reserves owned by the Governments and regulated by laws or they are owned by Families. In conclusion, the language of the communique was the usual Government platitudes and rhetorics totally devoid of concrete plans of action to quell the crisis”
YCE stressed “the Nigeria nation in the last few years has been seriously polarised along ethno religious lines threatening the very existence of our Country. The Yoruba Council of Elders therefore appeals to President Buhari to come out and address the Nigerian people to reassure them of his commitment to Justice, Peace, Equity and Progress of Nigeria.”