Residents of Akure community, Ondo State have decried the persistent attacks on indigenes of the community by suspected herdsmen.
The people, who are still in shock over the gruesome murder of one of their daughters, Mrs. Funke Olakunri, who was shot dead by suspected herdsmen on Friday, last week while on her way to Lagos from Akure, stated that “nation is indeed descending into anarchy.”
According to Ambassador Omolade Oluwateru, who spoke on behalf of the Akure people at a press conference on Tuesday, the community has had enough as regards the effrontery of the herdsmen on their land and at the people.”
Oluwateru, who was a former deputy governor of the state, emphasized that almost all the farmlands within and around Akure community, which comprises two local governments, Akure North and Akure South have been taken over by herdsmen.
The former ambassador to Uganda also named ex-Minister of Finance and former presidential candidate, Chief Olu Falae as one of the many indigenes who have been subjected to the criminalities of herdsmen in the community.
“We must declare that we are currently in deep mourning, occasioned by the dastardly murder of a prominent Akure indigene, Mrs Olufunke Olakunri, daughter of our father, Pa Ruben Ayo Fasoranti, the Leader of Afenifere, and by extension Yoruba leader.
“We are indeed very sad at this ugly development and also deeply angered and frustrated at the fact that our nation is indeed descending into anarchy, a development that cannot be excused at all. The killing of Olufunke represents a new scourge, invasion of our lands by Fulani criminals, now commonly referred to as Fulani herdsmen who have wantonly killed, raped and destroyed across Yorubaland and it has now gotten to a stage that the Yoruba nation must rise and declare enough is enough!
“In Akure kingdom, these Fulani criminals have even driven their criminal messages into our ears fiercely through their nefarious kidnapping activities, they began by abducting Chief Olu Falae in his farm, while in their captivity he was treated with great disrespect and abuses, we held our peace in national interest in this instance, hoping that Government at both State and Federal levels will take actions to forestall this evil development, alas our expectations in that respect has been dashed.
“Arising from the foregoing, more kidnappings by these Fulani criminals continue unabated, many citizens have been kidnapped majorly in Akure North Local Government Area, with the attendant results that farmlands have been abandoned on this premise. Today, prime kidnapping activities are rife in Oba-Ile, Iju, Itaogbolu, Irese, Osi and even the fringes of Akure metropolis, these remain unacceptable and inexcusable to us as a Kingdom and therefore demand that government begins to implement actions that will halt this trend forthwith.
Ambassador Oluwateru added that “While we mourn a distinguish daughter, Mrs Olufunke Olakunri, we must say that we have now come to the realization that Nigeria is indeed in severe problems, with dwindling capabilities to discharge its responsibilities to the citizenry.
“Therefore we now see these ugly developments through an entirely new vista, which dictates that we must begin to develop security models that will guarantee the arrest of this evil trend and defend ourselves as a community henceforth.
“It is a generally accepted fact that Akure people are very hospitable, welcoming people from diverse backgrounds and places into our communities and this practice is age long, we therefore request from all residents a respect for lives, law and order.
“We cherish the peace and tranquility that had hitherto reigned in our Kingdom, even also in our State and nation and do expect that constituted authorities must be alive to their responsibilities as enshrined in the Constitution, proper discharge of these responsibilities is the only safeguard against anarchy in our nation.
“We also warn that lawlessness possess the capability to make us put in place self help strategies as self preservation is the first law of nature.
“Finally we condole the Pa Reuben Fasoranti’s family, the bereaved husband and children of the deceased, the entire Akure Kingdom on the demise of our dearly beloved Mrs Olufunke Olakunri, it is our prayer that her gentle soul will rest in peace.”