Some Northern elders have condemned in strong terms the burning of the home,livestock and cars of the Sarkin Fulani of Oyo State, Alhaji Saliu Abdulkadir, by some youths in allegedly instigated by an ethnic bigot,Sunday Adeyemo otherwise known as Sunday Igboho.
While describing the action of the youths as provocative and senseless, the elders charged both the state government and security agencies to ensure that perpetrators of the heinous act were arrested and prosecuted.
The elders, who operate under the Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development (CNEPD), said the need for all those responsible for the arson to be brought to justice had become urgent, to serve as deterrence against future occurrences.
The coalition, which made its position known in a statement by its National Coordinator, Engr. Zana Goni, cautioned youths across the country against engaging in acts of violence.
Specifically, the coalition noted that at all times, legal and constitutional bodies such as the judiciary and police should be allowed to settle grievances of whatever nature, rather than resorting to self-help, which they frowned at.
This was as the elders reminded Nigerians that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) guaranteed every citizen the right live and conduct legitimate business in any part of the country.
While advocating for peaceful co-existence, national cohesion,religious and ethnic tolerance, the elders called on authorities to always rise to the occasion, whenever issues that threatened national security and stability reared their heads.
In the same token, the elders have enjoined Northern youths to remain calm and law-abiding, saying reprisals will only exacerbate the situation.
“We condemn in totally the senseless, provocative and disturbing act of arson targeted at the home of the Sarkin Fulani of Oyo State, Alh. Saliu Abdulkadir, by youths suspected to be Yoruba.
“As elders, we are alarmed that the home of the Sarkin,his livestock and 11 cars would be burnt in that manner at a time the country needs urgent healing and reconciliation.
“We maintain that violence remains inimical to the progress of any society and her people, as it retards socio-economic development on all fronts”, the elders said in the statement.
They tasked security operatives to go after perpetrators of the wicked act, even as they insisted that security around the Hausa/Fulani community in the state must be heightened, to avoid further needless attacks.
They have, however, identified some persons suspected to have masterminded the violent attacks, urging the police to track and arrest them immediately.
“We charge the police and other law enforcement operatives to ensure adequate security protection for the Hausa/Fulani community in the state, who may be prone to further attacks.
“Particularly, we call for the immediate arrest of one Chief Sunday Adeyemo Igboho and all the perpetrators of this evil act and bring them before the law.
“Furthermore, we wish to make a passionate appeal to all the Fulani and Hausa youths in the north to once again disappoint this enemies of national unity by remaining peaceful and wait for government to act in a manner that will bring justice to those affected”, the statement said.
Meanwhile, the elders have alleged that the act was “fueled, and sponsored by an online news medium owned by a failed presidential candidate from the Southwest in the 2019 general election”.
They accused the unnamed politician of “doing everything possible to undermine national unity and security”, saying “and we must resist them and all their supporters”.
“We also call on Nigerians to ignore media propaganda by this medium, which is aimed at causing disunity among Nigerians.
“Finally, we wish to commend the Governor of Oyo state on his stands on the incident; particularly the order to arrest Mr Sunday Igboho. We also urge the Oyo State government to activate measures to compensate all those affected by this mindless act, to assuage their pain”, the elders said.