Against the backdrop of the tension that has trailed the death of Mrs. Funke Olakunri, daughter of Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, who was killed on Kajola-Ore Road, in Ondo State, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, yesterday, said the South West does not want to experience any other war.
He said this after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The monarch told State House Correspondents, that very soon, security chiefs and traditional rulers in the region would soon meet, based on a directive by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Ooni also disclosed he was at Aso Rock, to meet with the President, on behalf of the region’s traditional rulers; towards improving the security situation in the country.
He said: “I came to speak on behalf of other traditional rulers. The issue at hand in the South West is real.
“On the issue of insecurity, we who live in the remote and rural areas of the south western part of the country, most of the bushes are occupied by strange people and we have decided to work with government; to fish them out. Everybody is beating the drum of war; we don’t want war. Who can stand war? We want something better for our youths. We should better use them for something good other than shouting war and anarchy. We don’t want that.
“We told the president that and he is on the same page with us. Politicians should be careful not to twist things out of proportion. We should make sure things are right and the president has given good directives, to security chiefs, including the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Abubakar Adamu Mohammed, to visit all traditional institutions in the South West.
“Mr. President has actually given good directives to security chiefs especially the IGP, they will visit each and every traditional rulers’ palace that are very sensitive in the South West, with immediate effect. He is going to give that directive.
“We need to work very closely with them and every other security agency in the country would all be put to use now. It is very important to us to put them to use and work with the locals. It is very important so that we can separate the corn from the chaff.”
“We shouldn’t keep over hyping it and say what is next is war, no! We know what Mr. President has been saying about the south western part of the country for a long time. The peace and peaceful co-existence in the South West, we still want to keep that. We don’t want any war to happen; we don’t want any attrition, we don’t want anarchy. So that was the reason why I came to discuss with him.”
The monarch expressed happiness that the president gave assurances he would soon speak on Ruga.
“Another thing that he assured me, before I left, of which I will go and give feedback to much more experienced traditional rulers in the South West and our leaders across board, is that he has assured that he will say his own side of the story, about Ruga, because he wants to let the world, and Nigerians, in particular, know the true side of the story because it’s being read out of context. So we should give him that opportunity to speak on his behalf as the number one citizen of the country. What is important, for me, is the exuberant nature of our youths in Nigeria, for them not to take laws into their hands, go into all those places and start to kill and maim, we don’t want that. The drums of war are resonating and we are very worried,” Ooni added.
Asked whether his comments, that south westerners should defend themselves against Fulani herdsmen was not also beating the drum of war, the monarch replied that when wrong people enter one’s house, the person has the right to defend himself.