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Farmer-herder crisis

17.02.2021 news Monarchs Can’t Tackle Farmer-Herder Crisis Because We’re Just ‘Toothless Dogs’, Says Iwo Paramount King

Published 17th Feb, 2021

By Gabriel Ogunjobi

Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, the paramount king of Iwoland in Osun State, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to strengthen the roles of monarchs in ensuring peace and harmony in their local communities by backing them with more constitutional powers.

The Oluwo of Iwoland aired his views on the farmer-herder crisis while speaking on a TVC programme on Wednesday morning.

For the past four weeks, southwest states Oyo, Ondo and Ogun have been in the news following the forceful exit of Hausa/Fulani herders in the Yoruba rural communities.

The monarch explained that traditional rulers have a better advantage of uniting divergent ethnic groups because they are closer to the people at the grassroot level than the three tiers of government.

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“The crises are happening because of our leadership problems. The government must help the kings by giving them constitutional powers to resolve issues.,” he said.

“We are the ones who are close to our people and even closer than anyone else at different levels of government. But we are now like toothless dogs. I appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari and other stakeholders to do something about this.”

While calling for integration between leaders and subjects, the self-acclaimed ‘Emir of Yorubaland’ added that his different styles of dressing are his own idea of promoting oneness among all ethnic groups within his kingdom, admonishing his counterparts to emulate similar leadership traits.

AHe said the farmer-herder crisis persists because of the lack of education and a sense of belonging by a certain group.

He said: “There is a vacuum between the leaders and masses. The bandits of today were created by the failed society. What has transpired between farmers and herders now is a problem of education.

“They have been neglected in the bushes for too long. These Fulani have no water, electricity and modern schools in the forest. We need to care for them and educate them that the nomadic way of rearing cows is outdated.”

He, however, mentioned that all herders who have been forcefully evicted from any location are free to come to Iwoland as long as they are willing to be properly-documented.

“In Iwo, my plan is to give them identity and take their data,” he said. “We will start the identification process for all of them.”

Published 17th Feb, 2021

By Gabriel Ogunjobi

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