Fulani group threatens war if herdsmen are evicted from Ondo Forest Reserves
A group known as the Fulani Nationalist Movement (FUNAM), has threatened an all-out war if the Ondo State government carries out its order to evict herdsmen from its forest reserves.
The group was reacting to a recent seven-day ultimatum given to herders in the state by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to quit the forests.
The war threat by the FUNAM was issued in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Baadu Salisu Ahmadu, and was shared by former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode on his Facebook page.
In the statement, the group said they have given a counter order that “no Fulani will move an inch either in Oyo, Ondo or any part of the Western part of Nigeria or there will be war.”
“Our attention has been drawn to a decree credited to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu asking Fulani people who have occupied some forests in Ondo State to quit,” the statement begins.
Continuing, it said:
“We are also aware of another incidence in Oyo State where an illiterate political thug gave quit notice to Fulani people to leave the territories which are now their irreversible homes.
“This is not only an irresponsible demand but a call to arms of the faithful who have been pursuing their legitimate business in these forests.
“We have given a counter order that no Fulani will move an inch either in Oyo, Ondo or any part of the Western part of Nigeria.
“On behalf of Fulani Nationalist Movement, (FUNAM), we hereby warn the government Oyo and its agent, one Sunday Igboho and the Ondo State government to rescind their orders or face serious consequences that could lead to a war.
“It is shocking that the said Igboho and Akeredolu who is a beneficiary of the system are giving orders that they know no one will respect. We didn’t get the forests through Akeredolu and how does he expect the Fulani to obey his empty order? If he had been shot during an attack on him, will he be alive to give orders? Humans have a short memory.
“The Fulani people in these forests acquired these lands legitimately. The Fulani also operates under the ECOWAS protocol on free movement of persons. The people giving the orders should know they do not have the capacity to enforce such orders.
“First, they are not the Nigerian Police neither are they the Nigerian Army. The National Assembly has not given such, not even the Houses of Assembly in the two states acquiesced to such irresponsible demands.
“The Fulani will resist by all means necessary, including armed resistance, any attempt to forcefully eject them from these Forests that in reality, does not belong to these states alone. Some are Federal Reserve Forests.
“We want to ask Akeredolu whether those communities brought the lands from heaven.
“We warn that any Fulani blood that is shed further in the South-West will automatically lead to upheaval in the six states of Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti and Ogun States.
“We the Fulani are on red alert and waiting for the call and will never succumb to any threat or intimidation by ethnic bigots. I, Baadu Salisu Ahmadu, given my new responsibility, will, with other faithful NEVER fail the Fulani Nation in its Allah chosen destiny.”