Members of the Coalition of Oodua Self-Determination Groups (COSEG), rose from an emergency meeting, on Thursday with a resolve to meet any attempt by the Hausa-Fulani herdsmen to bring the ongoing carnage to any part of the south-western states with force.
The meeting, which was summoned on the heels of the recent killings, maiming, raping and vandalisation of properties by the rampaging herdsmen, the recent one being in Enugu Srate.
According to the Chairman of COSEG, no less than 710 persons had been killed in 10 months by the herdsmen with over a hundred of them hacked down in the Agatu massacre, where a whole town was sacked and razed down.
In a communiqué jointly signed by Rasaq Olokooba and Dayo Ogunlana, Secretary and Chairman of COSEG respectively, the group enjoined all its members to be on the alert and respond swiftly should the carnage occur in any part of the Yoruba land.
“We have condoned the nefarious activities of these Fulani herdsmen in Yoruba land for too long and it is high time we said enough is enough. To this end, we have mobilised our members to be on guard and respond forcefully, any attempt to spill innocent blood on our land. This we shall resist with every drop of blood in our veins,” the communiqué read.
COSEG is the umbrella body of about 36 Yoruba self-determination groups, comprising the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), the Oodua Liberation Movement (OLM), Covenant Group, Oodua Renaissance Movement, (ORM), among others.
Ogunlana told the Daily Times that the group was miffed by the lip service being paid to the matter by government till the activities of the herdsmen escalated to almost an uncontrollable level it was today.
He wondered why the carnage was taking an upward surge at a time the Fulani had one of their own as leader of the country.
“What the Fulani wants from Nigeria is becoming inexplicable and also unfathomable. Here is a section of the country that has been so privileged in the leadership of this country since independence. Today, the president of the country is a Fulani, so what do they really want,” he queried.
The COSEG boss also expressed worry that President Mohammadu Buhari had been treating the activities of the herdsmen with levity until recently when things began to get out of hands.
“It is worrisome that President Buhari allowed this crisis to fester to this point. As a leader of Fulani extraction, we expect him to have risen to the occasion and nip the activities of his tribesmen in the bud. This he has failed to do and we are so disappointed in him,” he said.
It would be recalled that COSEG played prominent role in the ouster of the former administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which they passed a vote of no confidence upon and expressed preference for Buhari leadership which they felt would be incorruptible.