Yoruba leaders, under the umbrella of the Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF), has said that the states government and the traditional rulers to initiate round table dialogue among all the ethnic nationalities for a peace and tranquility to reign in their respective domain.
The Deputy Chairman of YUF, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu, made the call while exchanging views with journalists in Ile-Ife, Osun State on Tuesday.
Ladigbolu was on a condolence visit to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi over the recent Yoruba/Hausa clash in the ancient town.He said the governments and traditional rulers should call for meetings of various ethic nationalities in their domains to ensure constant dialogue so as to put a curb in any clash.
This would enable each of them to respect the culture, beliefs and the traditions of other groups for peaceful coexistence and development.The YUF leader noted that vigilance was one of the lessons God wanted Yoruba people to learn from the clash against the Hausa people at Sabo area of Ile Ife.
Ladigbolu, while answering questions from journalists, said people of the South West should defend themselves with anything they have to stop the incessant attacks by the rampaging fulani herdsmen against their lives and property.
He maintained that self Defence had become imperative since the government had abdicated its responsibilities to the citizens, who were being oppressed and terrorised everyday by the herdsmen.
He said he believed that apart from the silence of the Federal Government on the atrocities being committed by Fulani herdsmen, governors in the South West were not doing enough to either defend their people or to stop the daily attacks against them by the herdsmen.
“That is my personal fears. But all we can do at the moment is to ask our people to be vigilant and to defend themselves and protect their lives and property.
“That is about what we can do for now until we are sure that we have a government that will be fair to all and that will be just to all and that will not partisan in dealing with issues that affect our communities,” The Renaissance quotes Ladigbolu as saying.
On the Police investigation into the March 8 clash in Ile Ife, Ladigbolu said the group was happy that the Osun State Government had set up a panel of inquiry to probe the matter.
He expressed the belief that the panel would do a thorough job to unravel the remote cause of the clashe.
Another leader of the YUF, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, said despite the current problems confronting Nigeria, the nation would still be at peace and enjoy development later.
Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, commended the group for coming to commiserate with him.
He also called on Yoruba leaders to unite and work more for the development of the race.
He advised Yoruba people not to allow politics to divide them, saying they should unite, irrespective of their political affiliation.
He said Yoruba people were unique in the whole world because of their religious tolerance.
According to Oba Ogunwusi, Christians, Muslims and adherents of other religions coexist without any fight in Yorubaland.
The Ogiyan of Ejigbo, Oba Omowonuola Oyesosin, also said Yoruba people needed to unity more than before.
He noted that other ethnic groups were envious of the Yoruba race.
From Saheed Adeyemi, Osogbo.
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