I have read your call for peace. For years the Fulani and the Yorubaland Farmers have had occasional contention over grazing but it was not a threat to Yorubaland Farmers livelihood in terms of the scope until 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari was elected into office.
Since then it took a unprecedented acceleration that has brought poverty, misery, unleashed mayhem and destroyed SW Nigeria. I am a farmer. I saw it all and raised the alarm way back in 2015.
I had to Shoot their Cows 🐄 on their entering my property after their Bororo leader decided to test me even after I fired 2 warning ⚠️ shots into the air and into the ground.
What I observed that day in December 2015 was “Combat Tradecraft” of a trained terrorist. Their leader crouched and cupped his ear from 200 yards looking at my direction to decipher the type of weaponry I had all the while with an AK-47 slung over his left shoulder.
He nugged his Cattle further into my Farm. I let the huge female cow move well away to his left and from a range of 50 yards, I sent a bullet into its abdomen. The huge cow shuddered and galloped back in the direction of the Leader who had brought out his AK-47 and transferred it to his Right Shoulder. I had my Rifle Telescope trained on him the instant after I belly shot his huge cow. I wanted to give him the honor of the 1st shot before I would shoot the AK-47 out of his right shoulder.
Something made him change his mind and he disengaged his hostile intentions returned the Rifle to his left armpit gesticulated to the Cows and his 3 other colleagues and ran away in a cloud of dust.
It wasn’t over, they returned and tested me at set distance time and time again 300 yards, 400 yards, 500 yards and 550 yards and each time I deliberately belly shot 2-3 of their cattles at each of the distances. The fact that they tested me at specific distances showed me these are combat trained Bororo Fulani.
I had sent for the Police to file a formal Police report after the 1st incidence in 2015 December. The Police inspector told me that they had seized AK-47 assault Rifles from Fulanis on 9 occasions and arrested them only to recieve telephone calls from Abuja instructing them to be released.
After the incessant visits, I had to increase my security detail from the 2 previously to a reasonable number. The security reported to me that 2 Fulani on motorcycles were stationed at my front gate during day time hours in the bush on the other side of the A1 road, my main gate. One day, I took hearing protection and a heavy caliber elephant rifle with a muzzle break to my front gate area and released a thunderous shot onto the air. The stunned Fulani spies scampered into the Bush and returned to hop on their motorcycles 🏍 and ride off. I ordered the top of my gates to be sealed off with steel sheets and my bullet proof landcrete brick 🧱fence be increased in height to 9-11ft from the 7-8 ft previously.
They now started tormenting my neighbors to where after an assault and arson in 2017-18 on our 30+ Acre rice planting neighborhood consortium, I stopped planting rice. If you wonder how rice went from N7,500 to N35,000 per bag. I just gave you the answer.
After the assault in which one of my Rice planting neighbors was almost decapitated, I had to intervene after treating him and have one of the assailants arrested. It was a good thing I stayed in the DPO’s office, while he was being processed.
Within 30 minutes, a Fulani man appeared carrying himself with confidence and an air of arrogance and authority arrived. His blue guinea brocade agbada / babariga was well starched and ironed. I was told that that was the Local Seriki Fulani.
The way he ignored my presence as he interacted with an air of condescension with the DPO made me conclude that he was ic of the Fulanis who were infiltrated by foreign Bororo’s with AK-47’s.
The DPO returned and tried to plead with me, but I stuck to my guns and insisted that the apprehended assailant be denied bail and charged to Court.
As I left the premises the Seriki Fulani was under a fever tree shade on the telephone but he eyed me menacingly. I knew I had to increase my security and reduce my visibility.
The assailant was charged and jailed for just 6 years.
I have been lucky but at a price. Security personnel licensing and procurement of Defensive Firearms cost me just south of N200,000 monthly in salaries alone. Expensive but I sleep well at night. But how about other Farmers that cannot afford security or are not armed?.They can no longer farm. I have an associate who lost 250 acres of Maize at his mechanized farm in Oyo State. His Tractors 🚜 are lying idle while his staff are unemployed.
Animal feed has gone up 250% because of the Fulani, unemployment, petty theft, crimes like home burglary have become common for place because of the farms closing down.
The Bokolo Armed Robbers have taken over the insecurity with kidnapping which has fueled a vicious cycle of food insecurity, personal insecurity, economic deprivation and depression in SW Nigeria.
That is the real reason why the 30 million strong Agrarian community in SW Nigeria are fully behind Sunday Igboho. If the Government wants to test their resolve, they have nothing to loose and are dying so they will run no more.
It is a situation the Government allowed to fester and after the #endSARS imbroglio, the farmers went back to their native instincts.
As to how ready they are to secure their freedom, that is the question that I will advise the Government and the security including the military to be careful about.
There is a saying in the African American community. “Nigger Charlie will Run no more“. The SW Nigerian farmers will run no more. Sunday Igboho is the least of who they have to worry about. There are 10’s of 1000’s of Sunday Igboho’s in SW Nigeria and they are backed by 10’s of millions of Nigerians from every single part of Nigeria who see the maintenance of public safety in SW Nigeria as their last hope for peace, security, progress and unity. If the Government listens to the Hawks, and make a wrong move, the retaliation by the citizenry will become a story that will be told forever.
As a farmer said, “they are not Sowore that Government can just come and arrest at night and throw in jail”.
These people live by the feud. They have a feud with Fulani Brigands and it has to be settled in the way the Farmers understand.
John Mabayoje, Oyo, Too State.