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Chief Gani Adams, Femi Falana lock horns over Igboho’s actions

Chief Gani Adams, Femi Falana lock horns over Igboho's actions

The Aare Ona Kankafo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Adams, said Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho) is fighting a just cause but human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) thinks otherwiise.

Chief Gani Adams, who spoke on Channels Politics Today, said: “If you provoke people to a certain extent, they start taking laws into their hands.

“I don’t support people taking laws into their hands but when you kill my people, when you maim my people and rape my people, I’ll rise in defence.”

Chief Gani Adams, Femi Falana lock horns over Igboho's actions
Chief Gani Adams, Femi Falana lock horns over Igboho’s actions

He said the Federal government must do more to arrest the security situation, adding that the country is divided.

Adams also hailed the eviction directive of Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

He said: “If the governor did not give the eviction order, will the Federal government agree to call the Governors’ forum to hold a meeting…? Will the Miyetti Allah come with their executive to meet him?

“So as a leader, as a Chief Security Officer, you must take the bull by the horn and if he didn’t give that notice, they won’t allow the governor to ban open grazing.

“If the governor did not give that notice, they won’t even know the power of authority the governor has as a state governor.

“We can’t allow what is happening in the Northwest, Northeast, even in the Middle Belt to happen in Yorubaland.

“Don’t forget Yoruba is the commercial region of this country; it’s the economic land of this country, so the Federal Government must know the implications of security threats to Yorubaland.”

Meanwhile, Femi Falana (SAN), has urged Fulani herdsmen displaced from their homes in the Ibarapa Local Government Area of Oyo State to seek redress in a court of law.

He described a seven-day ultimatum recently issued by a Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, to Fulani herdsmen to leave Ibarapa area in Oyo State as illegal.

Falana, who spoke on a BBC programme, advised the affected herders to seek redress in court, saying, “Anybody who is affected by such illegal quit notices would have to go to court to stop whoever is issuing the notices. That is the law but don’t let us resort to violence; it is unnecessary.”

The senior advocate argued that some of the evicted herders had lived in Ibarapaland for many years and have the constitutional rights to do so.

Falana said, “With profound respect under our laws, even a squatter cannot be ejected and that is why on a daily basis, tenants are given quit notices by landlords or owners of properties.

“So, a private citizen cannot wake up and say anybody should leave the community, you must embrace the rule of law. Nobody can do that, not even the government because section 43 of the constitution says every citizen shall have the right to own and acquire properties in any parts of the country.

“The campaign of the human rights community is that if you are born in a place, or you have lived for not less than ten years in any part of the country, you should be considered an indigene and be entitled to all the rights and privileges of the so-called indigenes of the state. So, for me, there is no way I can embrace anyone who has given a notice to quit to any group of people.”

Falana warned against criminalising people from an ethnic group. He noted that criminal elements must be arrested and prosecuted.

“We must stop the idea of criminal profiling. If anybody has committed an offence or a group of people has committed an offence, we must fish them out and have them tried under the law but you can’t wake up and say all Yoruba people, all Hausa people are criminals, all Igbo people are criminals. No, it is a fallacy of generalisation.”

He, however, said the failure of the government to prosecute those paraded by the police for state offences had resulted in a situation where private citizens issue quit notices to people of other tribes.

The rights advocate said, “The government must ensure that the lives of the citizens are secured. It is the abdication of the duty of the government that has made the Sunday Igbohos to be relevant in the society.

“That is why private citizens give notices to quit to people from other parts of the country. It is not the right way to fight this problem.

“We need to have ranches, in Oyo State in particular. The largest abattoir in West Africa is located in Oyo State but the state government has not allowed the abattoir to function for the past nine years. Is that how to run a country?

“The scientific way of solving this problem has been abandoned. So, why would a Sunday Igboho not take over the government of that state? That is what is going on.

“There are genuine fears and facts on the ground that the lives and property in that state and in many states of the country are not safe.

“Let the government remove the basis of this quit notice by ensuring that lives and property in Nigeria are safe.”

Chief Gani Adams, Femi Falana lock horns over Igboho's actions
Chief Gani Adams, Femi Falana lock horns over Igboho’s actions

In the same vein, The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, said policemen have been detailed to fish out the suspects responsible for burning the house of a Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho in the Soka area of Ibadan State,” Oyo State.

Adamu who disclosed this while innaugurating a building project at the Senior Police Officers’ quarters on Oba Aladejobi Street, in the GRA area of Ikeja, Lagos State, on Wednesday, said the criminals won’t go unpunished.

“Anybody that goes to burn anybody’s property is nothing but a criminal, and we have already asked our men to fish out whoever did that and the person would be punished. That is criminal, we have laws in this country and we must respect the law and if anybody goes foul of the law, the person must be punished.

“Every citizen has the responsibility to the country; those people that have information as to who did that should come out to give the police so that we can do our job,” the IG said while reacting to Igboho’s burnt house.

While inaugurating the project, Adamu said the welfare of men of the Nigeria Police Force was paramount, adding that through the Federal Government initiative of public-private partnership, all the police barracks in the country would be developed.

He said, “Our officers and men work tirelessly, day in day out in the country and we need a befitting accommodation to rest and return to work. What you are seeing today is one of those initiatives to develop our existing barracks instead of allowing them to decay and the officers are now getting a befitting place to stay.”

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