National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) Otunba Gani Adams has revealed that his men may not be able provide enough security for the Southwest people as the Fulani herdsmen attacks persist in the states.
Adams said the people must be prepared to defend themselves against the attack by herdsmen, which he added, continued unabated.
The OPC leader spoke at a lecture organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ondo State Council, to commemorate the 2016 Democracy Day.
It has the theme: “Herdsmen/ Fulani clashes: What implication for inter-Ethnic Relations/ Nigerian Economy?”
Adams, who was the guest lecturer at the event, said Yoruba people’s negative comments over the activities of the OPC has demoralised the group.
He said the group lost the zeal to protect the people because its members were branded touts, thugs and terrorists by the same Yoruba race.
The OPC chieftain added that they were only recognised during elections, but politicians shot their doors against them after they might have won.
Adams lamented that it was painful that some traditional rulers did not encourage OPC’s existence in their communities.
According to him, “religion has taken away traditional means of protection from the people in Yoruba land. When one is too fanatic about religious, it brings shame. Religion is good, but when it becomes fanatic, it brings ridicule.
“If we are being moderate in our religions in Yorubaland – be it Christian, Muslim or traditional – who dares bring attack into our communities? But Yoruba people are being hypocritical about traditional protections,” Adam said.
He urged the people to use whatever traditional object they have to protect themselves and their communities, saying the first law in heaven is “self defence”.
The OPC chieftain bemoaned President Muhammadu Buhari’s comment that the 2014 National Conference report would be kept in the archive, saying such statement is insulting.
Adams insisted that only the implementation of confab report would bring lasting solutions to the crisis facing the country.
He said: “Before you think that I am exaggerating, consider this: between 2010 and 2013, according to a report, Fulani herdsmen killed about 80 people. However, by 2014, they had slaughtered 1,229 people.
“When you consider the Global Terrorism Index, you discover that Fulani herdsmen are not Number Four on the list of the deadliest terror groups in the world.
“Boko Haram, of course, takes the first position. As noted by a recent report, over 2,000 people were killed in conflicts between the herdsmen and different host communities in 2015 alone.
“In comparison, the regular Boko Haram kills 2,500 people annually. In a situation where a group of supposed herdsmen carry sophisticated weapons and wipe out entire communities, the unity of the Nigerian nation is indeed threatened.
“Those of us who attended the 2014 National Conference know that Nigeria cannot make any progress without implementing the report of that conference.
“If we do this (implement the report), we will have a decisive framework for dealing with issues such as the one addressed in this brief lecture.
“Until the report is implemented, we will just be going round in circles and life in Nigeria will continue to be nasty, short and brutish. The time to change our path is now.”