By Taiwo Okanlawon
Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has advised Sunday Adeyemo, well known as Sunday Igboho, not to take laws into his hands but allow constituted authorities to handle the herdsmen menace.
The monarch also warned Sunday Igboho to watch out for politicians seeking to hijack his agitations against killer herdsmen in the region.
This is coming after the first class monarch met with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors in the Villa on Tuesday.
The prominent Yoruba monarch visited Aso Rock, amid heated ethnic tension in Ondo and some parts in Oyo state, generated by the recent locals-Fulani herders’ confrontation.
Speaking with the press after the meeting, According to Ooni of Ife, the purpose of his visit is connected with the simmering ethnic tension in some parts of the South West region.
He said it’s part of the duties of traditional rulers that everything is right, all and sundry of the country are in good shape.
“The take-home here is that Mr. President has assured it’s not going to be a political thing. We all know the problem all over the country because we have a lot of bad eggs that have mixed across the entire country, and we are having that situation again in the South West.
“So I am here as the co-chairman of the national council of traditional rulers to get the assurance of Mr. President that either of the party won’t turn to a political party fun fair in order not to risk the lives of our people, not only in the south-west but the entire country.
“I am happy he has told me that I should assure other traditional rulers to work with them now so that we can separate the good, the bad, and the ugly,” he added.
However, in another interview with Arise TV, the traditional ruler praised Igboho for taking on the campaign against herdsmen but advised him to allow constituted authorities to handle the menace.
The Ooni said Igboho has done very well, but he should back down so that government can take over the battles to avoid politicians hijacking the movement.
The monarch said: “Let us be very objective. He (Igboho) is being a mouthpiece for the downtrodden. He came up and everybody is listening now but my advice to him as a traditional ruler is that he needs to be very careful so that the politicians won’t hijack the whole motive from him.
“He has done well and we’ve already praised him but he shouldn’t take laws into his hands. We have the governor there, he is the chief security officer of the state and Mr President has invited him (Makinde). Let the right people that are being authorised to do what is right do it.
“He (Igboho) has done well and the world has heard him but everything should be done in moderation.”
He added: “We know that the bandits are everywhere. He shouldn’t take laws into his hands. We have laws in this country, and we should follow it. Let the right people chosen either our leader, let them follow what they are supposed to do.
He has done well, and we should leave it like that,” he said.
Speaking on the role of traditional rulers and other Yoruba leaders such as Aare Ona Kakanfo;
“Well, we cannot compare then and now, in the holding day, Yoruba have a dynasty, we have structure and by virtue of that, that is the structure that gave birth to Aare Ona Kakanfo.
“But these days, you now want to take the job of a governor and say you are Aare Ona Kakanfo, no, what you need to do is more of advisory roles and advocacy because the structure in the holding days is not obtainable now. If you do it, you will land yourself in jail.”
That is why I said, the likes of Sunday Igboho, they have done well, let the government take over, they have created a good awareness for it, and we have taken it upon ourselves to compliment what they did, but the likes of Aare Ona Kakanfo, they need to work with the system that has a constitution” the monarch added.
Ooni also said, “Traditional rulers have a role to play. We should be very neutral and so far so good, we have been trying to be neutral. Whatever this government is doing, we always stand up to try and see how to support them.
“It is not as if we will now go out to criticise them. We are not politicians, we are traditional rulers; we should be respected, we should be neutral, and we should accommodate all and sundry.”