The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has advised the Presidency to check the killing spree of the herders, especially in Yorubaland to prevent people from resorting to self-defence and anarchy.
This comes a week after former President Olusegun Obasanjo accused the Federal Government of being lackadaisical about invasion and unprovoked attacks by herdsmen across the country.
The Yoruba elders, in a statement by its President, Col. S. Ade Agbede (retd), said unequivocally that it appears the herdsmen were untouchable and listed many instances when they kidnapped and killed innocent people without any justifiable reason.
Making reference to a report that there were 1,123 cells built by herdsmen within the South West, YCE called on its people to be “on guard” and hold the issue of security so dearly to prevent further loss of lives and property.
The statement read: “As Yoruba elders and leaders in our own rights, we owe it a duty to speak up. There are said to be 1,123 cells belonging to armed herdsmen located across Yoruba nation.
“The cells are said to be well organized and they are said to appear to network with each other as the cells may not be known except that there has been increase in their organisational skills.
“Perhaps, the most challenging issue confronting the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is that of insecurity and it is not hidden, the various efforts being made.
“But, one is constrained to observe that the situation is degenerating and when such a situation arises, it needs drastic solution.
“We are not oblivious of the great task of the military in nearly all parts of the north and some parts of the south against insurgents and bandits.
“This has made the military very stretched, thereby, needing the understanding and cooperation of Nigerians to render a helping effort in intelligence gathering to forestall what appears like a planned invasion of Yoruba nation.
“This is part of the reasons we are now calling on our people to be on guard and forge a common front to ensure the security of lives and property in our region.
“A released victim from herdsmen captivity said unequivocally that Yoruba nation is under siege as he recounted how about 10 armed men dressed in army uniform (camouflage) kidnapped him.
“We all have to wake up from our slumber and flush out all strange and potentially dangerous people hiding in our forests.
“A situation which makes the herdsmen appear untouchable and have laxity to behave as they like is embarrassingly worrisome and poses grave danger to peaceful coexistence among the various ethnic groups in the country.
“The Federal Government should resolve to rein in herdsmen and bandits so as not to pave way for a situation where everybody will resort to self-defence which will ultimately lead to anarchy and descend to Hobbesian state of nature where life is short, brutish and nasty.”