The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, hinted yesterday that war could break out in the country unless the worsening state of insecurity is curbed.
The monarch gave the warning after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
He told reporters following the closed-door meeting that he was at the villa on behalf of traditional rulers “to speak to the president with a view to tackling the fragile security situation in the country.”
He said: “Everybody is beating the drums of war. We don’t want war. Who can stand war? We want something better for our youths. We had better use them for something good rather than shouting war and anarchy. We don’t want that.
“The issue of insecurity in the southwest is real. In the remote and rural areas of the southwest, most of the bushes are now occupied by strange people. We, therefore, decided to work with the government to fish them out.
“We told that to the president and he is on the same page with us. Politicians should be careful not to throw things out of proportion. We should make sure things are right. The president has given good directives to security chiefs including the Inspector General of Police to visit all traditional institutions in the southwest.”
The Ooni said care must be taken so that exuberant youths do not “take the laws into their hands and go into all those places and start killing and maiming. We don’t want that. The drums of war are resonating too much and we are very worried.
“We need more federal apparatus to defend ourselves and reinforcement from the Federal Government. We understand more than anybody. We don’t want war and we want to work with the government to bring peace.”
On the alleged stigmatisation of the Fulani, he noted: “We are not saying all Fulani are bad. It’s about the bad guys working under the name of Fulani. It is not about stigmatisation; it is about separating the corn from the chaff. A lot of them are mixed up with the good ones. We are not saying all Fulani are bad; it’s about the miscreants hiding under the name of Fulani.”