The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has called on the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to without waste of time, caution the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) from making inflammatory statements capable of setting NIgeria on fire.
AYCF National President, Alh. Yerima Shettima expressed this in a statement he personally signed and made available to our correspondent on Thursday August 26, 2021.
“We have followed with keen interest, the news of an inflammatory remark making the rounds about the Sarkin Fulani of Lagos and credited to the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE).
“The Yoruba elders, who spoke through a former National President of YCE, Dansaaki Samuel Agbede, asked the Lagos State Government to stop its recognition for the Sarkin Fulani,” it said.
The group said that they are unsettled by this position coming from elders who are supposed be guardians of the people and should be taking the lead in ensuring tolerance, peace and harmony between the people of Lagos State and their neighbours from any part of the country, moreso Northern Nigeria.
They said that the office of the traditional Sarkin Fulani of Lagos is an estimated 150 years old and it reflects and represents the general interest of Fulanis resident in the area.
“It was therefore misplaced to see the YCE trying to forcefully liken the estimated 150 year old Lagos case to that of Edo State, which is comparatively new.
“It is evident that for the past 150 years, nothing tragic has ever happened to the relationship between these ambassadors of the Fulani tribes, primarily because of the successful enlightenment strategy in support of tolerance and harmony by the Fulani monarchy in Lagos.
“Most importantly, there is no law in Nigeria that says another person’s crime elsewhere makes someone somewhere automatically guilty of the same wrongdoing,” the statement said.
It added that, “If contrary were the case, we in the North would have asked our leaders or governors not to recognize people from other parts of Nigeria in areas like Kano, Katsina, Kaduna or any State in the region.
“It is for this recognition for the rights of others and unconditional tolerance that you can find Yorubas, Igbos and other Nigerian monarchs being accorded due respect and formal recognition in every part of the North. For us, tolerance is a necessary ingredient of unity and harmony,” it said.
AYCF emphasized that these traditional leaders of the Fulani are no more than ambassadors of their people, representing the beautiful cultural and religious heritage of their people.
“The historical and cultural values of the Nigerian Fulani can be gleaned from their presence (in more recent times) in France. Germany, the United States and other parts of Europe.
“This example is simply a proof that no society thrives without men and women of goodwill to serve as the custodians of their people’s culture and development concerns,” it added.
They therefore, advised the YCE to tread cautiously on the issue because it represents a potentially dangerous proposition
“We urge the Lagos State Government to quickly intercede in this matter by calling the YCE to order, to avert an avoidable breach of peace built over a period of an estimated 150 years
“We are compelled to draw attention to the YCE’s position on good time in order to elicit appropriate constitutional and legal action to maintain the tolerance, harmony and respect for the historical and cultural values that have held these Fulani as good neighbours.
“We insist that this is one sure way to avert a potentially regrettable decision being propounded by the YCE.
“We are disturbed by the YCE’s latest campaign that seeks to obliterate the respect and recognition of the Sarkin Fulani monarch because of the current situation in the country, notably the security challenge.
“We also find it quite childish that the YCE is making a fuss about illegal immigrants in Lagos, something that should be an issue for the either the NIA, the Nigeria Immigrations Service and the DSS. By the way, how does such a purely security issue connect to due recognition for the Sarkin Fulani?” It queried.
The statement said that YCE got its facts all twisted because there is so much disconnect in most of the issues they raised.
“We don’t support any action of intolerance, capable of further worsening the nation’s security challenge. It is our candid view that the YCE needs to be cautioned from potentially inflammatory declarations that could breed division among Nigerians in Lagos, who have been living as understanding neighbours for some 150 years.
“We take exception to any motive that could lead to undue interference with traditional and cultural values of a people in a democratic setting. This, we dare say, is a ticking time-bomb,” it said.
AYCF said that they are aware that the Lagos State Government has well-enlightened cabinet members who won’t condone any move that could lead to a breach of the peace and we hope they rise to the occasion.
“We don’t think Governor Sanwo-Olu would condone such a dangerously divisive stand of the YCE, considering the importance of tolerance and harmony that has made Lagos the economic and commercial giant of this country for many decades,” it concluded.