Apex Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere has condemned the brutal murder of Olajide Sowore, younger brother of human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore.
Olajide was murdered in cold blood by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen on Saturday on the Lagos-Benin Expressway, Okada area of Edo State.
Before his death, he was a student of Igbinedion University, Okada, where he was studying Pharmacy.
In a statement on Sunday, the Secretary General of Afenifere, Sola Ebiseni attributed the death of Olajide to the failure of the Nigerian government to tackle the menace of insecurity in the country, particularly that which is fuelled by killer-herders.
He also condemned the refusal of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to embrace lasting solutions postulated by men and women of goodwill.
Ebiseni noted that Funke Olakunri, daughter of the leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasonranti, was also killed by herders on the same highway as he stated that their blood and that of hundreds of Nigerians killed in similar ways lie on the neck of the government.
The statement reads:
“It is an understatement that we are under siege and a truism that Nigeria has lost the essential attributes of a State, which is the security of life and property.
“The killing of Olajide Sowore along the Lagos-Benin Expressway, by herdsmen, is one too many of our able-bodied youngsters being killed in their prime while those entrusted with our collective safety feign helplessness and most pathetically have refused all entreaties on solutions by men and women of goodwill.
“We recall that it was on this highway that herdsmen snuffed life out of Mrs. Funke Olakunri, lawyer, banker and also in her 50s, daughter of the Leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasonranti.
“The people of Nigeria, the vast majority of who are farmers, had long given up such economic activities as a result of the occupation of their land, destruction of their crops, harvests; raping of their daughters and mothers and killings of the defenceless men. In the same vein, neither roads, schools, any place, homes nor anywhere is, in any way, safe.
“All suggestions and efforts by the people and governments of the states, particularly of southern Nigeria, which include requests for State Police and ban of open grazing of animals, have been deliberately frustrated by the Buhari administration, which argues instead in favour of the freedom of movements of animals and their herders across Nigeria, even from all over Africa.
“For this reason, Sunday Igboho, for daring to speak out against the killings of his people, by this same herdsmen, is being hunted and those who share his views killed less than dogs, by security forces who work for killer herdsmen and also permit them to bear weapons more sophisticated than those of the security forces.
“The herdsmen undermine the constitution with impunity by not obeying anti-grazing laws already made and brazenly declaring disobedience to those being made, knowing that they have the support of the Federal Government for such treasonable acts and virtuperations.
“The blood of Olajide unfortunately further adds to those of the hundreds of thousands of Nigerians, killed by the pampered herdsmen.
“Their blood is on the neck and hands of this government, crying for justice, further soaking the nation’s flag which drips ceaselessly still with the blood of Nigerians killed by herdsmen and their ethnic militias and those armless youths, who were hacked down by security forces for agitating for police reforms.”