The President of Jamu Nati Fulbe, a Fulani socio-cultural organization in the South-West geopolitical zone including Kwara, Alhaji Saliu Abdulkadir, had for years preoccupied himself with rallying all Fulani nationalities in the heart of the South-West especially in Oyo State where he is based, to live peacefully with their Yoruba inhabitants.
Despite the many challenges of farmers-herders’ crisis which also spread to his domain at Gangan in Ibarapa area of Oyo South Senatorial district, he has remained unwavering in his campaign for peaceful and harmonious coexistence among the Fulani and Yoruba residents in the state.p
Reports have it that Alhaji Abdulkadir had on several occasions raised alarm over alleged killing of cows belonging to his people. He said hundreds of cows worth millions of naira have been lost. This development notwithstanding, he continues to encourage his people to be calm and not take the law into their hands. This, according to observers, is responsible for the enduring peace in his domain in recent times.
His efforts at entrenching peace and harmony among members of the Fulani community and Yoruba farmers however paid off recently when the Alaafin of Oyo, Alayeluwa Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi appointed him as the Seriki Fulani of Oyo State. The appointment and subsequent turbaning in August was described as recognition of his efforts at rallying the Fulanis to live peacefully with their Yoruba neighbours.
There were also colourful displays by Fulani artists as the monarch turbaned their leader. The excitement, glamour and displays, to the Fulani community in Oyo state were unforgettable.
The Seriki, in an interview, said, “The appointment came about as a result of clamour by the Fulanis to deepen their relationship with the traditional institution in the state under the supreme leadership of Alayeluwa, the Alaafin of Oyo. The Alaafin now decided that I deserved to be given the appointment because of my tireless efforts in bringing the people together. I have always been engaging our people on the need to foster peace and harmony with the Yoruba indigenes.
“Alaafin also reiterated this during the turbaning ceremony that his interest lies in promoting peace and harmony. I also assured the revered monarch that this appointment is a challenge for all the Fulanis in this state and we will try as much as possible to relate more with our Yoruba neighbours. This will strengthen our friendship and we would no longer see ourselves and the Yoruba as enemies. By the grace of God, this is a task that must be achieved most importantly to end hostilities between farmers and herders.”
Following his installation, the Seriki said he had called for meeting of all Fulanis during which a courtesy call was made to the Alaafin to appreciate him on the appointment and to further assure him of the readiness of the Fulani community to give peace a chance at all times. And in coordinating the peace building efforts, he said the Fulani inhabitants had been segmented into four.
He added that he has however appointed Sarki representing different districts in the state including Oke Ogun, Ibadan, Ogbomosho, Ibarapa. “The appointments are all encompassing, bringing on board all the categories of Fulanis in these areas. The leaders would now in turn brief me from time to time on developments in their domains,” he said.
The Seriki explained further that the Fulanis in Oyo State are more united to pursue issues of common interest. He also adds that the Fulanis would take advantage of their numerical strength to vote in the best candidates in the forthcoming 2019 elections.