Tunde Bakare, the Serving Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, revealed that he has spoken with Sunday Adeyemo, a Yoruba rights activist popularly known as Sunday Igboho, over the herdsmen crisis rocking the South-West region.
Bakare disclosed this in an Instagram Live Chat with veteran journalist, Dele Momodu, on Tuesday.
Youths said to be supporters of Igboho, who is the Akoni Oodua of Yoruba land, had on 22 January, reportedly attacked communities occupied by the Fulanis in Iganga, situated in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State, killing three people and setting ablaze properties in the process, including the house of Salihu Abdukadir, the Seriki Fulani of Oyo.
The youths were allegedly executing Igboho’s order to evict all persons of Fulani extraction away from the community after a seven-day ultimatum, which expired on 22 January.
The Yoruba nationalist has accused herdsmen of perpetrating crimes ranging from kidnappings, killings, rape to invasion of farmlands with their cattle in the South-West region.
The action led to various northern groups, including Miyetti Allah and the Arewa Consultative Forum, calling for those who perpetrated the act to be held accountable and warning that retaliatory attacks could be launched by the Fulani if concrete decisions are not made by both the Federal and state governments.
But Bakare said immediately he heard of the eviction notice, he contacted Igboho to discuss with him as he knew trouble was looming if the threat was eventually carried out.
According to the cleric, he said a man who is asking for justice cannot be wrong but that he told the Yoruna activist to find an alternative as two wrongs cannot make a right.
He said: “Immediately, Sunday Igboho gave that ultimatum, I knew there was trouble if nothing was done immediately. And he carried out what he said he would carry out.
“What did I do? As an individual, I found a way of reaching out to him (Igboho). I have never met him before, never spoken to him before but I reached out to him and after a while, he called me and I said, I appeal to you by the mercies of God, two wrongs cannot make a right, you have proved your point, let us find alternative solution so that there would be no bloodbath.
“He promised to come and see me in Lagos and I had made preparations for him to come but unfortunately, his father took ill and he had to take him to the hospital.
“I followed also to ensure I prayed for the father. I told him, I am not saying you are right or you are wrong, that is not the issue but please, if you carry out this threat, it would lead to something bigger than you and you do not want to go down in history as someone who had good intention of defending the rights of his people but ended up bringing them a bloodbath.
“He thanked me and then he said he would find time to come to Lagos.”
Bakare also said there could be 10,000 Sunday Igbohos in the country if nothing is being done to resolve ethnic crisis across the nation.
He called on security agencies to bring all perpetrators of killing, kidnapping and rape cases in Ibarapaland and across the country to book.
He said: “Let us not throw legal semantics with this issue. When people are being slaughtered and being killed and this man is reeling out the names of those who are killed and nobody has disproved that they were truly killed, whoever killed those people if they are not brought to book, then, you cannot be asking a man who is saying I want justice to say he is wrong.
“Two wrongs don’t make a right, I am not asking him to go kill anybody, I’m not asking him to take laws into his hands but I am saying would you say that those who are killed should just die for nothing?
“Where were the police and security agencies when those people were being killed? If their killers were not brought to book, we could have more than 10,000 Sunday Igbohos in one day if care is not taken.”