The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba AbdulRasheed Adewale Akanbi Telu 1, has cautioned the Yoruba against calls for war in the face of the current insecurity in the Southwest, saying the lesson he had learnt during the protracted Liberian War is still fresh in his memory.
In a statement, reacting to the widely-publicized letter which the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, Oba Akanbi said he found himself in the thick of the war and fought on the side of Charles Taylor’s troop.
While the Oluwo acknowledged the concern which Oba Adeyemi expressed in his letter to President Buhari, he, however, said self-help or self-defence is not the solution to the insecurity, stressing that no zone of the nation is exempted from the ongoing menace.
Oba Akanbi stated that war is easy to invite but difficult to chase away. During war, he maintained, there is no law, except the law of self-preservation, which reduces social status to nothing as everybody would be struggling to remain alive.
“Parents would run for safety abandoning their children and property. Women and female children would be subjected to rape before their husbands and fathers with the fathers watching helplessly.
“I know what I passed through during Liberian War fighting on the side of Charles Taylor. That is more reason I would not subscribe to any call which encourages taking up arm to settle the insecurity problem which the entire country is currently facing.
“I am not undermining the intention of the Alaafin but as a war veteran, I am in the best position to offer appropriate advice. If I keep quiet over it and something untoward happens tomorrow, I would be an irresponsible traditional ruler. I am repeating it that the cost of war is usually heavier than the cost of settlement,” he said.
The Oluwo insisted that Yoruba and Fulani had enjoyed a good relationship for over 100 years, charging President Buhari to be more pro-active in his nation-building efforts.
He affirmed that Nigeria is a blessed country, which should not be allowed to go the way of the former Soviet Union.