A group known as the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has said it will not adopt any of the presidential candidates without getting a firm commitment from them on the restructuring of the country and abolition of nomadic pastoralism.
The Secretary-General of the group, Dr. Kunle Olajide, said this in a dialogue with reporters in Lagos on Friday 7th of December, 2018.
Dr. Olajide said the council had not adopted any of the presidential candidates, in spite of the fact that some Yoruba leaders had adopted the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Dr. Olajide stated, “We have not declared our support for any presidential candidates. As far as we are concerned, we have our aspirations for Nigeria and of course for the Yoruba nation. We are still not satisfied and we want to discuss our aspirations and get commitments from the candidates who are willing and committed to meeting our expectations.”
The Secretary said open grazing had caused sorrows in many homes in the country.
Dr. Olajide said the open grazing must be abolished with herders compelled to adopt a modern approach to raising livestock to ensure peace in the country.
The Council chief said, “It appears that we have been invaded by these nomadic herdsmen. And up till this moment, none of the two major candidates has made any commitment to abolish nomadic grazing. The herders are kidnapping our people, killing them, they collect money and rape our women and nothing is being done to stop it.
“I have it on strong authority that the two of them own thousands and thousands of cattle. In other words, they are employers of these herdsmen and they are not touching this important matter.”
He further added, “Banning of nomadic grazing and restructuring to achieve true federalism are two main issues that we need the commitments of the candidates on. So, we have not adopted anybody and the door is still open.”