A former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, yesterday said Yoruba leaders were behind Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho on his eviction of criminally-minded Fulani herdsmen and bandits, perpetrating killings and other vicious crimes in the South-west.

He has also thrown his weight behind the call for Fulani herdsmen to be licensed to carry AK-47 rifles to protect themselves and their cows, saying it would also afford other Nigerians to do the same.

He made this disclosure, in Ibadan, Oyo State capital yesterday after holding a meeting with Igboho at his residence.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Fani-Kayode said he was at Ibadan to visit Igboho, stressing that he has immense respect for the Yoruba activist.

The former minister said Igboho had demonstrated to the world that Yoruba people are not cowards.

“We are not people that can be killed, pillaged, raped and those that perpetrate these crimes are in our community. I have come to express my appreciation and solidarity with somebody that had done the right thing without violating any law in this country. That is very important,” he explained.

Fani-Kayode said it would be right and proper for the Yoruba leaders to show appreciation for the lives Igboho had saved and for his evicting the people that were committing crimes.

Fani-Kayode said the second purpose of his visit was to also let the people to know about Igboho’s message of peace and unity.

“That is to say he has nothing against the Fulani people. He has everything against criminals that come to our forests in this part of the country to come and kill. Those are his enemies and our collective enemies. That is what he is fighting against, to protect our people. There is nothing unlawful in that. It is important to reiterate that message. We must build bridges,” the former minister said.

According to him, “a good friend of mine, the Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed – we served together as ministers – he said a few days ago that Fulani herdsmen should be given the right to carry AK-47.

“Now, I disagree with that, but that was his opinion and like I told him, he is entitled to his opinions and he can voice it.

“If you go by that principle, then it makes absolute sense that if Fulanis are allowed to carry AK-47 to defend their cows and their lives if they feel threatened, then it is also logical for members of the local communities, farmers and each and every one of us should also have that right to defend ourselves against killer Fulani herdsmen and against those that are coming to kill us and rape our women.

He stressed the need for everybody to work for the progress and unity of this country, adding however, that there must be equity and fairness.

“In him (Sunday Igboho), we see strength and somebody that is ready to work with anybody in any government, governors and anybody in the federal government that is reasonable and rational and want to help us to get rid of these murderers that are in our forests. It is really a very terrible thing that is going on. I want to express my appreciation and solidarity that we are with him and to let him know that we will never abandon him. I don’t come in my own team alone, I come to represent many people in the South West, both leaders and followers. I am also here to express my sadness that his home was burnt by unknown persons,” he explained.

Fani-Kayode noted that Igboho did not retaliate or point fingers, stressing that he is a man of peace that simply wants peace for his people.

“He wants liberation and liberty for his people and he is ready to work with anybody that believes in the same thing. Finally, my understanding of our discussion is that he would do all that is possible to support and assist the efforts of Governor Seyi Makinde. The governor is my very good friend. What happened in Shasha market recently was terrible and many people were killed. I saw it and I was there. Had it not been for the effort of the governor, in terms of going to the community, working through the night to ensure that the violence did not continue, it would have been worse,” he added.