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Farmers/herders crisis: Old letter by Alaafin of Oyo recirculated as a recent message to Buhari

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Claim: A report by the Peoples Gazette claims the Alaafin of Oyo wrote the President on the security issues of the South West, noting the Yorubas have what it takes to protect themselves.

This report is misleading as Dubawa’s search found the report to be based on a recirculated letter from 2019.

Full Text

There has been unease in the SouthWest with killings and kidnappings believed to be carried out by Fulani herdsmen. While the Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, issued an ultimatum for herders to leave the state’s forest reserves, the Oyo state governor, Seyi Makinde, said issuing an ultimatum is an assault on the herders.

However, a man named Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, led youths to attack a Fulani settlement in Igangan in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State after his seven-day ultimatum for them to leave Igangan expired. It is believed that the community knows those behind the killings and kidnappings.

This attack defied governor Makinde’s order to make every law-abiding resident feel safe.

Reacting to this, President Muhammadu Buhari’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, said the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered Mr Igboho’s arrest.

In the light of this development, a  news report published by the Peoples Gazette on January 22, 2020, claims the Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi, wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari that the Yorubas have what it takes to protect themselves.

Screenshot of Peoples Gazette report.

The Peoples Gazette also published this on it its Facebook account which has over 38,000 followers. 

Screenshot of Peoples Gazette Facebook post.

This letter was also shared by Dele Momodu, publisher of Ovation Magazine which also shared this on its Facebook page

Screenshot of Dele Momodu’s Facebook post.

Verification

Dubawa conducted a keyword search which led to similar reports by the Eagles Online on January 21, 2021, and the Guardian on January 22, 2021. 

Screenshot of Dele Momodu’s Facebook post.
Screenshot of the Guardian’s report.

This search also led to similar reports in 2019 where the Alaafin wrote to the president on insecurity issues. One report by Premium Times on July 22, 2019, noted that the Alaafin of Oyo wrote to the president on herders’ invasion and other insecurity issues in the west. According to Premium Times, this letter was titled “Yoruba Question in Nigeria Conundrum”.

Screenshot of Premium Times 2019 report.

The Cable in July 2019 published a similar report.

Screenshot of the Cable’s 2019 report.

Dubawa got a copy of the letter in circulation and studied it in comparison with that issued in 2019. Dubawa noticed similarities in the recent letter and that of 2019 and decided to study it in detail.

First Dubawa noted that both letters had the same title “Yoruba Question in Nigeria Conundrum”. Also, both letters from the first paragraph to the last have the same content, word for word.

Reaching out to the sources, Dubawa reached the contact available on the Facebook page of the Peoples Gazette to state their source of the letter.

The peoples Gazette replied that their report was based on the Guardian’s report.

“Thank you. We published the Alaafin’s comments based on this report from The Guardian:https://guardian.ng/news/tackle-insecurity-now-before-its-too-late-alaafin-tells-buhari/.”

Dubawa, therefore, went further to reach the Guardian but there has been no response so far.

Dubawa also reached out to Mr Momodu via direct message on his Facebook account where the letter was shared and got no response, so far.

Dubawa further reached out to the Alaafin’s spokesperson, Bode Durojaiye, for comments on issuing any letter recently to the president. 

Mr Durojaiye said the letter was issued as far back as 2018 and is being recirculated by mischievous people.

“The open letter was written and widely published as far back as 2018. So the recent recirculation was mischief making,” he said in a telephone conversation.

Conclusion 

Dubawa’s findings showed these reports are misleading as this letter is a recirculated letter from 2019 in the wake of new security issues in the South West. The Spokesperson to the Alaafin of Oyo also confirmed the letter to be old.

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