Pilot Law

Herdsmen Killings: Nigerians should be proactive in self defence


The incessant killings of innocent souls in some states by the Fulani  herdsmen has continued to generate debates and protest in the country. Prince John Oluwaseun Ijaodola of Ijaodola & Co. Ilorin, Kwara State while speaking on the issue with our JUDICIARY CORRESPONDENT, KAYODE ADEOTI advocated self defence as panacea to the menace. Excerpts:

Communal clashes seem to be taken centre stage in Kwara State in which lost of lives and property have always been the consequences of the incident. Looking at it from legal perspective, how do you think it can be addressed?

It’s a normal thing to experience communal crisis among ourselves, most of this crisis are caused by people’s disrespect to court judgement. In the case of Offa and Ijagbo, there was a judgement against Ijagbo. That of Offa and Ipe has been settled since 1959. One Mr Ibitoye from Ipe and Shayomi went to court in 1982 and 83 on behalf of Baptist convention, when they lost at the lower court, they proceeded to court of appeal and they lost again. Ipe as a community never went challenge anything in court, so I don’t see why they (Ipe) should now be attacking Offa people on their farm land. The Ipe are using police and judiciary to witch-hunt Offa. In order to address the issue, community leaders, police and the judiciary have to come out clean and ensure justice. On the issue of Ijehu (a community in Offa Local Government). The people of that community were fighting for a wrong cause. The land they were laying claims on was given to them by Esuwoye 1 in his palace. He granted not to the people that has gone to court but to the first settler on that land. The controversy on that land is unnecessary because the land belongs to the palace.

The killings of innocent people in some parts of the country by herdsmen has continued unabated…, what is your take on this?

The world ‘herdsmen’ that we use to qualify the perpetrators of this evil doers is ambiguous. Till now, the perpetrators are faceless criminals, until government come out clean, apprehend the culprit then, we can determine who the killers are. The fact that we are seeing herdsmen with ammunition doesn’t mean they are the perpetrated of this evil. Giving as assumption that herdsmen are behind the killings is compounding the problem. Instead of pursuing Dino Melaye with hundred policemen, efforts should rather be diverted into unveiling the mask behind those who are behind the incessant killings of innocent souls in the country.

The issue of herdsmen is fast making Nigerians to resolve to General TY Danjuma’s advocacy for self defence. Would you subscribe to that as a panacea for…?

Very well, I will. The matter I handled recently in court, three thugs went to a man’s house with machetes. Fortunately for the man, he was able to apprehend one of them and got hold of the three machetes. On his way to the police, another set of five thugs attacked him with machetes again, if they had killed him, what would have been the result? I totally agreed with TY Danjuma, the great means of defense is an attack. When it is obvious that an enemy is about to kill me, it is to quickly make a reprisal attack, faster than his.

Since we don’t know when the attack will come, would you advice Nigerians to start procuring guns?

Yes, one can procure gun legally. If that’s what will protect one. Government has failed to protest our lives. Government has not arrested a single person in the act.

It’s true that the judiciary is corrupt?

The question is simple, is it true that Nigeria is a corrupt nation? The people in the society which are perceived corrupt are those employed to man positions of leadership in the judiciary. Judiciary is part of the sectors in the country, so one shouldn’t expect it to be free of some corrupt practices.

On the drama surrounding the alleged involvement of Senator Dino Melaye in criminal conspiracy, the rift between him and his State Governor and the botched recall saga. What do you think all of these portend to our democracy?

Nigeria is a funny country. The drama that played out during his arrest and his recall really testified to the fact that many things in this country are not just right. He said he did not want to be tried in Kogi state, he doesn’t have right to determine that. If he had committed the alleged offence in Abuja, then he could be tried there federal capital. But the alleged offence was committed in Kogi. I appreciate the person of Senator Oluremi Tinubu who told the Assembly that if Senator Dino Melaye had given guns to criminals, let him face it. He doesn’t need to jump from the vehicle. If he had submitted himself to the police in Abuja, they will deliver him hail and healthy to the appropriate authority in Kogi

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