Osogbo –A leader of pan Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Chief Olu Falae, yesterday escaped death by the whiskers when a mobile policeman along Akure-Ilesha Express way fired a gunshot at his car.
Falae, according to reports was on his way to Ile-Ife to join other members of the pan Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere on a courtesy visit to Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi when the incident happened.
A visibly disturbed former Secretary to the Federal Government, SFG, who narrated his ordeal to newsmen in Ile-Ife before the Afenifere’s meeting with Oba Ogunwusi said he narrowly escaped death in the hands of the policemen.
He explained that his car was shot at at Ile-Oluji junction.
Falae was recently kidnapped in his Akure home by Fulani herdsmen before he was rescued by the security agents.
He expressed shock over the shooting at his car by the policemen, asking; “When was I kidnapped that they want to kill me now?’’
He added: “I was coming from Akure approaching Ilesa and I saw some vehicles ahead of me. There was a bullion van in front. The vehicles ahead of us were overtaking the bullion van so we too followed.
“I nearly passed them when I heard a shot and subsequent bang on my car. We stopped and we saw that they actually fired at the car. “They didn’t stop. We stopped at Erin-Ijesa and complained to the police at the check-point that we were fired at by some policemen escorting a bullion van at Ile-Oluji junction.
Chief Falae who expressed fear over continuous attack on him said; “I don’t know why I was kidnapped recently, why I was arrested in 1997 and locked up for two years and now shot.”
When contacted, the Osun state command of the Police image maker, Mrs Folashade Odoro said the command was yet to receive official report on the issue.
The Personal Assistant to Chief Falae, Captain Moshood Raji confirmed the incident saying;
“Yes it is true, they shot at the car as we drove pass them between Ikeji Arakeji and Ipetu in Osun State as others did .
‘’There were three vehicles including an Hilux van which was carrying the policemen, the bullion van and the pilot vehicle.
“Chief Falae’s Sports Utility Vehicle, SUV, drove pass the pilot car, so one of the policemen fired a shot at our car . Nobody was injured. Chief Falae and everybody is fine. “
He added that Chief Falae reported the matter to police authority in Akure.
Also reacting, Afenifere’s spokesman, Mr Yinka Odumakin, described the situation as: “Tragic and symptomatic of the lawlessness and depravity in our society”.
“Good that Papa’s security details have the clues that will be useful in tracking the fellows in the bullion van. They must be made accountable.”
Ooni charges Afenifere to work for Yoruba unity
During the meeting, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, charged the leadership of the pan Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere to give priority to the progress of Yoruba land irrespective of their individual political differences.
Speaking in Ile-Ife, yesterday, Oba Ogunwusi who expressed dissatisfaction over disunity among Yoruba, urged the group to put the interest of Yoruba first in all their activities.
His words, “Despite how powerful and influential we are in Yoruba land, we have allowed politicians to cause disunity among us.
In his address, the leader of Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, assured the monarch of the group’s readiness to support any course that can promote unity in Yoruba land.
Fasoranti whose speech was titled “A Gift to the Yoruba Race”, described the recent visit by Oba Ogunwusi to prominent monarchs across Yorubaland as a challenge to the group.
He said; “In the last few weeks, you have stepped out of your throne to pay epoch making visits to your brother Obas and in the process put an end to historical animosities, age-long rivalries, petty disputes and perennial conflicts.
“Kabiesi, we want to prepare you for some of the challenges you may confront in the good task you have set for yourself as the enemies of our nation who have been happy in our disunity would not fold their hands and see us come together. They will want to put all manners of strictures on our way and spanners in the work.’’
Monarch, Ashafa make case for Yoruba language
Meantime, the Ooni Ogunwusi and Senator Olugbenga Ashafa representing Lagos East have called on the Federal Government to revisit the country’s education policy to prevent extinction of indigenous languages in Nigeria.
Specifically, Ooni said indigenous language is the beauty of culture and moral values and promised to convene a stakeholders conference on the status of Yoruba language in Nigeria.
Ogunwusi, and Ashafa made case for the promotion of Yoruba language during the International Mother Tongue Day organised at Ife city, Hall Ile- Ife Osun State.