How Nigerians React To Killing of Afenifere Leader’s Daughter, Funke Olakunrin

The killing, last Friday of Funke Olakunrin, the second daughter of Afenifere leader, Reuben Fasoranti by suspected herdsmen has generated different reactions from different Nigerians. Shortly after the killing, police authorities mobilized for a hunt of the killers, with a promise to apprehend them. But there is outrage across the country as insecurity has continued to worsen. The police in Ondo State said Olakunrin was killed between Kajola and Ore along Ondo-Ore Road. “It happened at a spot between Kajola and Ore, where some hoodlums numbering about 15, attacked two vehicles, one Toyota Land Cruiser, and one Camry.”

Funke Olakunrin Photo
Funke Olakunrin, daughter of the leader of the Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere, Reuben Fasorantin

Chieftain of the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, the father of the deceased lamented the high level of insecurity in the country, adding that Nigeria is now at war.

“We just finished Synod and we met there and then she came to greet me at home, informing me that she would be traveling back to Lagos and the next thing I heard was that she had been murdered on the way,” the 93 years old man lamented. 

Amidst controversy, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo believes that Olakunrin was killed by suspected herdsmen, describing the incidence as a worrisome development for Nigeria. 

“I must say, Nigeria, as a whole, is diminished by the manner of Funke’s death. We deplore this dastardly act and seize this opportunity to call on governments at all levels to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that our security agents vigorously pursue and find the perpetrators of such heinous crime and make them face the full weight of the law. We must, together, find solution to all acts of insecurity in the country, particularly acts of banditry, kidnapping, robbery and killing by the suspected Fulani herdsmen.”

But Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, while reacting to the incident, said he was extremely concerned about security but didn’t want a stigma. 

He countered Obasanjo, saying: “How many years ago have we faced insecurity in this country and cases of kidnapping, is Evans who was arrested and his disclosure then a herdsman? I don’t want to be political. The question is where are the cows?”

Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, lamented that “Securing lives and properties of Nigerians is the primary responsibility of the government. What is happening to us in Yorubaland at the moment if not urgently curtailed by the government may force our people to come with a communal security approach which may not augur well for the unity of this country we have always laboured for.”

Similarly, Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, and leader of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, Gani Adams described the killing as ‘one too many’. He said, “We only want the whole world to know what has been done and being done to our people. The Yoruba ethnic nationality will react to the killing of the daughter of a senior leader of the Afenifere. The group should not be blamed when that happens.”

Igbo socio-political organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo in a statement sympathised with Fasoranti over the murder of his daughter. The group said, “We offer Chief Fasoranti and the entire Yoruba the heartfelt sympathies of Ndigbo. The continuous rampaging, plunder, rape, kidnapping and murder of innocent Nigerians by armed Fulani herdsmen have climbed to a most worrisome crescendo. The inability of our security forces to disarm and prosecute these criminals gives credibility to a growing story of collusion.”

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan on Saturday condemned the killing and urge President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the perpetrators are apprehended and brought to justice. 

“Heartrending that under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, our nation has become a killing field and large funeral parlour with insurgents, bandits and assassins having a field day; Waylaying and killing innocent compatriots, especially those making very useful contributions to the development of our nation.

“Our party is worried that security agencies are rather engaging in debates over the identity of the killers and hurriedly pointing to a case of abduction even before any extensive investigation has been carried out on the horrific and dastardly act.”

But like Tinubu said, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, insisted that the killer of Olakunrin were not herdsmen. It said, “The association was shocked on how a section of the media in collaboration with elements in the country is using the opportunity to fuel crisis in Nigeria.

“We strongly condemn this very unprofessional, unpatriotic and callous news reportage patterns that have been employed and deployed against our people by the section of the media. We are calling on security agencies to swing into action and unravel the perpetrators to bring them to justice in the shortest possible time.” 

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