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

Chieftainof the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, the fatherof the deceased lamented the high level of insecurity in the country, addingthat 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. 

Amidstcontroversy, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo believes that Olakunrin waskilled by suspected herdsmen, describing the incidence as a worrisome developmentfor Nigeria. 

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

ButBola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State and chieftain of the AllProgressives Congress, APC, while reacting to the incident, said he was extremelyconcerned about security but didn’t want a stigma. 

Hecountered Obasanjo, saying: “How many years ago have we faced insecurityin this country and cases of kidnapping, is Evans who was arrested and hisdisclosure then a herdsman? I don’t want to be political. The question is whereare the cows?”

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

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

Igbosocio-political organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo in a statement sympathised with Fasorantiover the murder of his daughter. The group said, “We offer Chief Fasorantiand the entire Yoruba the heartfelt sympathies of Ndigbo. The continuousrampaging, plunder, rape, kidnapping and murder of innocent Nigerians by armedFulani herdsmen have climbed to a most worrisome crescendo. The inability ofour security forces to disarm and prosecute these criminals gives credibility toa growing story of collusion.”

ThePeoples Democratic Party, PDP, in a statement issued by its spokesperson, KolaOlogbondiyan on Saturday condemned the killing and urge President MuhammaduBuhari to ensure that the perpetrators are apprehended and brought tojustice. 

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

“Ourparty is worried that security agencies are rather engaging in debates over theidentity of the killers and hurriedly pointing to a case of abduction evenbefore any extensive investigation has been carried out on the horrific anddastardly act.”

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

“Westrongly condemn this very unprofessional, unpatriotic and callous newsreportage patterns that have been employed and deployed against our people bythe section of the media. We are calling on security agencies to swing intoaction and unravel the perpetrators to bring them to justice in the shortestpossible time.” 

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