A socio-cultural group, Afenifere Ipinle Oyo, has expressed its displeasure ovee the level of insecurity that has permeated Yorubaland, including Oyo State.
The group, in a release signed by its Secretary and Publicity Secretary, Hon. Dauda Ishola Adam and Comrade Jare Ajayi respectively, and made available to journalists in Ibadan, observed that at no time in history has the nation been enveloped in this type of insecurity.
It said, “By history, we are not just referring to the history of Nigeria, which began in 1914. Our usage of history here includes the period before the entity called Nigeria was formed. In other words, at no time in known history had any part of Nigeria, particularly Yorubaland, experienced the type of insecurity we are suffering from today.”
Stating further that the situation was now such that no day passed without reports of extra judicial killings, kidnappings, raping and all sorts of banditry leading to loss of several lives, the group condemned, in strong terms, the wanton destruction of lives and properties of the people by Fulani herdsmen who graze their cattle on farmlands and deal violent blows on whoever challenge them, lamenting, “It is horrendous. It is condemnable. It is despicable, just as it is unacceptable.”
The foremost socio-cultural organization berated the Federal Government, especially under President Muhammadu Buhari, for allowing this horrible situation to fester each passing day, calling for immediate prosecutions of the bandits and other criminal elements.
It said, “We observed that there had always been pockets of banditry in one form or another in the past. But the ease with which perpetrators escape justice since the assumption of office by President Buhari since 2015 emboldened these criminals in their dastardly act.
“This is reflected in the difficulties being faced by farmers who seek justice for the destruction of farm products, including their plantations. The victims suffer while their attackers get away with their dastardly acts. Such impunity could not but encourage the villains to inflict more pain on the hapless people.”
The group cited various incidents that happened recently, especially in Yorubaland, in which people were butchered like animals and communities sacked or threatened with violence, such as in Oke-Ogun, Ibarapa, Yewaland and in Ondo State, the group then called for a prompt restructuring of the security architecture of Nigeria with a view to vesting the security of each state exclusively in the hands of the state governors and local government chairmen in their respective spheres of influence.
It added, “A situation where a governor or a local government chairman cannot take proactive step on security challenge in his or her area, without getting permission from the federal authority is anti-people, it is anti-federal and therefore unacceptable.”
Maintaining that the horrendous way bandits were wasting the lives of innocent people was what made non-state actors to come into the fray, Afenifere Oyo said, “In other words, if security has been maintained, if Fulani bandits were not made to escape justice after inflicting pains on innocent people, there would be no need for such non-state actors to embark on what is now considered a historic mission!”
The group further called on governors in Yorubaland to engage traditional rulers and major civil based organizations in their respective states with a view to incorporating local strategies in whatever security arrangement they are making, saying, “Such organizations are knowledgeable about their areas and are willing to join hands with the government to bring the situation under control.”
It however urged Governor Seyi Makinde to continue the consultations he is making with all stakeholders in the state so as to halt security breaches as soon as possible.