THE Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, has written a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari over insecurity in Nigeria, especially in the South West.
The first-class monarch enjoined Buhari to decisively take immediate steps to re-establish confidence in his government and demonstrate the capacity of the state to protect all legitimate interests.
He warned that the pre-colonial military structures of the Yoruba have not been totally collapsed
The letter dated June 24, 2019, and entitled: ‘Yoruba Question in Nigeria Conundrum,’ Alaafin placed 17 salient issues threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria if not pragmatically addressed without bias.
Oba Adeyemi noted that he has never been timid or shy of his total support for the success of Buhari administration to take the country to the Promised Land since he came to power on May 29, 2015.
He said his confidence in Buhari “remains unshaken to date. In recent time however, I am worried about the security situation in the country, especially in the South West geo-political zone, nay the entire Yoruba speaking area of the country including Kwara, Kogi and Edo States.
“This has to do with the incessant and increasing menace of Fulani herdsmen that have laid siege in almost all the highways of Yoruba land. Whether in Owo, Akure, Ilesa/Ife-Ibadan road or Ibarapa zone and Ijebu area of Ogun State, the story is the same.
“I have held series of consultations with opinion moulders and eminent Yoruba leaders across board about the menace of these cattle herdsmen with such assault like raping of our women and in some occasions, in the presence of their husbands. That is apart from massive destruction of our agricultural lands; which ultimately points to imminent starvation.
“On top of it all is the menace of professional kidnappers usually in military uniforms. What is more worrisome about the kidnapping notoriety is what looks like impunity which these kidnappers enjoy their nefarious activities. After due consultations with Yoruba leaders and as the pre-colonial head of the Yoruba nation, we are worried by the audacity of these lawless people in effecting their illegal acts in broad daylight on our usually bushy highways without any arm of security being able to do anything. Worse still is the confidence with which they demand ransoms and collect such illegal levies at designated spots without any arm of security being able to lay siege on them as it was the practice in the recent past.
“Now, we cannot even talk of parading suspects, when in actual sense, no major arrests have been made in this part of the country. Without arrests, we cannot talk of their facing of the law. Unfortunately, and painfully indeed, in the face of the apparent helplessness of our security agencies, where do we go from here?
“It is at the wake of this manifest frustration of our people that our people have found it unavoidable, even though reluctantly to resort to alternative measures to safeguard their lives and property. Suffice to say that is most part of Yoruba land, their pre-colonial military structures have not been totally collapsed. Hence, such structures like Odua People’s Congress, Agbekoya and other vigilance groups.
“Having stated the above, and having established my premise as a stakeholder in your administration in the firm belief that we all believe in the Nigeria project, kindly permit me, Mr. President, to make the following points and submissions as the Alaafin of Oyo, the King and Head of all Yoruba at home and in the diaspora and the Chief Custodian of Yoruba culture and values.
“The people of Yorubaland in the traditional six State of the South-West geo-political zone and extending to some parts of Kogi, Kwara and Edo State live in palpable fear because of new wave of insecurity of life and property they now witness on a daily basis and which is alien to them. This new uncomplimentary development is not unrelated to the new wave of criminal activities usually associated with banditry, armed robbery and lately, kidnapping and rape of genuinely innocent and law-abiding citizens. I remember when these nefarious activities were first noticed in Oyo/Oke Ogun area of Oyo State, I took proactive steps to stem the tide and to amicably normalize relations between farmers and herders. Our initiative succeeded because we were dealing with genuine farmers and herders who had a commitment to Nigeria and who were interested in promoting their economic activities in a peaceful, prosperous and united Nigeria.
“However, it is becoming obvious that the nature and character of banditry and kidnapping today are different from what they used to be. Today, it is not merely infraction in the course of doing business, but blatant and criminal violation of the constitutional right to life and liberty of innocent citizens of Yoruba land. A few publicly known instances will suffice.
“Certain individuals were kidnapped along Erio-Aromoko road, Ekiti State. They were tortured and exposed to danger in the forest for upward of two weeks. These victims included the Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikole Branch, Adeola Adebayo whose decomposing body was eventually found after a ransom price of four million Naira had been paid.
“Two officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps both Yoruba were picked up along Ilesa-Akure highway. In the process of this kidnap, an unnamed individual died.
“Musibau Adetumbi, a legal practitioner based in Ibadan was going to attend an Appeal Court session in Akure when he was kidnapped along Ilesa-Akure highway. Professor Adegbehingbe, a surgeon at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife was adopted along Ibadan-Ile-ife highway. Dr. Muslim Omoleke, the Administrative Secretary of the National Electoral Commission was kidnapped around Ilesa, Osun State. Mr Ayo Oladele, an employee of Guinness Nigeria and an Old Student of Christ School, Ado-Ekiti was adopted and taken away and lately, Dayo Adewole, son of a member of your 2015-2019 executive council and Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole was kidnapped on his farm at Iroko, a village along Ibadan-Oyo road.” – The Sun
– July 22, 2019 @ 8:45 GMT |