The pan Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, has called on the federal and state governments as well as security agencies to put a halt to the hike in insecurity breaches in the country so as to prevent the establishment of camps for the Internally Displaced People in the south as has been happening in parts of the north.
In a press release issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the organization, Comrade Jare Ajayi, the body observed that the spate of attacks on communities and on individuals in the South has escalated thus engendering fears in the people in regard to their personal safety.
He urged the state governors to meet President Muhammadu Buhari and leadership of the National Assembly on the need to establish state police ‘as a matter of urgent necessity’.
“From all indications, state governors have a lot of clout because the Constitution invests them with a lot of powers. They should, as chief security officers of their respective states, impress it on the powers that be in Abuja that the country is now in such a serious crossroads securitywise that they must be allowed to take the bull by the horn. They can do this by having state police”.
Afenifere spokesman added that should the governors in all the 36 states of the country could not agree on this matter, governors in the South should go to Abuja to get this done as “there is no other way”.
Reports of armed attacks on communities, religious places, farmlands and sometimes homes occur almost every week if not daily in different parts of the country. Such used to be restricted to the north, north-east especially. But today, it has spread even to the South which used to be safe. It would be recalled that the displacement of people by terrorists and militias led to the setting up of camps for those who survived attacks on their settlements. Reports have it that people running into millions are in various Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs’) Camps in different parts of some northern states. Predictably, life in such camps is not a bed of roses.Even some dwellers in some communities have to be paying ransom or levy to terrorists for them to be allowed to stay and earn a living. Farmers are more affected hence the high prices of foodstuffs as fewer people are able to cultivate farmlands and harvest their farm products. When coming to power, President Buhari promised Nigerians to tackle at least three main afflictions bedevelling the country; insecurity, corruption and the dwindling economy. In none of the three key areas can Nigerians doff their hats for the administration seven years down the line.On Tuesday June 21, 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari directed security agencies to explore every means possible to immediately secure the release of passengers kidnapped by gunmen from the ill-fated Kaduna-bound train months ago. The gunmen attacked the train in March and abducted several passengers.The President’s directive last Tuesday was not the first, not the second, not even the third along the same line. On March 29, 2021, the National Security Adviser, Alhaji Munguno, had announced that the President was so worried about the growing insecurity in the country that he ordered his security chiefs to “take out” terrorists, kidnappers and their sponsors. Similar orders and directives had been given before and after that. Unfortunately, it was as though the more such directives were given the more ferocious the terrorists and bandits become. For it was after several of such directives that the Owo Massacre in which more than 40 people lost their lives. Owo is in Ondo State. Several people in Kaduna, Nassarawa, Benue, Borno, Plateau, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu etc. had experienced the same fate.Over the weekend, two pastors in Kaduna and Edo States were brutally killed by terrorists who kidnapped them. Fr. Vitus Borogo, a priest serving in the Archdiocese of Kaduna, was killed on June 25 at Prison Farm, Kujama, along Kaduna-Kachia Road, after a raid on the farm by Terrorists while Fr. Christopher Odia was kidnapped from his rectory at St. Michael Catholic Church, Ikabigbo, Uzairue, Edo State, around 6:30 am on June 26. In the case of the Edo Catholic priest, he was killed even after a ransom running into millions was reportedly paid for his life.Earlier this month, June, indigenes of Kwari village in Jibiya Local Government Area of Katsina said that over 80 people were kidnapped by bandits who invaded their community and set their food barns and local shops on fire. Last week Thursday, an unspecified number of residents of Rahamawa and Shagari low-cost housing estates of Katsina State abducted by bandits.Reports have it that the attackers came in broad daylight.Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, while hosting members of All Souls Church, Ibadan on a condolence visit to his office on Wednesday last week, repeated an alarm he has been sounding lately, to wit: forests in the south western part of Nigeria have been infiltrated by armed bandits who plan to overrun the land at any time. The team was led by the Church’s council chairman, Dr Wonuola Adewunmi. In a manner suggesting his frustration with the situation, the governor called for international assistance to combat terrorism in the country. The governor said: “We have terrorists in Nigeria. We need the world to assist Nigeria.The frequency and severity of attacks in the South Western State made Governor Akeredolu to give a directive that Close Circuit TV (CCTV) Cameras be installed in places that members of the public gather often such as churches, mosques, schools, hospitals, market places, motor parks etc. Afenifere commended Governor Akeredolu on it and urged other governors, especially those in the south west to emulate him.“But given the limitations of state governments in the control of security apparati in their respective states, it is incumbent that they are allowed to transform their present security organisations such as Amotekun into a full-fledged Police so that they would be in a better position to effectively utilize the information gathered from the CCTV monitoring”.The Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence Samuel Kanu-Uche last week revealed that the kidnappers who abducted him and others took them to a gully full of corpses of beheaded victims. He added that those who captured them were from Mali and Sudan. The prelate, who, along with some other officials of the church were freed after the payment of N100 million ransom, maintained that there was a grand conspiracy against the Nigeria state by some forces. He was however confident that God would neutralize such evil designs.On Saturday, June 18, 2022, armed bandits suspected to be Fulanis, attacked youths in Alaga, Oke ogun area of Oyo State inflicting serious injuries on them. A similar thing was said to have occurred around the same area about a month ago. The people of that axis of Oyo State, like their counterparts in Ibarapa area, are living in fear with some of them forced to leave their ancestral homes for safer climes. Earlier this month, Oke ogun Council of Elders after a meeting presided over by its President, former Minister of State for Agriculture, Otunba Bamidele Dada, OON, had raised an alarm that their area has been infiltrated by bandits suspected to be Fulanis who are not native of Nigeria. And they have been causing mayhem in the area.Reports have it that bandits who were displaced in Ibarapa area of Oyo State are hibernating in Oke ogun area of the state. And they are armed. Ajayi then commended Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State for directing that as much as 500 more personnel be employed to strengthen Amotekun in the state.Penultimate week, another Methodist Bishop of Jebba Diocese, Right Reverend Aderogba, his wife and their driver, were kidnapped on Oyo-Ogbomoso road in Oyo State. Ransom running into millions of Naira were paid before they were released by their captors. On Tuesday June 21, 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari directed security agencies to explore every means possible to immediately secure the release of passengers kidnapped by gunmen from the ill-fated Kaduna-bound train months ago. The gunmen attacked the train in March and abducted several passengers.In a similar vein, gunmen suspected to be kidnappers, on June 14, this year, attacked the Celestial Church of Christ, Oshofa Parish at Wasimi, Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State and abducted two persons.The abducted persons were Assistant Shepherd of the Parish, Rev. Oluwaseun Ajose and a Sunday School Teacher, identified as Mr. Dagunro Ayobami.Report by the Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) indicated that at least, 2,968 people were killed while 1,484 were abducted in Nigeria from January to March 2022 alone. On how Nigeria got into this sorry pass, Ajayi surmised that poverty, injustice, impunity, corruption and inequality are parts of the explanation for the crisis. He noted that since the oil boom of the 1970s, the gap between Nigeria’s extremely poor and the super-rich has continued to widen. Promises made by governments and those in power were broken engendering frustration in the people.The lawmaker representing Odeda State Constituency at the Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Oludaisi Elemide in July last year cried out over the insecurity in his constituency as typified by the killing Olokemeji-Olowo in his constituents by suspected Fulani herdsmen.In March this year, Residents of Araromi Orita community in Ado-Odo, Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, had called on the state governor, Dapo Abiodun to intervene in the insecurity challenge in the area. This was on the wake of the attack on the village by a gang of hoodlums as attested to by the Baale (Head) of the community, Chief Olusegun Odeyemi.
Reports have it that last week Wednesday, bandits killed two people and abducted 22 others in Rafin Daji area of Abaji, near the country’s capital city, Abuja.The situation had reached such a height that Zamfara state government, joining its Katsina State counterpart, asked residents of the state to ‘buy guns to defend themselves’ against terrorists who are making life difficult for them.
Afenifere decried the step taken by Zamfara state government maintaining that asking everyone to carry gun is not the solution to the problem. If anything, such a directive is an open declaration of failure on the part of the government.“This is why we are strongly advocating for the establishment of State Police”, Ajayi reiterated.