Insecurity: Facts on ground don’t support your claims, Buhari Media Organisation tells Alaafin

Claims Presidency is making arrests

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has reacted to the letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi on the security situation in the country, particularly the South West.

Oba Adeyemi had appealed to President Buhari to show serious concern about the scary incidents of banditry, killings and kidnapping in the south-west states by suspected Fulani herdsmen as he alerted that the people in the zone were already getting agitated.

But the BMO in a statement signed by Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Madueke, chairman and secretary, respectively claimed that facts on the ground did not support the alarm raised by the Alaafin of Oyo.

The group which said the security challenges were not limited to any part of the country said the Buhari administration was doing everything possible to arrest the situation. The BMO faulted Oba Adeyemi declaration that security agents were helpless and not making arrests.

“We have acknowledged the security situation that the Oyo Monarch has alluded to, but facts on ground do not support his allegation that no major arrests of suspects have been made.

“The very first case of high profile abduction that was linked to suspected Fulani herdsmen was that of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olu Falae who was kidnapped in 2015 from his farm in Ilado village, Akure North, Ondo State.

“We recall that Falae’s captors, numbering six, were arrested by the Police, prosecuted by the Ondo State government and have since been sentenced to life imprisonment each.

“And in recent times, the Police have arrested the suspected kidnappers of an orthopaedic surgeon at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile Ife, Prof. Olayinka Adegbehingbe, and those behind the abduction of Mr. Dayo Adewole, a son of a former Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole.

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“These are high profile kidnap cases that were cracked in days, and there are also other instances where the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Police lived up to their responsibilities not only in the South West but also across the country.”

While it admitted that Fulani herdsmen have been arrested as suspects, the BMO also noted that “there were also instances where the people found to be behind the abductions were locals.”

This, the group said, was a clear indication that the emergent security challenges cannot necessarily be pinned to one part of the country.

“One example that readily comes to mind is the April 2019 incident involving the Lagos State Fire Service Director, Mr. Rasaki Musibau and six others who were kidnapped along the Ketu-Ereyun, Ikorodu-Epe road by a 7-man gang who collected N5m ransom before releasing them.

“But when the Police swung into action, two suspects identified as Blessing Boyo and Smart Alfred were arrested and paraded.

“And there is also the case of one Victor John, a suspected member of a kidnapping syndicate using military camouflages to carry out operations in Ondo State, who was arrested by the Anti-kidnapping Squad of the Nigeria Army.

“These may look like isolated incidents but it is a pointer to a new trend in criminality that has no ethnic or religious divide to warrant it being linked to a particular ethnic group.

“We also have it on record that the Police have in recent times arrested 105 suspects for armed robbery and seven for kidnapping as well as foiled a number of abduction through prompt response to distress calls,” BMO added.

The group, however, urged the security agencies to do more to stem the tide of kidnapping and banditry President Buhari acknowledged as emerging challenges in the country.

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