Rule of law must prevail

Many reactions have trailed the eviction order that was given to the Fulani occupying a particular area at the Igangan area of Oyo State by a citizen, Sunday Igboho. And many of the reactions have been against Governor Seyi Makinde who declared in his statewide broadcast on January 20, 2021 that the eviction order should be disregarded while calling on the police authorities in the state to conduct investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the crisis in the area and find lasting solution to what is gradually becoming a bad-blood between the host community and the Fulani visitors.

It would be agreed that the duty of the police as clearly stated in the Police Act includes, but is not limited to crime detection and prevention. And, in all sincerity, the governor has done well as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the state, he is not expected under any guise either to tacitly or openly support the agitation being spearheaded by Sunday Igboho because such is capable of breaching public order which will make the state ungovernable.

It cannot be said that the loss of trust and confidence in public institutions prompts the people to take matters of protection into their own hands which is actually not good for the continued existence of the country and also leading to a proliferation of self-protecting armed militia and cases of jungle justice in the society. Nonetheless, where there is a law, any order or act that is not in tandem with the provisions of such law is null and void.

However, in ensuring that the ongoing agitation does not snowball into destruction of lives and properties as was witnessed in the Hausa/Yoruba crisis in Sagamu (1999) which later resulted in a reprisal on the Yoruba in Kano and also the Jos ethno-religious crisis of 2001 amongst others, the government must as a matter of necessity and urgency prioritise accountability and access to justice for all victims and also address the conflicts between nomadic cattle breeders and their host-farming communities because, without justice, there can be no peace.

Kazeem Olalekan Israel,



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