State of insecurity in Oyo State in retrospect

No discerning mind can logically deny the fact that the hallmark of a good government is to ensure adequate security of lives and properties of its people, and neither can anyone who has the grasp of the Nigerian constitution successfully feign ignorance of the operational limitations of state governors across the country as the chief security officers of their respective states as espoused in paragraph 4 of section 215 of the 1999 constitution.

Many either out of sheer ignorance or blatant mischief would ignore this constitutional constraint and sanctimoniously put the blame of insecurity on the doorstep of the state governors. The painful aspect of this hypocritical tendency is the subjective criticism by these emergency public affairs analysts who, for reasons best known to them, are trying to peculiarise the issue of insecurity to Oyo State, despite the fact that no state in the country can be said to be completely secure.

One cannot forget in a hurry how the entire nation collectively rose to blame former President Goodluck Jonathan for the unfortunate kidnapping of 276 girls of Goverment Secondary school, Chibok, Borno State in April 15 2014 by the dreaded Boko Haram while the then Governor Kashim Shettima was left off the scathing criticism because understandably, he was not the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. But how the paradigm suddenly shifts and we start calling Governor Seyi Makinde out for the pockets of insecurity in the state would rather be left to imagination.

While not trying to say Mr. Governor doesn’t have any role to play in securing the state, we should not close our eyes to his commendable efforts at ensuring that there is sustainable peace in the state which include but not limited to procurement of patrol vehicles, communication equipment to security agencies and establishment of Southwest Security Network, popularly known as Operation Amotekun and setting up of security post at Onigambari village along Ibadan-Ijebu Ode road to stem the tide of kidnapping along that axis among other moral and logistic support to the security enforcers in the state.

This sanctimonious attitude of emergency critics have constrained us to chronicle the security situation under the previous administration of the late Senator Abiola Ajimobi despite the unethical effort of a section of the media to wipe this off our memory through yellow journalism.

On July 1 2016, Hon. Gideon Aremu, representing Orelope state constituency under banner of Labour Party was gruesomely murdered around 9pm while driving to his house at Akobo. Likewise Alhaji Kamoru Beyioku, the Deputy Chairman of NURTW in the state was equally assassinated in January 2013.

On April 1, DSP Ikeokwu Nwogu, DPO Agugu Division was machetted and shot dead by unknown gunmen who also made away with his service pistol at Orita Aperin. Also in March 2014, the whole world woke up to the unsavoury news of discovery of ritualists hideout in Idi Mangoro, Soka Area, Ibadan where thousands of lives were lost to ritual.

Residents of Idi Arere, Born Photo, Kosodo, Kudeti, Popoyemoja, Agbeni Ogunpa, Oke Odo, Ita Shaku, Sakapena and Gege, all within Ibadan metropolis whose beloved ones were killed in broad daylight by a herd of miscreants, their shops and buildings razed would not forget in a hurry their bitter experience in the hands of state created  terror gangs of Moshood Ekugbemi, Omo Alhaja and Ebila.

Also in November 2014, an Inspector of Police was brutally killed by suspected APC thugs during a political rally  held at the party secretariat in Oke Ado, while a Divisional Police Officer and Divisional Traffic Officer also received various degrees of gunshots during the melee. Of utmost concern is also the rival gang wars between Ilaka and garage boys around May 2015  in the ancient Oyo town where precious lives and properties worth millions of naira were lost. In April 2019, there was a report that a gang of armed robbers attacked one of Ajimobi’s aide along Ring Road, Ibadan in which a whopping sum of N357 being ferried to some banks in the city was carted away

Traders at Agbeni, Ayeye and Ogunpa markets were alive counting their losses to incessant robbery attacks in the markets during the reign of APC in the state while residents of Foko, Ita Maya, Idi Ikan, Abebi, Inalende, Mokola, Idi Aro, Agugu, Idi Obi and Oje would not love to relish what they went through in the hands of various cult groups that reigned supreme during the period under review. Not to mention countless number of residents of the state who were abducted by gangs of kidnappers who terrorised the state with Nissan Micra mini car.

While we are not making this chronicle to justify the insecurity in the state but to let the public know that it wasn’t an eldorado afterall, despite the undeniable and commendable efforts of the late Senator Abiola Ajimobi effort to provide adequate security for the people.

As Governor Seyi Makinde would remark, those who are instigating violence and unnecessary killings in the state for political gains should know that they can only rule over the living and should not forget that it is God that gives power, thus the Pakutes and Jagbas of this world whose body language and utterances have been revealing their satanic desire to make the state ungovernable for the present administration appears to grab power at all cost in 2023 should check their inordinate ambition and note that blessings do not come through might but divine intervention.

Junaid sent this piece from Ibadan.

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