The killings in Akinyele

AKINYELE Local Government Area in Oyo State is fast becoming a slaughter slab for innocent citizens. In the last one month, five persons have been reportedly slain in cold blood in the area. Citizens Bello Barakat, Azeezat Shomuyiwa, Grace Oshiagwu, Mojeed Tirimisiyu and a yet to be identified young woman have all been murdered by unknown assailants. The cases of female victims involved rape. Sadly, there is nothing to suggest that the carnage has stopped.It should be noted that the killings did not happen in one day; they occurred days apart and in between police investigations. That makes the situation more confounding. Naturally, there is heightened suspicion in the area and Oyo State as a whole.

It is difficult to fathom how the outlaws were able to stalk and murder their victims at a period when the area was supposed to be suffused with security officials carrying out security surveillance. Notwithstanding the motive of the killings, the victims did not deserve to be murdered by non-state actors as if there was no law and order or government in place. Perhaps it is imperative to note that citizens willingly surrendered to constitutional order, repudiated violence and, by implication, vested the government with the monopoly of violence so that the latter can exercise exclusive powers over security of life and property. The killings in Akinyele therefore represent the failure of governance in terms of security.

With what has happened  in Akinyele Local Government recently, it is becoming  clear why repeated attacks by bandits in Zamfara, Kaduna, Sokoto, Katsina and so on have often caught the security agents napping. They are either too distracted or incapacitated to respond swiftly to security emergencies and perform at the optimum. And that evidently points in the direction of defective security architecture. The architecture must be retooled in order for the government to deliver on its primary mandate of security of life and property. For instance, why and how did killings happen within a local government area at five different times within a month without any of the criminals being caught in the act? What were the security agencies, especially the police and the State Security Service (SSS) in Oyo State doing?  It is terrible that there was such a complete failure of intelligence that similar incidents were orchestrated five times within the same vicinity. That is appalling and detestable.

To be sure, what has been happening in Akinyele is symptomatic of the national security malaise.  There is an urgent need to institute systems of accountability and effective supervision and monitoring of milestones and timelines for achieving security mandates. What is measured tends to get done. Certainly, the current laissez faire disposition to accountability that permits security officials to explain away repeated and proximate incidents of murder in the same location is fundamentally flawed and incapable of putting them on their toes. Happily, though, the Oyo State government indicated that some arrests have been made. We urge it to do much more to tame the killings and bring the perpetrators to book as quickly as possible. Perhaps it should be mentioned that for some inexplicable reasons, security agents are usually lethargic and laid back during the onset of security issues when they could have been easily confronted and contained, only to start running from pillar to post when they snowball into crisis. And usually,dealing with a full blown crisis is so exacting that even victories become pyrrhic if or when achieved.

The current outlook is grim and it is imperative that official efforts be redoubled to reverse the trend. The killings in Akinyele must stop.




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