Activists storms communities as 7-day ultimatum expires
Governor tells CP to treat those stoking ethnic tension as criminals
Popular traditional security coordinator, who recently turned freedom fighter, Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a. Sunday Igboho, on Friday stormed Ibarapa area of Oyo State at the expiration of his ‘quit notice’ to alleged kidnappers and criminals terrorising the axis.
His visit was in defiance of Governor Seyi Makinde who had warned him that he (Igboho) has no right whatsoever to order any Nigerian out of the state.
The governor went a step further on the issue yesterday when he told the state’s new Police Commissioner Ngozi Onadeko to arrest and treat like common criminals those fueling ethnic tension and fanning the embers of crisis in the state.
He mentioned no names.
According to him, no one will be allowed to cause trouble in the state under the guise of protecting Yoruba interest.
Notwithstanding, Igboho addressed a rally at Alagogo Igangan in Ibarapa Local Government Area.
He was received with excitement by youths who sang and danced before he moved to Igangan Town Hall where he addressed them.
He expressed satisfaction that “the criminals” had fled the community.
He said non-Yoruba are welcome in Yorubaland but that anyone involved in kidnapping and other crimes would no longer be accommodated in the land.
He said: “They have gone. We have sent them out of our land and they cannot come back again.
“Kidnappers cannot rule over us, they can’t take over our land from us. It belongs to us. They should stop threatening.
“Those who live with us peacefully, we are not fighting them. But how will a visitor claim one’s house from him?
“If you live with us in peace, we have no problem with you. But if you decide to kidnap and kill us, we don’t want you here.
“I assure Yoruba people, particularly those in Oyo State, that there is no danger.
“This one we have started here in Oyo State will not end here. We are going to other parts of the South-West. Tell herdsmen in Ekiti State, Ondo State and Osun states; in fact, in all South-West states, that they should get ready for us because we are coming.”
He had visited the herder community last week during which he issued a seven-day ultimatum for them to vacate the community.
Igboho, in a separate veiled message to the governor, said: “You are threatening me with herdsmen in my fatherland. You will not prosper.
“Is it the herdsmen that make the laws of the land? Have you forgotten when you were ‘bankrolling’ me when you wanted to become governor and all I did for you all during the elections? And now you dare threaten me?
“Well, I don’t believe that you are serious with your threats yet, until you bring all the soldiers and policemen to arrest me in my house before I know you are serious.”
Governor Makinde immediately countered him, saying those his administration was against were criminals, not residents doing genuine business.
He also directed security agencies to treat anyone threatening the peace of the state as a criminal.
But Igboho, in a voice message that surfaced on social media, told Makinde to stay clear of the issue.
The video surfaced on social media yesterday.
It is undated.
He threatened to disgrace the governor should he order his arrest by security agencies.
Makinde to CP: Treat as criminal elements those stoking ethnic tension
As Igboho was addressing the Igangan rally yesterday, Governor Makinde received in his Ibadan office the newly appointed Police Commissioner Ngozi Onadeko
The governor asked her to arrest and treat like common criminals those fueling ethnic tension and fanning the embers of crisis in the state.
He mentioned no names.
He also called for more synergy between the police and the Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Amotekun Corps, tasking the security outfit on joint patrol to go after the common enemy.
The governor reiterated that the Hausa/Fulani people residing in the state posed no security problem but the hoodlums and bandits, irrespective of the ethnic group or religion they belong to.
He said: “We believe Oyo State should be home to you and should make you and the team as comfortable as possible.
“We don’t want this to be a hardship posting for you. So, your welfare and that of your officers and men is paramount to us and of very high importance.
“You and your team are all coming in at a very challenging time. This is a period where false information is almost at its highest; ethnic tension almost at its highest as well.
“So, I will say you have your job cut out for you. We won’t make the job difficult. We will be sincere, open and support you.
“I am sure that since you came in, you must have heard about some things happening at Ibarapa axis of the state. I will still say it here that we are not after Hausa-Fulani; we are after criminals.
“We are after hoodlums and bandits irrespective of their tribe, religion or creed. Those are the people we are after.
“If you look into the record, when we had the armed robbery incident at Kajola, Okeho precisely, some people were killed, some were arrested and we found out that they were Ebira from Kogi State. So, we want to go after the criminals, whether they are Yoruba, Hausa or whoever they are.
“For people stoking ethnic tension, they are criminals and once you get them, they should be arrested and treated like common criminals.
“For this administration, the major pillar for us is security, because we know that all the good things we want to do economically won’t be possible in an atmosphere of chaos and insecurity. “So, when people say things that are not lawful and within the spirit of Nigeria’s constitution, it is not acceptable here. And they cannot hide under being people protecting Yoruba interest to perpetrate chaos in the state.
“If you look at our environment, why we had the EndSARS was because people got bottled up. There has been very limited access to opportunities, and when that happens, the young ones will discount the future.
“They don’t think about tomorrow but how to survive today first, and we have to address that by expanding our economy and opportunities for them. If we have to do that, we have to do it in a safe and secure environment.
“Amotekun here in Oyo State is working with us towards the same objective. We need intelligence to know about criminals before they even strike. It is one of the major reasons why we set up Amotekun; to be able to gather intelligence in all the wards in Oyo State.
“The same people that demonized Amotekun are the ones now telling us that a certain ethnic nationality should leave this place.
So, we will ensure that all the agencies are working together. I will encourage interaction with all other agencies, and once we have that synergy, we will ensure that the objective of the people going about their businesses with no fear of being molested will be attained.
“Two days ago, I was surprised to see SRS when I got to Challenge. We decided to take the Iwo Road Express and under the bridge around Old Ife Road, at 1 am, I also saw SRS. So, that is a major shift since you came in. I want to thank you for that and the officers and men who are supporting you.”
“I am sure none of you is from Oyo State but you are putting your life on the line for the people of Oyo State. The only thing we can do is to appreciate and support you, and that is exactly what we will do irrespective of what people with limited ability are doing.
“So, please do your work and rely on the government and the people of Oyo State. We will give you maximum cooperation and support.”
Speaking earlier, Mrs. Onadeko vowed to make the lives and property of residents of the state safe and secure, adding that visibility policing has started in earnest.
The new CP assured the governor that men and officers of the command would display high level of professionalism, while corruption will be shunned with a view to achieving common goal.
Onadeko said: “We are here to formally tell you that we have resumed duty. As you can see, some of us are here. So, we came with the promise that we want to make the lives and property of the people of Oyo State safe and secure. We want the people to go to bed with their eyes closed.
“Since we came in, we have started with our visibility policing. When I came in, I noticed that there were no policemen on the road. Maybe it was still the aftermath of the EndSARS issue.
“But we have been able to talk to them. We have asked them to occupy their space because it is their constitutional duty. We have to nip crime to hit the barest minimum in Oyo State.
“We are going to be professional about our work; to shun corruption, synergise and work with other sister agencies because we are all working towards one particular goal – to make sure that Oyo State is safe and secure. We know that, with this, you will be able to carry out your economic programmes for the people of the state.
“So, we promise you that we will work with you in tandem with your security vision for Oyo State. We also thank you for the provision of the SRS vehicles, the repairs you made for us. We are rejigging the SRS because we want to make them to be fully operational so that they will do what is meant to be done.”
She seized the opportunity to request for the support of the governor in securing more operation vehicles to aid effectiveness and efficiency of the operatives in the state.
Security agents, including personnel of the state’s joint security outfit codenamed Operation Burst, which comprises soldiers, police and personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), are deployed in Ibarapa to keep the peace.
On Thursday, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Olugbenga Fadeyi, said in a statement that four persons were injured when Igboho visited Ibarapa to give the ultimatum and that herdsmen also allegedly waylaid farmers returning from their farms the same Friday night and hacked four of them.
On Tuesday, the Presidency angrily reacted to a warning by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State that herders should vacate the state government’s reservation forests.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said it was “atavistic and cruel” for anyone to “define crime from the nameplates as a number of commentators have erroneously done –which group they belong to, the language they speak, their geographical location or their faith.”
He added: “We need to delink terrorism and crimes from ethnicity, geographical origins and religion –to isolate the criminals who use this interchange of arguments to hinder law enforcement efforts as the only way to deal effectively with them.
He said the governor’s warning “could set off a chain of events which the makers of our constitution foresaw and tried to guard against.”
The governor had said he would not allow a few individuals to turn the state into a haven of dare-devil criminals.
He said security reports and briefings by victims of kidnapping pointed to some bad elements masquerading as herdsmen.
Source: The Nation