Editor's note: The high rate of kidnapping and killings in Nigeria is worrisome. Despite the efforts by the federal government at fighting the insecurity in the country, the menace seems intractable.
In this interview with Legit.ng's regional reporter in Oyo state, Imran Khalid, the Elero of Ileroland, in Iwa LCDA, Kajola local government area of Oyo state, Oba Wasiu Oyedele Saka Olokolonigi 11, talks about the state of insecurity in Oke-Ogun generally, how his kidnapped subject gained freedom, among other issues.
Going by the high rate of kidnappings, armed robbery and other illicit acts in the Oke-Ogun area of Oyo state and Nigeria at large, what do you think is responsible for the sad phenomenon?
There is no doubt that everybody knows the cause of insecurity in Nigeria but I need to state that the police posts and stations in some of the towns in this axis are not enough. However, the towns that the available police stations are situated are far from one another.
Also, the security agents are not sufficient enough to checkmate the excesses of the kidnappers, armed robbers and other agents of darkness. On the issue of kidnappings here, Oke-Ogun as an axis of Oyo state has the biggest areas of the landmass that are being used by the kidnappers as hideouts to perpetuate their nefarious activities.
We only appeal to the governments at state and federal levels to intervene and support the traditional rulers through the establishment of community policing which is known to be closer to the people. We appreciate Governor Seyi Makinde for what he has been doing in the area of security across the state and we enjoin him to keep the flag flying.
Sir, if insecurity is not checkmated in time, what do you think will happen to the nation?.
It will cause a lot of havoc, unemployment of capable and educated ones will set in, investors will be nursing phobia on the establishment of profitable and notable businesses.
Also, indigenes' migration to other countries will be high, there will be starvation, famine, high level of poverty and mass killings among others.
As a notable traditional ruler in the Oke-Ogun axis of Oyo state, what efforts are you putting in place to address the incident?
We thank God for that, we have held several meetings with Governor Seyi Makinde on that. Likewise, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi had organised countless meetings on way forward and which have been yielding fruitful results.
Oke-Ogun has become a region in Oyo state where kidnappings are now rampant, what are you doing as a member of the traditional council in the region to nip the nefarious activities of the suspected kidnappers in the bud?
On Saturday, November 7, 2020, I conveyed a meeting that had a total attendance of all indigenes of the Ilero community which primarily centred on security issues. We gave utmost support to the police officers, vigilantes, local hunters, and other paramilitary officers on how the community and its environs would be maximally secured and protected.
Our forefathers had ways and methods of defending people in those days and which we think will be of help to us, mind you, we can't disclose each of our plans because of security reasons.
One of your subjects was kidnapped recently and a huge amount of money was doled out before he was freed, what are your roles that facilitated his freedom?
When the news of his kidnap broke out and we found it out to be true, we sent our men to the bush for his search but they did not locate him.
After some days in their captivity, the kidnappers demanded money and we needed to pay so as to avoid losing the man. Like I said, we have been making some steps which can not be disclosed for security reasons.
Youths engaged in a peaceful protest some days back but was hijacked by the suspected hoodlums, what is your view in connection with security issues?
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Peaceful protest is known with democratic practice and it must be organised and conducted in a peaceful manner that devoids of violence but it is sad that it was hijacked by the hoodlums and hooligans to commit crimes and evils.
When the peaceful protest turned into violence by the hoodlums, it was seen that they used the opportunity to loot and vandalised both government and private properties.
When we had the knowledge that some hoodlums from other towns were coming to Ilero here, we gathered ourselves and prepared not to allow them to destroy the properties and most importantly the police station that is their main target.
To God be the glory that we have no experience of vandalization and other forms of violence and lawlessness in the Ilero community.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that a retired Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Tafa Balogun appealed to officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to return to their statutory duties after they were displaced from their stations during the #EndSARS protests.
It was reported that in a statement issued on Thursday, November 12, the ex-police boss urged the police to continue to provide the much-needed security to the country, Nigeria.
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