• en

Afenifere To President Tinubu: Establish State and Local Government Police to Tackle Insecurity

Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation Afenifere has lamented rising insecuritly in Nigeria, and proposes community engagement through town hall meetings.

National Publicity Secretary, Afenifere, Jare Ajayi

Apparently worried by what it described as the worsening insecurity in the country, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural and political organisation, Afenifere, on Saturday urged President Bola Tinubu to invoke an Executive Order for the establishment of state and local government police, while the process of amending the 1999 Nigerian Constitution continues.

While urging President Tinubu to be more decisive in tackling the worsening insecurity, Afenifere, in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, also called for the erection of close-circuit television sets and deployment of drones and modern technology for security purposes in strategic locations to end insecurity.

Afenifere noted that there were indications that Tinubu was desirous of putting an end to this deleterious menace.

The group recalled that towards the end of January this year, Tinubu approved the procurement of digital tracking tools to enhance the apprehension of bandits, terrorists and armed robbers.

“On Monday, April 22, this year, he used the occasion of addressing participants at the African Counter-Terrorism Summit which opened on that day in Abuja to assure everyone of his government’s readiness to ensure greater security. Unfortunately, recent happenings have not shown that the President’s desire in this respect is being worked upon.

“President Tinubu should get state and local government police off the ground immediately through the invocation of an Executive Order while the process of amending the Constitution continues.

“Close circuit television sets, deployment of modern technology for security purposes including drones must be effected immediately,” the group said.

Afenifere explained that its position was motivated by the recent reports of banditry and kidnapping in Ogun, Edo, Ekiti, Oyo, Kogi, Zamfara and Niger States, respectively, which made a research organisation declare Nigeria as one of the top nations where kidnap ranks highest globally.

Afenifere noted that Fulani herders and farmers’ clashes kept occurring in Osun, Ondo and Oyo states, adding that Otu, Igbeti and Alaga in the Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State were the latest victims.

The socio-political group also said: “In order to end insecurity, enhance people’s welfare and ensure the sustenance of Nigeria as one of the top investment destinations in Africa as desired by the government, there is the urgent need by the federal government and security agencies to be more innovative and decisive.”

It lamented that banditry, including armed robbery, kidnapping was still occurring on South-west roads such as Lagos-Ibadan, Ibadan-Ijebu-Ode; Akure-Ilesa-Ibadan; Ore-Ijebu Ode-Lagos, Ikirun-Osogbo-Ilesa; Lokoja-Abuja, Owo-Benin and Ibadan-Iseyin-Saki.

“Latest reports have it that on Monday, May 13, eight cocoa farmers were kidnapped at Marindoti Cocoa Farmers’ settlement in Ovia South-west Local Government Area of Edo State. Three students of Millicent Secondary School in the same area on their way to write their Senior Secondary School Examination, were also kidnapped at the same time.

“A sum of N31 million was reportedly paid to ransom three people who were kidnapped at Longe village on Ibadan-Ijebu-Ode Road last week Sunday. On Thursday, May 16, one Seliat Adeniji (nee Raji) was kidnapped in her Ebedi home in Iseyin, Oyo State. Her guard was killed in the process.

“Hon Bello Hassan representing Zurmi/Shinkafi Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives last Tuesday claimed that terrorists have sacked about 50 communities and abducted over 500 people in his area of Zamfara State as bandits overran Zurmi, the second most populous town in the state killing palace officers as well as policemen,” the group added.

Afenifere said that there was an urgent need to dig deep into the roots of the menace and to be decisive in applying the necessary measures

“The starting point is to probe into the motivation for kidnapping and related banditry. Three identified motives are economic, ideology and politics. Each of these has sub-strata and sometimes intertwine.

“For instance, the economic factor of banditry could have territorial claims as an underpinning. It can also be as a result of some interests wanting to assert political superiority. These are relatively easier to deal with if the authorities and the people in the given area are committed to dealing with it.

“The other aspect is one based on ideology. 

Most of the time such an ideology is religious or faith-based. In a situation where a given people are brainwashed to believe that only those who share the same ideology with them are qualified to live freely, the authorities and the society have a lot of work to do.

“As stated inter alia, sometimes the line between economic, ideological and political reasons for terrorism or kidnapping got blurred. While the reason may sometimes not be so clear-cut, the means of subduing the menace can be handy if the authorities are desirous of putting an end to the menace.

“The starting point is within and around the communities where the menace is rampant. As we stated in our earlier submissions on this issue, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, cultism etc. kept occurring because people are aiding and abetting the perpetrators wittingly and unwittingly. As such, it is imperative to induce, if not impose, town-hall meetings in which residents in specific places would be compelled to talk to themselves, identify themselves and be made to enter into covenants of peaceful co-existence with one another,” Afenifere explained.

Adedayo Akinwale

Follow us on: