Former representative of Oyo South Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, said on Sunday that Governor Seyi Makinde’s manner of handling the rising insecurity in the Ibarapa/Oke Ogun axis of Oyo State was inept and jaundiced stating that while considering the right of the killer herders to live in any part of the country, he failed to respect the right of the host community to live full life devoid of intimidation, killings and deprivation.
Lanlehin who was a former governorship candidate of the African Democratic Party in Oyo State spoke on Sunday in a statement which he personally signed and made available to journalists in Ibadan.
Lanlehin said, “I have observed, with deep concern, the rising wave of insecurity in Oyo State, advertised in the increasing cases of murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and all sorts of criminal activities. These have now become almost a daily occurrence. It appears that Oyo State is descending into the Hobbesian state of nature where life is nasty, brutish and short.
“From Ibadan to Oyo, Ogbomoso to Oke-Ogun, and Ibarapa, nowhere can be labelled as safe and peaceful in the state. More baffling is Governor Seyi Makinde’s inept handling of the entire situation particularly his reactive and indecisive approach to tackling the most basic of challenges his administration can ever face.
“The recent incident whereby Chief Sunday Adeyemo fondly referred to as Sunday Igboho gave an ultimatum to the Seriki Fulani in Igangan is a case in point. With available information, one cannot but criticise Governor Makinde for his hasty and one-sided statewide broadcast on the incident, and his biased upbraiding of Sunday Igboho, without as much as showing empathy with the victims of the rape, kidnappings, murder, farmland destruction and other heinous crimes allegedly perpetrated by some criminal elements within the herders community, under the guise of working as herdsmen.
“As usual, the governor was just being politically correct, and excessively populist in that broadcast of his, when he should have been balanced, and not appear to pander to the whims and caprices of the supposed afflicters. Why couldn’t he have invited both parties to a meeting and set in motion the process to an amicable resolution or even pay an on-the-spot assessment to Igangan instead of rushing to broadcast his jaundiced opinion? Till date, there is no evidence of the governor having personally visited Ibarapaland in his capacity as the state’s Chief Security Officer.
“In courage and valour, Sunday Igboho was forced to defend the people of Ibarapa in their hour of distress in the true demonstration of an ‘Akinkanju Yoruba Omoluabi,’ at a time the government that is legally recognised to do so has shown crass ineptitude and grave impotence. Although one would advise that Chief Sunday Adeyemo sheathes his sword and give Seyi Makinde another opportunity to pull himself up by his bootstraps and rise to the occasion.
“Equally, I like to invite Governor Makinde to note that his misrepresentation of the absolute right to free movement under the Nigerian Constitution mischievously referenced in his statewide broadcast, should have been balanced against the legal right to self defense, i.e. the right to defend one’s person, family or property against attack or threat of attack by the use of no more force than is reasonable.
“Let me advise Governor Makinde not to be carried away, neither by the euphoria of office nor the allure of power but instead, be guided by deep introspection, wise counsel and an abiding devotion to the protection of the lives and properties of the people of Oyo State which he swore to on inauguration about two years ago.
“It is important to remind him that at the end of his tenure, he would be judged, not entirely on the number of infrastructure he claims to have emplaced or salaries he has paid but largely on the security of the environment, lives and properties he has guaranteed and strenghtened which will then provide the right pedestal upon which every developmental stride can lean on.”
In his reaction to the Senator’s allegation, the state Commisioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, said, noted that Lanlehin made the statements to score cheap political points without giving consideration to what the law of the land says on security.
The Commissioner said Lanlehin is playing to the gallery by being economical with the truth, adding, “Much as everybody is entitled to their opinions, we should understand the fact that the governor had sworn to protect the Constitution of the country which says that every Nigerian can live freely and without molestation in any part of the country. The governor stated in clear terms that what happened in Igangan is highly regrettable. Crime must be fought and irrespective of tribe, nobody should be allowed to perpetrate crime.
“Governor Makinde has stated in clear terms that the idea of tribalising crime is not allowed in the state. The former senator is merely trying to make politics out of the issue of security. If he was in the governor’s shoes how would he have handled the issue of Igangan? Would he have ordered that they should massacre the herders?
“Take for instance, the hoodlums who were arrested in the case at Kajola community were Yoruba and not herders. What we supposed to do we did. Immediately Dr Fatai Aborode was killed the Amotekun combed the forests made some arrests.”