Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has said that his government has turned the heat on kidnappers and criminals in Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun axis of the state and would succeed in routing them.
Governor Makinde, in his addresses to residents of Ibarapa communities on Monday, said the state could not afford to lose more lives to insecurity. However, he said actions to be taken must be well guided in order to avoid unintended consequences.
The governor, who visited the homes of the late Dr. Fatai Aborode and others who lost their lives to the crisis in the area, including Mrs. Idowu Babarinde, who lost a child during the shooting by kidnappers who attempted to abduct a filling station owner in Idere, expressed pains on the lives that were lost in the area.
He said, “I decided to spend the night in Ibarapaland so as to let you know that if my people in this place cannot sleep with two eyes closed, I cannot also sleep with my two eyes closed in Ibadan. We are turning the heat on the criminal elements and we will surely get them.”
He stated that his government would compensate the victims of the insecurity in Ibarapa, adding that “We must have a peace and security committee at the local government level, which will be all-encompassing. Those people that are supposed to be there and can contribute meaningfully must be accommodated.
“So, I have listened to you. I came here purposely to sleep over to demonstrate that your problem is also my problem. If you cannot sleep with your two eyes closed, I also have no business sleeping with my two eyes closed in Ibadan.”
He said the government would convene a meeting with traditional rulers in area in the next few days with a view to coming up with recommendations on the situation, warning that emergency situations as such should have been brought to the attention of the government long before it escalated.
According to him, failure of communication, intelligence gathering and other factors led to the escalation of the crisis in the area. The governor said stakeholders in the area must treat emergency situations as sensitive and bring such to the attention of government on time, stating that claims that letters were written to him were faulty.
Assuring the people that the state government would fast-track its identity management policy, he said that apart from the deployment of 200 additional Amotekun Corps to Ibarapa, the agency, in collaboration with other security apparatuses, must step up action on intelligence gathering.
Warning the residents against stigmatising any particular ethnic group, he urged them to search out the real enemies who engage in kidnapping, banditry, rape and armed robbery.
He said, “I feel your pain because when I saw the news of the death of Dr. Fatai Aborode, I was seriously pained. In 2017, when we were striving to restructure the PDP, we started meetings and put some people in some local governments. Dr. Aborode was made the point man in Ibarapa North.”
The governor, who harped on the importance of state police, said, “Most of our compatriots have been cut down in their prime; we regret it and the solution is we must not lose more lives unnecessarily. Anything about security, I approve instantly because most of the things we want to do in Oyo State, ranging from economy, good education for our children and other things are hinged on a safe and secure environment.”
On trust between Fulani herdsmen and the local residents, the governor said the state would fast-track the identity management scheme that would help to identify those living in the state.
“Some of the problems have been existing for years. It is not all Fulani people that are criminals, I must tell you. Some of those caught after a robbery operation at Okeho were Igbira from Kogi State.
“What happened in Rwanda will not be our portion. If anyone wants to ignite war in Nigeria, it won’t be from here and won’t be under my own watch. We will find a solution to the challenges facing us because we know there are challenges.”