Raging insecurity situation in Oyo: Way forward

Oyo state has been constantly in the news for the wrong reasons lately on account of the volatile security situation all over the state. BAYO AGBOOLA reports on the alleged way forward even as stakeholders are at each other’s throats.

The unstable security situation in and across Oyo state in recent times is becoming more worrisome to the natives as well as residents in nearly all parts of the state judging from rising insecurity index.
From Akinyele local government in Ibadan, Beere, Odo osun, Labiran beere, Esu Awele, Ileba, Oja Oba, Alagolo, Lion base, Omiyale, Kobomoje, Ita ege, Eleta, Agbongbon, Tewogbade, Arapaja, Isale Ijebu, Sogoye, Akobi, Popo, Asuni, and Bonfoto and other areas of the state capital to Idere, Igboora and the entire Ibarapa land to Oke Ogun, Oyo township and Ogbomoso axis of the state, it has been tales of insecurity ranging from kidnapping, killings, armed robbery, gunmen attacks and hoodlums invasion as well as jungle justice in some instances.

Recent genesis

In the last three months, the security situation in the Pace Setter state has been nothing to write home about despite spirited efforts by the state government and  security agents at curbing and curtailing the situation. The security situation in the state turned upside down at the wake of the 2020 #EndSARS protest which saw the entire Nigeria Police Force withdrawing into its cells while hoodlums took over the streets particularly in Ibadan and other major towns.

To some in the state, the situation particularly the issue of incessant kidnapping in Ibarapa land axis of the state is getting messier on a daily basis going by happenings in the area concerning kidnapping and killing of innocent Nigerians.Going down memory lane, about 25 people have been kidnapped in and across the state recently with five of the kidnaped cases recorded in the last three weeks. Also, no fewer than three people were killed including a popular trado-medicine practitioner popularly known as Oko Oloyun, a farmer based in Igangan, Dr Aborode and Alhaja Sherifat Adisa, a filling station owner in Igboora. 

Expectedly, the insecurity situation is now generating controversy in the state with several bodies and political parties raising issues on what they termed disturbing insecurity situation in the state. This is more so with the Ibadan depot of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) threatening  to shut down all filling stations in the state over the increasing wave of killings, kidnapping and attacks on its members if the security situation is not improved upon. To that extent, it has since directed the shutting  down of all filling stations in Ibarapa land axis of the state.
IPMAN in the statement by its chairman, Ibadan depot, Mrs Bukola Mutiu, emphasised that the closure of all filling stations in Ibarapa area of the state is a warning to the state government to urgently arrest the growing trend of killings and kidnapping of petroleum dealers in the state. It added that the  killing of Mrs Adisa in Igboora was one too many, noting that except the trend, all filling stations in the state would be shut down. 

“This killing and kidnapping has become so rampant as a series of cases have been coming up recently. Last Saturday, one of us, Alhaja Sherifat Adisa, who was the owner of Subawah Petroleum, was kidnapped at about 7:30 p.m from her office and two people were also killed in her station. Her corpse was found at about 11:00 p.m close to her station. However, IPMAN has decided to close down all petrol stations in Ibarapa till something is done by the government to protect them and if something is not done, the shutdown of all petrol stations would be extended to every part of the state.”

APC blames security lapses on Makinde

The opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) on its part blamed the increasing spate of insecurity in Oyo on what it termed the failure of Governor Seyi Makinde to build on and make good use of the security template left behind by the immediate past administration of Senator Abiola Ajimobi. It said, “Without mincing words, the state under Goverror Makinde is now becoming  synonymous with high and low profile violence.”
APC  caretaker publicity secretary in the state, Dr Abdul Azeez Olatunde, said it is now time for concerned stakeholders in the state to advise Gov Makinde to provide security for lives and property and leave politicking for the future.”imagine innocent woman, Alhaja Serifat Adisa, the CEO of SUBAWA filling Station that was kidnapped and murdered on Saturday 2nd January 2021 in front of her filling station, among other high and low profile violence that has now become synonymous with Oyo state under the government of Engr Seyi Makinde. 
“Today, it is the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) that is threatening to shut down its retail outlets in Oyo because one of them was affected, who’s next? 

“This is why we are calling all concerned to advise Gov Seyi  Makinde to provide security for life and property and leave politics for the future. While PDP government at the centre was groping for solution to the security challenges of Nigeria, Sen Abiola Ajimobi came out with the novel Operation Burst which secured Oyo state people for the eight solid years of his government which the good people of Oyo state have attested to with accolades right, left and center at the expiration of their tenure.” 

Police’ charge

Apparently disturbed by the situation, the state police command on its part directed residents in the state particularly those it alleged of having firearms in their possession and are making use of such to masterminding inter-gang clashes towards looting and conducting other social vices with the unlawful possession of firearms to without wasting time surrender the firearms to the nearest police station in their interest.The state police command emphasised that having firearms in possession is among other things against the executive order of the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, signed on May 22nd, 2019 with effect from June 1 2019 in which it revoked the right of private individuals’ licenses on fire arms or shotguns in Nigeria. It therefore called for submission to the nearest police station across the length and breadth of the nation without the exception of Oyo state”.

Makinde sets up committee on security

Also, Governor Seyi Makinde on his part recently raised a committee comprising   security agencies and family heads in Ibadan North-east and Ibadan South-east local governments areas to mediate between the government and hoodlums causing unrest in Ibadan, even as the hoodlums were said to have promised to cease fire following appeal by their family heads and Commandant of the state security network, operation Amotekun in the local government areas in question.
With the unfolding scenarios in and across Oyo especially in Ibarapa land, it is a known fact that adequate security measures needs to be put in place in the area and the entire state to, among other things, enhance the much- needed development of the state and as well ensure that people of the state sleep with their two eyes closed unlike the present situation whereby no one is safe in and across the state especially with the daily increase of insecurity arising from kidnapping, killings and gunmen/hoodlums attacks and violence.

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