Alaafin Raises Alarm Over Insecurity, Asks Buhari To Act Fast

The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, has raised the alarm on the growing insecurity in the country asking President Muhammadu Buhari to act fast.

In a June 24 letter to the President titled: “Yoruba Question in Nigeria Conundrum”, Oba Adeyemi observed that the country is united in grief over the spate of terrorism, kidnapping, killings, rape and other crimes.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo began a tour of the Southwest on Saturday to confer with traditional leaders over the way out of the problem. He met with the Awujale of Ijebu land Oba Sikiru Adetona and Akarigbo of Remo Oba Adewale Ajayi.

Prof. Osinbajo is expected to meet with other royal fathers in the zone this week.

He said: “The people of Yorubaland in the traditional six states of the Southwest geo-political zone and extending to some parts of Kogi, Kwara and Edo states live in palpable fear because of new wave of insecurity of life and the property they now witness on a daily basis and which is alien to them.

“This new uncomplimentary development is not unrelated to the new wave of criminal activities usually associated with banditry, armed robbery and, lately, kidnapping and rape of genuinely innocent and law abiding citizens.”

The monarch said the Yoruba may revive their pre-colonial military structures, which have not been totally collapsed, in their desperate need to defend their people, stressing that the military structure will enjoy the comprehensive backing of Yoruba in the Diaspora.

The  Alaafin said the onus was on the President to restore security, thereby building confidence in his administration.

The monarch said the activities of suspected herdsmen who laid siege to highways in Yorubaland, particularly in Owo, Akure, Ilesa, Ibadan, Ife, Ibarapa, Ijebu and Ekiti are worrisome to the race.

Also, two eminent Nigerians, Second Republic Governor of Kaduna State Alhaji Balarabe Musa and Femi Falana (SAN), lamented that Nigeria has failed to guarantee security of lives and property.

In their view, Nigeria is gradually sliding into an emergency. The duo, in their joint statement, urged the President to seek help beyond his administration and overhaul internal security by considering suggestions by conferences and panels set up to dissect the sensitive issue.

Urging President Buhari to act with speed, Oba Adeyemi, who catalogued the onslaught against innocent Yoruba sons and daughters by kidnappers, lamented that the attacks were unprovoked.

Oba Adeyemi said: “”It is trite saying that a stitch in time saves nine. For me, and relying on ancient wisdom, the dilemma of a possible breakdown of state authority and power could still be managed and the slide to anarchy arrested.

“Historically, and even now, ethnic relations between the Yoruba and the Fulani had been managed adroitly through excellent statesmanship and participatory administration of inter-ethnic group relations. I have had many instances of settling farmer/herder disagreements in my Palace to the extent of instituting workable modalities for inter communal conflict management and peace building.

“What is strange is the new wave of criminally-minded Fulani groups.

What is again disappointing is the ease with which these criminals will leave our country should there be anarchy in the land. They have other places to return to, but Nigerians don’t have another country apart from here.”

Describing the grave security situation as “a serious national emergency”, he lamented that the Federal Government has been helpless in the face of the consistent attacks by suspected herdsmen.

The monarch also alleged compromise on the part of the government and security agencies, pointing out that decisive actions have not been taken against the criminals.

Oba Adeyemi said Nigeria’s image had been dented abroad by the security situation, which has necessitated travel restrictions on Nigerians by some countries.

He advised the Federal Government to re-establish confidence in his government and demonstrate the capacity of to protect lives and property.

Oba Adeyemi said following due consultations, the Yoruba had resolved to take their destiny in their hands by resorting to alternative security measures aimed at safeguarding their areas.

He said: “It is at the wake of this manifest frustration of our people that our people have found it unavoidable, even though reluctantly to resort to alternative measures to safeguard their lives and property. Suffice to say that is most part of Yoruba land, their pre-colonial military structures have not been totally collapsed. Hence, such structures like Odua People’s Congress, Agbekoya and other vigilance groups.”

“Having stated the above, and having established my premise as a stakeholder in your administration in the firm belief that we all believe in the Nigeria project, kindly permit me, Mr President, to make the following points and submissions as the Alaafin of Oyo, the King and Head of all Yoruba at home and in the diaspora and the Chief Custodian of Yoruba culture and values.”

Falana and Musa, who cautioned against the ethnicisation of reactions to the insecurity challenge, said the solution is for the Federal Government to confront the worsening situation squarely and honestly.

They urged law enforcement agencies to fight crimes competently and strictly according to the law, adding that the ethnic and religious identity of criminals are not important considerations.

Musa and Falana suggested that the police and other security agencies should be equipped and organised to perform their duties.

They added: “The President should address the nation specifically for the purpose of giving assurance of his commitment to the unity of Nigeria amidst adequate security. It is also the duty of genuine lovers of peace, freedom and development of Nigeria to speak up to save the nation from descent of anarchy.”