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How To End Insecurity In Osun

How To End Insecurity In Osun
  • PublishedApril 11, 2021

Traditional Ruler, Experts Call For Suspension Of Mining
By Ismaeel Uthman
N the wake of rising kidnapping and other criminal activities in some parts of the State of Osun, a traditional ruler and experts in the state have come up with suggestions on how to nip the security threats in the bud.
The challenges of insecurity have been worrying residents of the state, who are wondering how and why kidnapping, armed robbery, violent clashes between rival cult groups are on the increase and claiming lives in the state in recent times.
However, some stakeholders in the state have attributed the spate of kidnapping to mining activities in Ijesaland, just as they called on the State Government to suspend mining to curb the nefarious acts of criminals.
According to the stakeholders, mining activities in Ijesaland had attracted many criminals who surveyed the land before embarking on the kidnapping business.
Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER in a telephone interview yesterday, the traditional ruler of Itagunmodi, a mining community, Oba Michael Fabadewa-Kosile, Asegbofawekun II, called for suspension of mining activities in the area, reiterating that it was responsible for kidnapping activities in Ijesaland.
Oba Fabadewa-Kosile said, “I have said it over time and I will repeat it, there should be no mining again in my community. The government should stop mining activities if they want to put an end to insecurity. If not for the gold, we will not have influx of the Northerners in the community.
“It is no longer news that I had been kidnapped. Those that kidnapped me then were Fulanis. They could have come to my community on the pretence of mining. I don’t want them again, the Northerners are too many and they constitute threat to the security of my community.
“The government is not also cooperating. The government should not prioritise revenue being generated from the mining activities above security of lives and property of the people. Let the government suspend mining activities and see whether we will have peace or not.”
Also, a security expert, Mr. Olalekan Jackson-Ojo, enjoined Governor Adegboyega Oyetola to equip and rely on local security agencies than the conventional security agents, saying that all criminal acts are local.
According to Jackson-Ojo, Oyetola needs to call security meeting with religious, community, youth and traditional leaders and local security agencies to address the rising spate of challenges woven around insecurity, saying that security is the business of everybody and only becomes that when you involve everybody.
Jackson-Ojo said: “Every other person in the state is supposed to be a stakeholder when it comes to security. After calling the meeting, the governor must show that he can be ruthless. This, coupled with firmness, is the true major attribute of a leader. You can call that meeting a parley and at the same time it could be security summit.
“When you call this people for the first meeting, at the second meeting, you would tell them to go home and meet, and the resolution of their meetings be sent back to the governor. Then the governor should institute a meeting which will still involve all these people and conventional security agencies.
“At the end of the meeting, phone numbers should be exchanged. A lot of people would not talk when they see something, because they believe if they talk, they will be called to stand as witnesses. But when there is a parley meeting with the DPOs, dissemination of information will be easier.
“Information is the father of security; without it, there is no security agency that can work effectively. Then, access control system must be well monitored. All the access roads to Osun, to each of the local government must be monitored by the combination of the government security forces and local security agents.
“There is no crime that is not local because the perpetrators reside in a particular house, street, axis, community and local government. That is why the people at various communities are very important. No DPO can succeed without the help of the locals.
“In security, there is something called the pointer. There are some places that the Police and the government must recruit secretly and used them as an eavesdropper. They might be commercial motorcyclists. Their role is to move around and gather intelligence for the government.
“There should also be a department in the Police that would relate with these people. Upon getting the information, they would create surveillance in that area until they get the culprits. If we are not doing that, we can’t achieve anything.”
Jackson-Ojo also called on the State Government to suspend mining activities in the state, saying that was key to achieving security balance.
He stated that the influx of Northerners to the state for mining constituted part of the security threats and eventual insecurity in the state.
According to Jackson-Ojo, the State Government needs to sanitise the mining sector by taking proper and real identity of approved miners, including the artisanal, to flush out the bad eggs among them.
He urged the government to take clue from the closure mining forests in Zamfara State when crimes and criminal acts were increasing.
In his view, the Balogun Agbekoya Worldwide, Dr. Samson Alo, stated that insecurity should not be narrowed down to illegal mining activities, saying that approach to restoring peace and security should be holistic.
Alo said: “I am not in support of Illegal mining, but before the mining issue, there had been several cases of kidnappings. Though during the mining era, there is increase of the scourge. If you want to look at it very well, you can’t differentiate between Illegal and legal miners.
“But if you look at it, you see that someone who has been digging all day cannot have time for such crime. Those who do not have something doing are those who are highly responsible for kidnapping. There are some sets of people who do not have rigorous job to do, some of them hang around motor parks, restaurants and several junctions with nothing doing.
“One cannot actually attribute the kidnappings to those who are mining illegally. But the issue of kidnappings has become very rampant in Ijesaland and the State of Osun as a whole and Nigeria at large.
“Most of the people involved in the kidnappings want to be millionaires within a short period of time and they have been hearing of billions of naira.”
Alo also attributed the rising insecurity to recruitment of hoodlums by politicians for campaigns and elections, saying that the thugs who were armed for political purposes are part of the men of the underworld terrorising the state.
He said: “If you also want to trace this, it can as well be linked with how people aspiring for political positions spend money and equip some of these youths with weapons and use them as thugs. Some of the armed youths will have nothing to do for about four years after elections and they can’t approach their masters until another round of elections beckon. They eventually venture into violent crimes.
“Those involved in kidnappings do not use bare hands. They carry very sophisticated weapons. The system they adopt to waylay vehicles is the same with the way the political thugs attack people during electioneering campaigns or rallies. I am saying this because I have practically experienced it.
“Some of them wear hoods to hide their faces while some don’t care. Some speak in pidgin, even Yoruba language. It is not only the Fulanis that are kidnapping. Most times, the Fulanis need the help of a Yoruba person to navigate the forest they are operating in.”
He called on the State Government to provide arms and ammunition to Osun Security Network, codenamed Operation Amotekun and other registered local security outfits.
Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER on the increase in rate of kidnapping yesterday, the Commander-General of the Harmonized Vigilante Group in the State of Osun, Alhaji Ridwan Hussein, a.k.a. Yah Salam, said the mining activities taking place in Ijesaland are attracting criminals into the state.
According to Hussein, the increasing rate of kidnapping is as a result of strong conspiracy of ‘criminally-minded Yorubas’, foreign Fulani herdsmen and some Northerners who are coming into the state for mining operations.
He called on the State Government to suspend mining activities in the state as a step to nip the rising insecurity in the bud.

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