Addressing The Growing Spate Of Insecurity in Oyo State By Shamsudeen Ayeni

In recent time past, I had read with consternation, deliberate arm twisting of information being sold to the people of Oyo State by those who should rightly know better over the state of security challenges in Oyo state.

These people are taking advantage of the high level of illiteracy in Oyo State and Nigeria in general to misinform the people for their own selfish political gains. While it is within their democratic privileges to express their views on matters of insecurity in Oyo State, I think it is wrong for anybody to sell falsehood to the people.
People should be mindful of similar campaign of calumny and Operation Pull Him Down by force by fire between 2013 and 2015. Almost six years since Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan left office, our security problems have become worse. From major terrorism/insurgency problems in the country as at May 29, 2015, our major national security challenge has transmogrified into other debilitating security breaches. The nation is now regrettably fighting not only Boko Haram but also trying hard to arrest kidnapping, banditry and some unscrupulous herdsmen.

Unfortunately, South West region like other regions is having its own share of our national security challenges. The ENDSARS movement has equally aggravated the security challenges within the South West region thereby giving hoodlums a fresh breath of life.

Though ENDSARS protests had disappeared, almost all the states in South West Nigeria are still battling with the aftermath of the ENDSARS protests. Some of the hoodlums that hijacked the ENDSARS protests are still on the streets causing violence, killing innocent individuals and looting or destroying properties in some parts of the State.
As we recently saw in the United States of America wherein everybody in both the ruling and opposition parties combined forces to quickly nip in the bud, the nation’s cherished democratic gains from collapse over the Capitol attack, such patriotic and legendary move is missing in our polity. There is an acceptable axiom that says “matters of security should never be politicised for any reason”.

My observations from the sidelines reveal that rather than join hands with Governor Seyi Makinde towards arresting the ugly incidents caused by insecurity, some politicians and their supporters are using the insecurity challenges in some parts of the state to discredit his government and engage in needless comparison.
There is even an ongoing debate between supporters of past government and present government in the area of security in Oyo State.
This has led to what I earlier referred to as a needless comparison. To the best of my knowledge, the issue of security in Nigeria rests squarely at the doorstep of the President of Nigeria who is also the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. Mr President wears the crown and honours of GCFR in the country. Thus, people must know that no governor controls any of our security agencies, as they are all answerable to the President of the country.  It would therefore amount to sheer ignorance and outright wickedness for anybody to put the blame of insecurity at the doorstep of the Governor Seyi Makinde without first demanding an explanation from Mr President about what he is doing in Oyo State to curtail the security challenges. With their security votes, governors’ security obligations remain complementary and secondary. In the case of Governor Seyi Makinde’s interventions in the security of the state, he had invested billions of naira in procuring security hardwares for the security agencies in the state, commissioned a local security intelligence outfit popularly known as Amotekun and continues to provide logistics and operational supports for all the security agencies in the state to do their work. So what exactly does the past administration did that Governor Seyi Makinde is not doing?

At this juncture, I urge Mr Governor to embark on statewide reorientation tour across the state to let the people know what his government has done in the area of security for the state.
The media team of the governor must rise to the occasion of explaining to the general public the powers and constitutional limitations of governors across the country with regard to the issue of maintaining law and order in the state. This becomes highly imperative as it appears some politicians are bent on using the pocket of violence in the state to turn the people against the governor. The social media is presently saturated with much noise about insecurity in Oyo State.
The Commandant of Amotekun, Col. Olayinka Olayanju(rtd) in a radio interview granted was quoted as saying that the governor’s aides are aiding and abetting hooligans in the state. This is a reckless and careless statement that needs to be thoroughly investigated by the State Security Service and the police command in the state. His denial of the publication did not also sound convincing and logical. Therefore, I urge the governor to call on the Commandant to furnish his office with names of those aides alleged to be sponsoring hoodlums in the state. He should hand them over to the police, and anyone found guilty should first be sacked out rightly and be prosecuted accordingly. Mr Governor should not condole hoodlum like aides in his government, if truly they exist.
Finally, Governor Seyi Makinde must continue to seek the cooperation of his people, give necessary support to Amotekun and according to the Punch editorial of December 25, 2020  “seek legal advice from progressive lawyers on how to explore constitutional  provisions further in securing the lives and property of his people”. Everyone must learn from the Capitol attack in the US.

All hands must be deck to fight insecurity in the state. There cannot be development without security. Investments will not flow into a hostile environment. Existing businesses in the state will relocate to safer environment if insecurity persists.
Shamsudeen Ayeni, writes from North Carolina, United States of America.       
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