SUNDAY IGBOHO: A BLESSING OR A CURSE?
Community policing is a democratic arm of security where the safety of the people is by the people and for the people. It is a global concept and the way to go hence, Nigeria cannot be left out, especially now when the authority concern can no longer guarantee the security of lives and properties of citizens. In community policing, volunteers with terrain intelligence, local knowledge, traditional endowment, zeal and energy to protect their areas are identified, exploited, regulated and monitored by constituted authority especially in a country like Nigeria with vast landmass and cosmopolitan cultural diversity population.
Sincerity is the hub of every success bound business. The recent happenings in the South West zone especially in Ondo and Oyo States has put the sincerity of IGP in re-introducing the community policing to test. It is sufficient to state that, the concept of community policing as recently re-introduced by IGP Mohammed Adamu, is not to address the spate of insecurity in the country, but ostensibly to counter the mounting agitation for regional police and the subsequent establishment of Amotekun Security outfits in the South-West region of the country. This has clearly manifested in the inability to exploit same to address security problems such as kidnappings for ransom, rape, armed robberies, attacks and killings of members of the public by bandits and herdsmen which have continued unabated despite the acclaimed establishment of the community policing in the country.
The spate of kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry attacks, rape, farmers/herders clashes, etc has assumed a worrisome dimension. A situation like this calls for synergy between the locals and constituted authorities to nip the menace in the bud before escalation.
The role of civilian JTF in the North East cannot be overemphasized even as these gallant youths are not just complementing the troops but also in the forefront of the war against insurgency. You will also recall that sometimes ago in the North Central and North West of Nigeria, Security Agencies were in partnership with one Ali Kwara, a fearless and traditionally endowed individual just like Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho, to rout criminals from the zones. A feat he achieved with impeccable results. I am very optimistic that the combination of Sunday Igboho and security agencies will yield the desired result, particularly in Oyo State.
The Igangan incident where the Seriki’s houses and cars were razed by Igboho-led angry mob is condemnable and not to be encouraged. It is a typical example of jungle justice. Nevertheless, this is not unexpected when relevant security agencies failed to effectively perform their responsibilities of nipping the situation in the bud, thereby pushing the people to the wall, leaving them with no option than to adopt a self help approach. The attack has been shrouded in controversy with series of allegation and counter allegations without a clear cut intervention from the police.
Images of Fulani's houses and cars burnt in Ibarapa.
The advent of Igboho in Oyo State and similar agitation in Ondo State, could be the beginning of insurrection if not well managed. The spate of insecurity in the zone cannot be treated with kid’s glove especially when the people claimed they know the perpetrators and their hideouts without a corresponding attention from constituted authority. When faced with such situation, the people will have no option than to exploit alternative means of defending themselves which is gradually playing out in Oyo and Ondo States.
Sunday Igboho and his cohorts are not the only stakeholders speaking against these heinous acts suspected to be perpetrated by Fulanis in the area. The paramount ruler, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi recently penned a lengthy open letter to Mr. President, drawing his attention to the mounting tension in the zone and its dire consequences. Similarly, the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu also issued an ultimatum to Fulanis, occupying the reserved forest in the state to leave.
These and more are pointers that all is not well in the region and the earlier the areas of discontent are addressed the better for the nation.