From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Suspected hoodlums that have been terrorising many parts of Ibadan metropolis through civil unrest, looting, arson, vandalism and so on have promised a ceasefire for peace to reign the city, regarded as political capital of the South West geo-political zone of Nigeria.
The made the promise after a meeting held with them by members of a committee set up by the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, last week to mediate between the government and the hoodlums. The committee comprises family heads in the affected areas and security agencies, including the Oyo State Security Network, known as Amotekun Corps.
The Commandant of the Amotekun Corps in the state, Col Olayinka Olayanju (retd), was personally present at the meeting convened by the leader of family heads in Ibadan, Chief Wale Oladoja. They both appealed to the hoodlums to give peace a chance.
Leaders of the hoodlums at the meeting were drawn from two local government areas in Ibadan metropolis. Those that came from Ibadan North East included Dada Oto, fondly called packaging; S.O.J; and 350 Boys. The that also came from Ibadan South East included Kabiru Ojuyobo; Baba Ele; 420 Boys; Alhaja Sakiratu Tinko; and Iya Gbogbo Awon Boys.
On many occasions, the suspected hoodlums had caused pandemonium in areas that include Odo osun, Labiran, Beere, Esu Awele, Ile’ba, Oja’ba, Alagolo, Lion base, Omiyale, Kobomoje, Ita Ege, Eleta, Agbongbon, Tewogbade, Arapaja, Isale Ijebu, Sogoye, Akobi, Popo, Asuni, and Bonfoto. The areas have been labelled hotspots for violence at any time during the day and at night.
The leader of the Mogajis (family heads), Oladoja, described the move as a right steps in a right direction, adding that family heads know their subjects and they spoke to the suspected hoodlums at the meeting in the language they understand.
According to him, “Following some developments in certain areas in Ibadan, the governor has been deploying all possible means to fight insecurity. He therefore asked us talk to some of them to cease fire. As you can see, it is a success. We dined and wined with them and they have promised to cease fire and they have sent us to the governor. We promised to get back to them.”
The Commandant of Amotekun Corps in the state, Olayanj, noted that the agency adopted dialogue approach with the suspected hoodlums to ensure that they are rehabilitated.
Messrs. Dada Oto and Kabiru Ojuyobo, who spoke separately on behalf of the groups, promised to ensure peace returns to the concerned areas. They solicited the support of the state government for the youth to be empowered so that they would stay off the streets when they are engaged in productive ventures. They, however, described the dialogue approach employed by the family heads and the Amotekun Corps to reach out to them as timely.
They promised to ensure peace returns to the areas but sought for the support of the state government by empowering the youths, to ensure they are off-streets.