From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Yoruba rights activist Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, on Monday, paid a visit to Ogun State where he declared that violent herdsmen must leave the state and Yorubaland.
Igboho, alongside his supporters, arrived Abeokuta, the state capital and immediately proceeded to some trouble areas in Yewaland in Ogun West Senatorial district.
His visit is in continuation of his campaign against the marauding herdsmen in the southwest.
Igboho had recently displaced some Fulani herdsmen in Igangan, Oyo State, a development which had led to massive migration to Ogun.
Speaking with journalists at Ita Oshin en route Yewaland, insisted that herdsmen who engage in killing and kidnapping must vacate the region for peace to reign.
‘We observed there is an injustice from the herdsmen because they are closed to the FG. Any Fulani herdsman who engages in kidnapping should be flushed out.
‘Not only Igangan, we are going to visit all Yorubaland. I am going to Yewa because that is where the Fulani are wreaking havoc.
‘Let us thank the governor of the state. His love for people of Ogun state made him allow us to visit the state. If not for his love for the people of Ogun State, he would not have allowed us to come to the state,’ he stated.
Meanwhile, the Ogun State government has refuted reports in a national daily and some social media platform insinuating that it had enlisted the help Sunday Igboho, to combat crimes in the state.
This was just as it reiterated its commitment to the security of all residents and properties in the state.
The government made its position known in a statement issued, on Monday, by the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Abdulwaheed Odusile, in Abeokuta.
Refuting the news report credited to Hon. Remmy Hazzan, the Special Adviser on Public Communication to Governor Dapo Abiodun, Odusile noted that his (Hazzans) virtual interview with a reporter had been quoted out of context and twisted to achieve sensational effects.
The statement said: ‘In the interview, Hon Hazzan had said that the state government, in its usual inclusive approach to governance, would continue to work with all the stakeholders, both within and outside the state, to ensure the security of lives and properties. Sadly, however, this statement was disingenuously twisted to mean that the state had invited Mr Adeyemo to help curb insecurity. This is regrettable and totally misleading.
‘Governor Dapo Abiodun’s Administration, since inception, has been known to be inclusive in its approach, always collaborating and engaging with a wide range of stakeholders. Security is no exception, resulting in the achievement of the enviable status and recognition as the most secure state in the country by many organisations, including the recent Award by Business Day Newspaper, among others.’
Outlining the steps taken by the administration to secure life and property in the state, Odusile said, ‘upon assuming office, this Administration restructured the Ogun State Security Trust Fund and put the critical stakeholders (private sector) at the driving seat; strengthened the engagement with security agencies in the State and provided them with 100 Hilux patrol vehicles, 200 motorcycles and equipment to make them more effective and efficient; partnered with the other South-West states to set up the Amotekun Security Network; appointed two Special Assistants ( on ethnic relations) to ensure smooth interface with non-indigenes on a wide variety of issues, including security; among other stakeholder-driven initiatives.
‘This constant stakeholders’ engagement approach runs through all the government activities and programmes. Therefore, Hon. Remmy Hazzan’s statement of working with stakeholders within and outside the state should be viewed within this context. For the avoidance of doubt, Ogun State Government will continue to deploy all constitutionally sanctioned means to fight crimes and criminals in the state, including working with institutions that the constitution and other statutes have saddled with the responsibility of protection of lives and properties.
‘At all times, the government will ensure that all security agencies and indeed all stakeholders operate within the ambit of the law and will neither welcome nor endorse any initiative that amounts to self-help or is outside the contemplation of the constitution, which is the grundnorm binding on all governments and persons in the country.’
The statement added that the government would continue to attract and welcome all those with legitimate reasons to live, work and even play in the state, saying that it is home to all Nigerians and foreigners alike.
Odusile pointed out that the state will not be conducive for any group or individual that undermines the peace, security and social well-being of the state as the government has directed the security agencies to be unrelenting in swiftly apprehending and bringing to justice any perpetrator of crimes and criminalities in the state.
‘The government, once again, thanks and enjoins our community and religious leaders as well as other stakeholders to continue to cooperate with the government and security agencies in the joint task of ridding the state of all forms of crimes.
‘The government advises the residents to continue to go about their normal businesses,’ the statement concluded.