Executive Chairman, Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ), Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State to use their powers and stop what he described as “ongoing mindless” killing of farmers and innocent people in the Oke-Ogun geo-political zone of the state.
Sulaiman in a statement made available to DAILY POST in Ibadan on Tuesday while condemning what he termed as nonchalant attitude of both the Federal and state governments on the reoccurring security challenges facing the people of the area since December 2017, declared that the situation had escalated and led to the killing, maiming and kidnapping of many innocent Nigerians in the area.
He disclosed that no fewer than “13 innocent Nigerians, including farmers, security personnel, traders and hunters have been killed by the herdsmen in the area in the last few weeks”.
Sulaiman specifically alleged that “herdsmen have sacked thousands of villagers from their villages in Irepo, Orelope and Olorunsogo and other local government areas of the state in the last few days”, calling for urgent action to nip the security challenges of the area in the bud before it goes out of hand.
He added that “investigation in the area at the weekend revealed that the villages includin: Ojo-Aro, Pakoko, Alaje, Oopa, Gaa Tahiru,Teesi, Apata and host of other villages in the area have been taken over by the herdsmen and this development had turned the villagers as displaced persons their local communities”.
Sulaiman also “urged the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorbaland, Otunba Gani Adams not to take the issue of security threat of the Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State with levity hands as live of innocent Nigerians are now brutish and shortish, adding that Adams needs to visit the area in order to ascertain the numbers of causalities in terms of loose of lives, injured persons and property, being recorded since January till today”.
He implored the authorities concerned to deploy the team of security personnel comprising of men of Nigeria Army, Mobile Police Force, Air force, DSS, Police and Civil Defence to beef up security around the area so as to forestall re-occurrence.
Speaking further on the development, Sulaiman maintained that his organization would not hesitate to launch a nationwide mass rally tagged “Operation Stop mindless Killing in Nigeria” which would be held across state capitals of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, adding that information at his disposal revealed that the herdsmen had turned the old “Game Reserve and Tick Forest Trees” in the area into their hideout to perpetuate their evil agenda and merciless attacks.
Sulaiman said, “A stitch in time saves nine. This is high time for the government concerned to take the bull by the horn by taking the security challenges of the area with the high sense of responsibility because people of the area are now living in fear. There are recorded cases of killing, maiming and kidnapping of innocent citizens of the area in the last few weeks.”
He also called on the local and international humanitarian organizations in the country “to come to the aid of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the area”, noting that “this would go a long way in ameliorating their present predicament as a result of herdsmen attacks on them.”