Northern Youths Council of Nigeria, NYCN, has expressed concerns on the alleged constant attacks against northerners, especially the recent attack in Sasha market of Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State which led to loss of lives and destruction of property, advising northerners not to take the risk of travelling to the South West for now.
A statement from its spokesman, Mock Kure, observed that, “The attention of the Northern Youths Council of Nigeria has been drawn to the ongoing Carnage against Northerners, particularly in Sasha Market of Akinyele Local Government, Oyo State, South West Nigeria wherein so many lives were either killed or injured, business premises and vehicles were burnt by Yoruba hoodlums.
“We wish to condemn such an attack in the strongest terms possible and call on security agents to arrest the perpetrators so as to serve as deterrent to would be hoodlums.”
The Arewa youths noted that the hidden agenda to expel northerners in that segment of the country started with the call on all herdsmen (Not criminal elements) by the Governor of Ondo State, His Excellency, Rotimi Akeredolu, to leave all State controlled Forests Reserves.
It explained that this led to the sudden emergence of one Sunday Igboho, a well known motor park tout as the Enforcer-In-Chief of the hidden but now open agenda in far away Oyo State.
The youths noted, “The eviction orders violate the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended) which guarantees freedom of movement to all citizens and rights to own movable and unmovable properties in any part of the country.”
The statement noted that in his effort to defend the laws of the country, the Inspector General of Police gave instruction to his subordinates in the region to arrest and bring the said Sunday to Abuja, saying that the arm of the law has proven to be weak and helpless as the said wanted person has been going about dishing out fresh quit notices to law-abiding citizens and enforcing same in many States of the region.
“We believe strongly that the inability of the government at all levels to tame the lawless wings of Sunday Igboho and his co-travellers has led to the emergence of his variants, hence, the renewed attacks on settled business people and many others that can’t speak Yoruba at Sasha Market,” the statement explained.
The youth called on the federal government to declare Sunday Igboho’s group a terrorist organization as he is not different from Boko Haram.
They called on the Northern Governor’s Forum under the leadership of Barr Simon Bako Lalong to rally his colleagues to begin to evacuate their brothers that are trapped in the Southwest and other troubled spots in Southern Nigeria since the governments in those regions have proven to be helpless or tacitly complicit in the ceaseless attacks ”on our people.”
The statement observed that the Northern Youths continue to maintain maximum restraints despite the unjustifiable and unprovoked attacks on their people pending when government would exhaust all its cards.
It enjoined the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to mobilize resources to the market to ameliorate the sufferings of those who lost their means of livelihood to the carnage.
The Arewa youths urged the federal government to adequately compensate those who lost loved ones and property to the crisis.
The Arewa youths also enjoined Northerners to desist from travelling to South West Nigeria as signals from the region remain awful, pending when the government would prove that it is now safe to travel to that region.
The statement urged Nigerians with conscience to condemn such attacks and other planned attacks, saying that together, good shall triumph over evil. (Daily Post)
Self-acclaimed freedom fighter, Mr. Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, on Tuesday, accused the Federal Government of freezing his bank accounts, following his attack on the killer-herdsmen in Oyo State.
Igboho, who spoke to newsmen, confirmed that all his bank accounts have been frozen by the Federal Government because some people were collecting donations.
However, Igboho said he had no hands in the said donations, warning that his accounts must be unfrozen to avoid nationwide protest by youths across the South-West region.
His words: “They have frozen my bank accounts because I am fighting a just course. I know Yoruba people are behind me.
“I will not relent. I must achieve my aims by putting an end to criminalities in Yorubaland.
“If they refuse to release my accounts, there will be serious protests across the South-West.
“Yes, the Yoruba are living in fear. They are afraid that the killer-herdsmen might attack them.”
Never take an old soldier for granted. Not especially when he’s a former chief spy of the Nigerian military. That’s the lesson I took away from an encounter with Gen. Kunle Togun (retd), former Director, Military Intelligence (DMI) and currently Chairman, Oyo State Amotekun (Security Network) Corps.
The old military officer shocked me when as this interview ended, he poked an inquiring finger at a set of personal items I just packed and clutched to my chest as I rose from the table. They consisted of a jotter, smartphone with which I recorded the chat, power bank and charging cord I’d brought along to boost the phone battery which was considerably drained and thus forestall the interview becoming a flop.
“That’s mine, isn’t it?” the former DMI boss gawked like an eagle, gesturing that I hand over something among the lot I was holding.
For some moments I was confused and looked back and forth at the old man as I checked my belongings and found no strange or incriminating object to warrant the worrisome fixed gaze the old man fixed on me, holding his hand out still!
At last, I heard him say: “The charger…”
I still indignantly protested: “It’s mine sir! As you could see, I was using it to charge and support the phone battery while we talked,”
Gen. Togun would not budge, he kept looking and gesturing that I recheck the packing. Another careful look and indeed, I discovered another charging cord almost exactly like mine among the twirls of wires I held!
I detached and handed the cord over with awesome respect and apology to Togun, who took it and with a genial, understanding grin, calmly waved off my attempt to explain that I must have mixed it up with mine and inadvertently packed it along.
If the former Deputy Director of the State Security Service (SSS) saved me the embarrassment of feeling he probably doubted me, he definitely earned my respect at this clear demonstration of vigilance and alertness. It was the climax of a remarkable wary demeanour and ever-present consciousness which he exhibited throughout the interview session responding fearlessly, but measuredly to questions, while regarding me with his sharp, keen eyes from behind the rim of his eyeglasses.
In this interview, Togun fielded questions on the wave of banditry, kidnapping and alleged alien terrorists’ infiltration of South West, for which he was drafted from retirement by Governor Seyi Makinde to head the state-owned security agency to combat.
His takes on the issues which have again come to the front burner of security concerns by the state government, with the alarm raised midweek by Governor Seyi Makinde over persistent influx and criminal activities by bandits from Mali and other West African countries especially in the Oke Ogun corridor, are still as hot and relevant.
Sir, with what happened in Kisi and other reported incidents of kidnapping and banditry, it would seem the Amotekun Corps is yet to take off effectively in the state. How so?
Now, the incident in Kisi was not the first time. About two years ago in that same old Oyo park, people were kidnapped, ransom taken, and these particular sets of people were WAEC officials. They took ransom, got money from them. But, I contacted some security agencies, in fact it was the civil defence that took off from here in Ibadan at that time, got to that place in conjunction with my vigilante, they cleared that place. They arrested some of those kidnappers and even found some of the ransom money on some of them, it was confirmed that these people were not Nigerians.
I had alerted people that these Fulani herdsmen, they have covered the entire 10 local government areas of Oke Ogun and the three local government of Ibarapa. So, the threat has always been there. I’ve given series of lectures about these threats – to Oke-Ogun Elders’ Forum, Yoruba Council of Elders, so many people have invited me to give lecture and I pointedly stated it, that the intention of these Fulani herdsmen is to overrun us and it’s for territorial expansion. People are claiming it’s for religious motives, it’s not religious motives, it is for territorial expansion. I started a vigilante system in year 2000, in these parts of Oyo State – Saki West, Saki East, we started it there based on an edict by the governor of Oyo state then to see how the community can assist police in combating crime. The vigilantes that I started were operating voluntarily. Many of them died in the course of security operations. When armed robbers started waylaying vehicles on daily basis in various areas of Oke-Ogun, it was these vigilantes that were combating it. This vigilante has spread throughout Oke-Ogun before the state Commissioner of Police about nine or 10 years ago said he wanted it to spread throughout Oyo state and really it has, people have been working.
But how did criminals find it so easy to infiltrate and terrorize the areas?
The issue evolved, it’s lack of security consciousness in Nigeria. All these things are happening and people have forgotten and are not aware that security is everybody’s business. They aren’t concerned as long as it is not yet happening in any of their areas. Now you say Amotekun has not yet taken off… some of the vigilante people have been battling this thing for some time, and nobody is paying them. Those who are still working are in touch with us and we are in touch with them, telling us about the efforts they are making. There’s networking with the arrangement already in place pending conclusion of our recruitment exercise for the structure to be in place. But even now, we’ve started mapping and putting some measures in place. We’ve been able to work out the security threat, from security threat we’ve been able to identify flashpoints, that is, areas where crime, violence or anything can break out at any time. We’ve also identified vulnerable areas. So, the places are secured and under 24 hours’ surveillance.
How real is this threat of foreign invasion and territorial expansion in Yoruba land that you alleged?
I have said it, in some of the lectures that I gave. There is a calculated plan for the invasion of Yoruba land. Now, at the time I gave that lecture, which was at the instance of the DG DAWN (Development Agenda for Western Nigeria) Commission, I said that the 10 local governments of Oke-Ogun and the three in Ibarapa had been penetrated by these people and everyone knows that these people are not Nigerians.
And government has just been looking on since you cried out?
The federal government has control over the security agencies… It is just now that the governor of the state wants all the security agencies to combat this threat. Take a look at it and tell me if there is not a calculated attempt, they said people should give land to the herdsmen in various states, some people wanted to do it, (former Governor Abiola) Ajimobi wanted to do it, but for the protest and complaints of the people, that’s why he stopped. They wanted to use party, feeling he is in their party and so, should be obedient. He wanted to give out the Opara forest reserve in Oke-Ogun area. How can you legislate allocation of land? Was there legislation that farmers should be given an amount of land in all the states? Did they allocate any amount of area for Igbo to sell spare parts? Why should you think of giving land to herdsmen who are not Nigerians? Luckily the IG (Inspector General) himself has said it that most of these bandits are from Mali and Sudan. The Nigerian Fulani don’t graze on peoples’ land with their cows, they have their settlement in the bush around villages and towns. These Fulani people I’m talking about, meet with the Nigerian Fulani that we grew up to know and rape their wives and rustle their cows, adding them to their own. The Nigerian Fulani that have been living amongst us for ages now don’t do such, they have never been a problem. There’s harmony between them and the local people because they don’t graze on peoples’ farmlands. We are friends. But these ones are different, and the issue evolved when they started killing all over the place. The Federal Government didn’t talk. But the President when he went to Britain told Bishop of Canterbury that it is not the Fulani herdsmen that are killing people, but people trained and armed by Gaddafi that infiltrated the Fulani herdsmen.
Why have security agencies found it hard to end this carnage?
What budget was prepared by the IG to get the job done? The army knows what she needs, it is what we tell the Minister of Interior that he presents for government to act on.
So, are you blaming this on poor needs assessment?
I’m not laying the blame only on the police or other security agencies. The government has its own share of the blame. When they bring their budget, what is the attitude of government to it? Like I said, military intervention in politics in Nigeria messed up the military. When they request for anything they would exclaim that we are spending too much on the military because we are part of the military. I went through it, I passed through it. Money for training in the military was reduced, they were afraid of allowing soldiers to go for field exercises to train because they feel if they go out, they would go and plan a coup. That’s why efficiency of the military went down. Now, there are killings all over the place… what is the government’s plan? Security needs money, it is not a matter of … it’s not in the budget. Government has to look for money for security, you don’t negotiate security. Security costs money and there is security in everything, even in business, religion, all aspects of life, security is involved. The number one focus of government should be security of life and property, but we don’t see it that way in this country.
When Governor Seyi Makinde said he wanted me to be the chairman of this security network in Oyo State, he stressed it that he wanted farmers in Oyo state to wake up in the morning, go to their farm land and plant what they want to plant without any fear that somebody is coming to graze on it. He wants business people, traders, at all levels to do their business and when they collect money they should rest assured that they would get the rest of the money to the bank for safe keeping without anybody intercepting and taking the money from them. He said he wanted peace, security and stability in Oyo state. To enable foreign investors to come and invest in the state and finally he said he wanted every citizen of Oyo state to sleep with their two eyes closed and that’s an assignment.
How have you resolved the issue of collapsing Amotekun into the Nigeria Police community programme, which the Federal Government was insisting on?
The governors have spoken, Governor of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State spoke, Governor Makinde has also spoken, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) spoke, he told them that constitutionally the state could operate their own security network and that there is nothing like the network coming under the control of the police, he talked along the points of law. But the law establishing this Amotekun provided that it would work hand in hand with security agencies in order to ensure peace, security and stability in the respective states, the law stated that Amotekun has power to arrest and investigate but that prosecution should be handed to the police with Amotekun following up the issue. So I don’t know what is getting the police scared, there is no rivalry, no competition between Amotekun and other security agencies.
As a security expert, don’t you think subordinating and integrating the corps to the police would have been more effective?
No, it cannot work because if Amotekun comes under the control and supervision of the police, the goal that the governors set cannot be achieved.
Now that the north appears to have collapsed security-wise, safe haven such as the south, is expectedly the next target. How do we check the spread of these terrorists acts already manifesting here and there before it consumes the entire country?
The answer lies in the attitude of reporting, but to who? Let me give you an example; when COVID-19 came, there was lockdown, there was supposedly no movement, whereas some people were being brought to South West in trailers. Trailers with loads of people being brought down here, what’s the intention? Why did the Federal Government not pay attention to such? Most of them are now ‘Okada’ riders, wheelbarrow pushers, and some are selling pepper.
Could they not be economic immigrants and refugees?
No! Those Okada riders are here to memorize and know the routes, I know what I am talking about. It is total penetration with evil intention. Some people were shouting on WhatsApp and other social media that some people have been brought into South West, now who’s to take action? People took photographs, videos and posted them, but who listened? This is the problem.
I really don’t want to be an alarmist; but the future is bleak if there is no sincere effort in protecting the lives and property of every Nigerian. That is, a concrete plan by the Federal Government. The Federal Government is in charge of all the security agencies, it is its responsibility to ensure that there is security and stability in every part of Nigeria.
But government appears helpless now?
Well, that is why the initiative of the six governors of South West to establish their own security system should be supported, not opposed. Yes, each of those governors is the number one security officer of his state. People are being kidnapped, people are being killed. Yet, there are security agencies that are meant to combat these things, but they cannot, why? The number of police per-population is too low, so the police cannot cover their various areas of responsibility because of lack of personnel. Even in America, that civilized world, people assist police to succeed but not in Nigeria. Like in Britain when there is a murder case, you will see their old women who just sit at their verandas and when questioned, assist the police by giving descriptions of the victim or suspect and the directions he might have gone. They give important information to the police! The same thing with US. But people don’t voluntarily give information to the police here because they don’t want to be harassed. Some regret giving information out due to being harassed by the police, they sometimes even get accused of committing the crime. These are the things why people are afraid of giving information.
How do your men, armed with Dane guns, confront AK47-wielding bandits and terrorists?
The law establishing Amotekun provides that the Attorney General of the state will liaise with the Inspector General of police to procure arms. So they will carry weapons and will be given basic training to be able to counter any superior weapon; and we on our part will get the government to provide us with some equipment that will ease our operations.
Miyetti Allah had also indicated plan to launch nation-wide vigilante activities. Given mutual recriminations and suspicions, aren’t there likely to be clashes if operatives of both groups meet in the bush yours mistaking them for these alien bandits and criminals, for instance?
Now the issue the Federal Government should clear is this, has Miyetti Allah got any locus standi to operate vigilante. Government should make it clear, who is Miyetti-Allah? Is it a state? What authority has it got to establish vigilante and spread them throughout the country? Who are they? Just an association! Why should they be making noise and threats that they would do this, if something doesn’t happen. That the South West would not produce President in 2023, who are they to start talking to that level?
Amotekun, which came out of Western Nigeria Security Network was established by an instrument of state. Who is Miyetti Allah to say they would carry arms? And Federal Government is keeping quiet. They also asked for Amotekun to be cancelled or else South West won’t produce President in the next election, who are they? (Saturday Sun)
Herdsmen under the umbrella of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore have expressed scepticism over the inauguration of Operation Amotekun.
Miyetti Allah, however, warned that it would not condone acts of injustice meted out to any of its members by the officials of the outfit or any other vigilance group.
The National Secretary of the group, Alhassan Saleh, said this on Friday during an interview with Saturday PUNCH.
Saleh said, “We have no problem with them as long as they will not target our herders. We have our own defence mechanisms. We fight injustice anywhere, not only in Nigeria. So, if they end up meting out injustice to us, we will fight back. That is the truth but we are law-abiding.
“And as herders, we must herd our cows until there is an alternative provided for us. If they give us alternative, we will go there and if they say they don’t want us, those that want to leave, will leave but what we will not sanction is anybody taking the law into their own hands because we have a history of fighting injustice anywhere there is oppression.”
He stated that Miyetti Allah was not in support of cows straying into people’s farms but movement, as guaranteed by the constitution, must be respected.
Saleh recalled that herdsmen suffered acts of injustice when the Benue State Government set up the livestock guard which ended up extorting money from innocent herders.
The secretary said Operation Amotekun could be used by politicians to perpetuate themselves in power by election rigging.
Saleh argued that South-West governors should have remained true to their call for state police rather than opt for the Operation Amotekun option.
He stated, “When you empower groups and give them arms, the possibility is that others will follow suit and the central government will begin losing its power. Definitely, our politicians will begin to abuse these outfits.
“When it is election time, sitting governors will use the outfits to their advantage. The first casualties of such malfeasance will be the people of that state, because when they want to impose themselves, they use these people because they are already trained and armed just like in Benue State.
“At the end, the livestock guards ended up killing people. It is on record because people have been tried and jailed. So, it is not the way forward. If they cannot push the debate for state police, they should not do such half measures.” (Punch)
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the South West geo-political zone of the country has concluded arrangements to meet with all the six governors of the region with a view to ensuring security in the region.
The chairman, Ondo State chapter of the association, Alhaji Bello Garba who disclosed this in Akure said the association would soon meet on how to work with governments in the South West to tackle the issue of kidnapping and other crimes in the region.
Garba said the association had been working with security agencies in the region on the issue of security.
He said the organisation discovered that some herdsmen who were not their members were coming from Edo, Ogun and other neighbouring states to operate in Ondo State, especially along the Shagamu-Ore expressway.
According to him, the National Chairman of the association, Alhaji Mohammadu Kirwa, had directed that the Ondo State chapter should cooperate with the state governors, police commissioners and other security agencies in the South West to deal with the issue of kidnapping
This development followed the spate of kidnapping and killing on highways in the South West, especially along the Lagos-Ibadan, Lagos-Benin, Ondo-Ore, Akure-Owo-Akoko and Ibadan-Gbongan-Akure expressways.
In one of such attacks on July 12, 2019, suspected kidnappers shot dead Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the 58-year-old daughter of an Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
Garba asserted that the Ondo chapter of MACBAN and the national body had resolved to deal decisively with the scourge of kidnapping and killings in the South West region.
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Kidnappers and herdsmen abducting people have been warned to keep away from the South West or risk incurring the wrath of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC).
Giving the warning in an interview is the president of OPC, Aare Prince Osibote, who said the group will resist any attempt not only to make Yoruba land unsafe but also to turn it into den of criminals. Osibote, who succeeded late Dr. Fredrick Faseun as OPC leader also spoke on other national issues.
What is your reaction to the present state of insecurity in the country, especially the South West where suspected herdsmen and bandits have been kidnapping people?
As an organisation, OPC is worried about this security challenge, and our hope is that the various security agencies will be able to quickly nip in the bud the nefarious activities of bad elements behind these vices. As the leader of OPC, I’m calling on Yoruba and other people living in the South West not to panic. OPC is up to the task and we are fully prepared to defend the Yoruba land from any external aggressors. I’m giving the people of the South West the assurance that they should not panic. We are already doing our home work. We are ready to bare our fangs if provoked.
Don’t forget that the primary objective of setting up the OPC as an organisation is to defend and promote Yoruba interests, and we are ready at all times to do that. Enough is enough! These criminals should keep off Yoruba land or risk incurring the wrath of OPC.
Our warning to all these criminal elements is that they should stay away from Yoruba land. OPC under my watch will not allow Yoruba land to be turned into a den of criminals. Never! It will never happen. They should not play with fire. OPC can’t only bark but can also bite. We will not trigger or provoke any crisis, but any group or individual that attempt to disrupt peace in Yoruba land will have himself to blame. Everybody know what OPC can do, but we are for peace and unity of Nigeria, we don’t want to be provoked and this is why I’m using this medium to appeal to the Federal Government to take urgent steps to put adequate security measures in place to secure lives and properties of all Nigerians.
Why has your voice not been heard all this while on some of these burning national issues?
I have not been speaking out since I took over leadership of OPC after the death of our founder, Dr Frederick Fasheun because I have been undertaking reforms in OPC with a view of sanitising the organisation because on assuming leadership of the organisation, I discovered that some unscrupulous elements have mingled with the organisation and we needed to flush them out. Those are the bad elements that are giving OPC bad name. OPC as an organisation has good ideals and vision with the primary objective of promoting Yoruba interests, values and culture.
OPC was set up during the military era to fight injustice against the Yoruba race especially after the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election. At the time OPC was set up, former President, General Olusegun Obasanjo was being held in jail by the Abacha military junta. Part of the reasons OPC was set up was to fight the military junta that annulled the June 12 election, and also to ensure a return to democracy, and luckily we were able to achieve those objectives as democracy was restored to the country in 1999.
I’m determined to reform OPC because the impression some people have is that OPC is all about hooliganism and thuggery. But this is a wrong view of the group. Our objective as I said earlier is to promote Yoruba culture and practices. OPC members are not to be used as thugs or to unleash violence on people. I’m rebranding OPC, and this I’m doing quietly and this is why I have not been too loud in what I have been doing since assuming office as OPC leader. Moreover, I don’t believe in speaking too much. I believe in taking action rather than talking every time. Then, again we must try to find out, whether those talking every time have genuine intention or not, or whether they are doing so to attract attention with a view of getting something in return or not.
To tackle insecurity in the South West, some Nigerians are suggesting the idea of collaboration between the Police and OPC like it was done before. What’s your take on that?
It is a good idea, when Alhaji Musiliu Smith was the Inspector-General of Police, he initially expressed reservations about OPC activities but I later got an appointment with him, and I used the opportunity to explain to him in detail what OPC stands for. I told him that what people are telling him about OPC is not true. Then a lot of people were saying negative things about OPC. I took time to explain to Smith about the vision of OPC, and what the group stands for. My interactions with Smith led to collaboration between OPC and the Police, especially in the area of combating and tackling crime. His successor, Alhaji Tafa Adebayo Balogun sustained that relationship and during his time there was also collaboration between the Police and OPC to enhance security of lives and properties especially in the South West.
Balogun is a man that should be appreciated. During his tenure, not only Nigeria was effectively policed and secured but the South West in particular enjoyed peace and security. Tafa Balogun had zero tolerance for crime and criminals and it was during his time that ‘Operation Fire-For-Fire’ was introduced. He is a man that should be appreciated. In the history of OPC, Tafa Balogun can’t be forgotten for how he ensured that the Police and OPC worked in harmony to protect lives and properties of Nigerians especially in the South West. It is a pity and very unfortunate that Tafa Balogun is not being appreciated the way Nigerians ought to appreciate him over his achievements in the area of security. Like it was done during Smith, and Balogun’s era, we can also do it now. OPC is ready to collaborate, and work with the Police and other security agencies to tackle the problem of insecurity in the country if we are invited.
How would you assess President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration?
There is no individual that is 100 percent perfect. As a leader, the president I believe has been trying his best to move the nation forward. He has been trying to sanitise the country through his fight against corruption. Corruption has caused a lot of havoc in the country. It has become a hydra-headed monster that we need to tame. We should all join hands to fight corruption if we want Nigeria to attain greatness.
Some Nigerians recently canvassed death penalty as punishment for corruption, what’s your take on that?
I’m in support of it. Death penalty is okay for corruption. Through corruption and corrupt practices, looters are destroying the nation. They are also killing Nigerians. By the time a few corrupt people are hanged or executed other would-be looters will beat a retreat. I don’t see anything wrong with execution of looters. Their execution will serve as a deterrent. If looters are executed, there will be sanity. Nigeria will not be the first country to execute looters. In China, looters are executed. There are also other countries that do so.
As a way of fighting corruption some have suggested that the newly elected public office holders should be made to swear by traditional gods like Ogun, Esu etc, that doing so will help to stem or tackle corruption as many public office holders don’t respect the Bible and the Quran which are currently being used for swearing-in ceremonies. What’s your reaction?
I fully support it. It is another effective way to tackle corruption. These traditional gods are agents of the supreme deity Yoruba called Olodumare. When you swear falsely on any of these gods, you are playing with fire because if you swear on them, and when you get to public office and start stealing, you will incur the wrath of these traditional gods as calamities in various forms will start afflicting anybody that swears falsely with them and this is why our public office holders are afraid of them. But if these public office holders have genuine intention to serve and not to loot, they should not be afraid or develop cold feet if they ask them to swear by traditional gods.
What is your reaction to the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day?
It is a welcome development. OPC as an organisation was part of the June 12 struggle. OPC came into being as part of other movements that emerged to fight the injustice of June 12 annulment. President Buhari should be commended for making the declaration.
What are your expectations from President Buhari in this second term in office?
It is only in Nigeria that I see citizens abuse their leaders. Even though you may disagree with his policies and programme, you don’t need to abuse Buhari as a leader. There are polite ways to express your disagreement with him without resorting to abuse.
As for my expectations from him, he should fix the power sector. He promised to do this during his first term but up till today the problems besetting the sector are still there and we all know that power is the key to so many economic challenges facing the nation. If the power sector is fixed, there will be a boom in the economy. Then small scale enterprises will also thrive, and employment will be generated for many unemployed Nigerians.
Buhari also promised to tackle the problem of unresolved murders and assassinations. There are so many unresolved murders and assassinations. We need to unravel these, so Buhari should keep to his promise to let Nigerians know what happened in all these cases.
During his second term, Buhari should also ensure that he put in place, people-oriented programmes that will make life meaningful for Nigerians. He should also find ways to squarely address the problem of poverty.
To the South West governors, what’s your advice to them?
My advice is not only for the South West governors but all the newly elected leaders. They should know that they were elected to serve. They should therefore not be self-serving. They should not betray the electorate. They should know that public office is an avenue to serve and not platforms to loot. (The Sun)
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Alhaji Yerima Shettima says the north will produce the next president when President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023 – Shettima, who is the president of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, says the current administration has not favoured the north– The AYCF president says the ruling All Progressives Congress will die before 2023
– Shettima says the north will never allow power to shift to the south, adding that it is the only thing the zone has. The president of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shettima, has said that the north will produce the next president when President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023.
Legit.ng gathers that Shettima stated this in an interview published in the New Telegraph on Friday, June 21.
The AYCF president said President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has not favoured the north, adding that the current government is purely a southwest government.
He said: “I don’t know who is going to be the next president of Nigeria until we see those who will declare interest.
However, talking about the zone, which should produce the president in 2023, I have said it on many occasions that the North will produce the next president and you could see that the issue is becoming very clear. “I don’t just make pronouncement on something I am not sure of.
We are sure that this government has not favoured the North. This government is purely a South-West government. They have taken everything.
” Shettima also said that the only thing that is holding the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) together is President Buhari, adding that the party will die before 2023. He said:
“Even in the National Assembly, somebody was working to ensure that his interest is protected to make it easy for him to become president come 2023, but unfortunately the party itself will die before 2023.
“By 2023, All Progressives Congress (APC) will no longer be visible. The only thing that holds that party is President Buhari, but he is not coming back.
This is his last tenure and I am sure the Buhari I know will be busy thinking of how to go for his retirement rather than thinking of whether the party survives or not.
“He has achieved all he wanted to achieve. He has become both head of state and civilian president.”
“On what informed his belief that APC would die before 2023, he said: “It is because of the characters that formed the party do not share the same ideology. Theirs was completely unholy marriage.
“We will continue to fight until our last blood. We will continue to expose them until the right people come to governance. It is not a personal thing; it is for us. The North must have to retain power.
“You cannot take power, which is the only thing that is left for us now. The current president is not really helping us. Insecurity has destroyed the entire North. We are left with poverty, kidnaping and banditry on daily basis.
“People are dying and you think the little power we have despite the fact it is not being used for the best interest of our people, we will just fold our hands and allowed it to be taken back by the South, which have resources.
The common man in the North is not benefiting anything; the whole thing is held in the hands of few individuals and you think we will allow that.” (Legit.ng)
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The Yoruba have launched what it called a trans-national group aimed at working for self determination of its people all over the globe. The group named Oodua World Congress OWC according to them will represent and defend the interest of the Yoruba and Itsekiri people all over the world.
Two things are very clear about their mission, to defend the interest od he Yoruba and Itsekiri people and to seek for self determination, using nonviolent means. The group will also organise a national summit this year, 2019.
Below is the group’s press release.
Lagos, May 31, 2019
A trans-national group aimed at working for the self determination of Yoruba peoples all over the world has been launched.
The new movement, Oodua World Congress, (OWC) will represent and defend the interests of Yoruba and Itsekiri people all over the world.
The group said it will mobilise local and international community for the realization of Yoruba self determination using peaceful and non-violent means and drawing from Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations which states that all peoples have the right to freely pursue their political, economic, social and cultural sovereignty
OWC draws membership from Nigeria and the six continents of Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Australia and the Pacific. OWC plans a Yoruba trans-national summit before the end of the year.
In a release signed by Ayobami Akinreti and Dr. Mustapha Idris Olukotun on behalf of the OWC Public Information Bureau (PIB,) the organization said it will work for the self determination of Yoruba people using local and international instruments to actualise its goal within the shortest possible time.
The OWC said Yoruba population is 27th in a list of 233 countries and bigger in size than 165 countries in the world.
In Africa, Yoruba nation will be the third largest nation in population while it will be the first in human resource potentials.
The group said it is time to assert Yoruba as a sovereign nation and free the people from servitude and long-standing bondage.
“OWC is a new movement in response to the need for synergy and intensive local and international campaign for the Yoruba self-determination up to the point of actualising a sovereign nation for the children of Oduduwa who share common history, common culture and common fears and aspirations”, the group stated.
It noted that self determination is the goal of the new millennium.
“In this campaign, OWC promises to provide hope for a despairing population and lead the children of Oduduwa from stupor to greatness, from hopelessness to glory and from shame to fame,” the OWC said in the statement.
The group said Yoruba people do not hate any nationality or tribe, but rather was propelled by the motive to do things and run the affairs of her own government based on the over 2000 year old values and civilisations of the Yoruba people.
“After over a century, Nigeria has failed to give Yoruba people what we want. We have fought wars. We indeed continue to fight different forms of wars as a people in Nigeria where live and living must necessarily cost everything including constant misery and loss of human lives. Our children are crying, our young and old generations are deprived, our values and civilisations are trampled and our rights to choose those who lead us have always depended on the wishes of those who see us as eternal foes.”
OWC stated “What we see today is wasting and destruction in our towns, cities, villages and borders. Our moon no longer shines. Our sun has been suppressed. Our stars trampled under the scorching coercion of the Nigerian state.”
The officials said “We have a long history. We have a long tradition. At a point in world history, Yoruba nation was the reference point for the cultural, political and economic heritage of the black people all over the world. At a point, our standard of living was comparable if not better than some European nations. We have a history of war and peace. We had a history of when the children of Oduduwa had some level of independence later taken away by fiat. Today, the Yoruba fortunes have declined. Our humanity has been punctured by the garrison Nigerian state in the face of a desperate attempt to sustain the obvious ruins that the country has become.”
The group said the campaign for Yoruba self-determination has become inevitable “in the face of the horrific sufferings and deprivations of our people” adding that the problem has been compounded by the invasion of Yoruba territories by armed Fulani men who appear anxious and determined to impose siege and war on Yoruba people.
“Throughout Nigerian history, the Fulani have always been the aggressor. Our territories are currently occupied by armed groups. Our wives and daughters are raped. Those who challenged them have been killed in the most savage manners. Our farms, our homes, our cities and our forests have become death traps. It will be foolish and catastrophic for our people to fold their arms with the illusion that war is not being planned by people who consistently portray themselves as our eternal enemies inspite of the affection and love of the Yoruba people.”
The OWC said the group is open to all children of Oduduwa who are in the age of 18 and above.
“Our convenant is to liberate our people from the shackles of agony and bleakness.”
It urged Yoruba, Itsekiri and all Oodua descendants all over the world to unite and prepare to defend their ancestral territories from the aggression and organised hostilities of arrogant aliens currently occupying Yorubaland including our sacred forests and groves. OWC said it will shoulder the historic and necessary burden of redeeming Oodua descendants from their affliction and put an end to the mourning, the gnashing of teeth and the desolation of the people.
It said Yoruba people will be energised to act with the philosophy of proportional response to the premeditated attacks being planned by those who wish to keep Yoruba under brute force. The group said it is ready to work with other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria who share the dream of OWC.
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A group known as Yoruba Youth Council Worldwide in collaboration with list of other groups of youths from South West have handed down a strong-worded quit notice to the Fulani herdsmen in the region. The group and others gave 7-day ultmatum for the marauding Fulani herdsmen, who have been known for their murderous, raping and kidnapping and other criminal nature, to leave the region. This, they said that, if it does not happen will attract serious consquences in an operation they called ‘Operation Clean Sweep’.
Below is the press statement by the group:
Press Release 23rd May 2019.
7 Days Final Quit Notice To All Fulani Herdsmen in South West tagged: “Operation Sweep Clean- (Folumo)”.
The leadership of the Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide (YCYW) alongside other leading Yoruba youth organizations in Yoruba Land: a coalition of all Yoruba indigenous youth and student organizations in Nigeria and in Diaspora, with the sole aim of enthroning rule of law, security of lives and properties, good governance and succinct democratic ethos predicated on Awoism credos and peaceful coexistence of Nigeria.
Based on this premise, rising from her National Executive Council meeting in ile ife on 23rd May, 2019, in view of the recurrent decimal of flagrant brutal killings by the gun-wielding terrorist Fulani Herdsmen/Boko Haram, aggressive invasion and violent attacks and alleged kidnapping of innocent Yorubas and Nigerians domiciled in Yoruba Land, gross violation of fundamental rights to human dignity leading to serial and merciless killings of innocent youths, rising wave of insecurity across the nation in Lagos around Ojokoro, Ibadan to ife road, Ibadan to Ijebu Ode/Benin Ore road, Ekiti to Akure and other highways kidnappings and robberies, incessant records of brutal ritual killings to mention a few, precipitating our unanimous resolution via final 7 days quite notice to all Fulani herdsmen/Boko Haram to stay off all our territories, towns, villages and highways in all southwest states predicated on the launched mass movement tagged: “Operation Sweep Clean(Folumo)” forthwith.
Failure to comply with this final warning shall leave us with no other option than to forcefully clean up and root out all Fulani herdsmen/Boko Haram terrorists in all hiding creeks and forests in the south-west geopolitical zone of Nigeria after 7 days final quit notice to lapse on the night of Thursday 30th May, 2019 accordingly.
Henceforth, we are laconically positing that all residents persons domiciled in the southwest shall be part of this mass movement launch of 20 million man match against the herdsmen terrorists in all southwestern states, wherein a date will be announced upon violation of these warning notice, wherein all our members across all the local governments and communities within southwestern states shall by jointly and simultaneously mobilized to frontally comb and move into all forests, creeks and flashpoints, wherein all cattle breedings and animal husbandry marauding shall be stopped forthwith.
Furthermore, after 21 days of persistence of these heinous threats against our people, we shall not hesitate to move against all investments and businesses; ranging from real estate, transportation haulage, oil and gas owned by any Hausa/Fulani extractions within southwest, if this evil persist irreversibly without verifiable interventions from their leaders and heads, we shall summarily shut down all palaces of Hausa/ Fulani communities within southwest.
Nigeria, seems to be faced with multifaceted challenges daily, consequently, we have gotten lots of colossal loss of lives and properties from the killer herdsmen terrorist groups, unfortunately, they are yet to be classified as a prohibited terrorist organization by the federal government of Nigeria.
Perhaps, it is highly regrettable to note the Federal Government ill-motivated act of comparing the Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria to Afenifere and other socio-cultural groups; what a profused insulting, irresponsible and reckless statement from a government under democratic rule, to make matters worse President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government assured and promised N100Billion to support the herdsmen, when they have not shown any sign of remorse or repentant demeanour.
We have it on record, that the FG has proven to protect these Fulani herdsmen with additional approval of radio station licencing to Fulani radio station network across the nation.
Consequently, this is a direct nexus for provoked aggression, anarchy and authoritarianism.
We are suspicious of some elements who are using the veil of government to launch a massive genocidal war against innocent Nigerians, particularly Yoruba people, i.e recently our doctors and professionals are gruesomely killed and brutally maimed.
Based on the live report, we learnt the Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen are feasting around us daily, in over 2,000 creeks forests spread across southwestern states, particularly in the most vulnerable states: Ogun, Ekiti, Oyo, Osun and the Ondo States respectively.
For power corrupts and absolute powers corrupt absolutely.
We believe, this is the best time to review our unworkable system of government towards the realization of the restructuring agenda, with a prepared vision and hope for a new people’s constitution that guarantees good governance, devolves power and economic resources rights to the Regions/ States and Local government units, unfortunately this has not only contributed immensely to our precarious and nebulous status as the poverty capital of the world, but tainted accolades as the worst place to live in on earth.
What else gives citizens the confidence to thrive, if this stumbling pyramid of daily struggles and resultant double jeopardy remains unabated.
Based on this premise, we believe charity begins at home, precipitating our clarion call for ‘A Southwest Economic Revitalization and Security Summit’ slated for Thursday, June 27th, 2019 at Mapo Hall, Ibadan, Oyo State by 11a.m.
We passionately appeal to all our political leaders, stakeholders, elders, youth organizations, all Yoruba socio-cultural self determination groups and Royal fathers to urgently shun all divisive tendencies and embrace one another, for it is high time we crave with the greatest respect and seek His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Dr. Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi 111, The Alaafin of Oyo and other Royal Fathers of great reputes.
Also, we equally call for a closer ranks between Aare Dr Gani Adams, The Aare Onakankafo of Yoruba Land alongside the Agbekoya, Afenifere, ARG, all OPC, OLM, YCWY, YYC, Yoruba Koya, Yoruba Assembly, YSG, VOR, all youth and student leaders to mention a few, while we equally call on all our esteemed captains of industries, philanthropists, professionals, scholars, political gladiators and leaders of thoughts to collectively reason together on the way forward and proffer immediate panaceas to this stalemate. For we can no longer guarantee our further safety and economic survival as a nation, due to the aforementioned tribulations and double jeopardy thickly fastly like an evolving time bomb, earnestly waiting for ignition.
We believe that these similar gestures be transmitted to other regions too, in order to simultaneously and effectively ventilate our age long grudges dispassionately as commons and compatriots.
This will then culminate to the eventual convocation of ‘A National Peace and Security Summit’ to be hosted by President Mohammadu Buhari in Abuja by Thursday 25th July 2019.
However, firstly we demand for a special Yoruba youth dialogue with President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR being a father and president of the nation, this shall serve as a means of intimating him on all the aforementioned, in order to cross-fertilize ideas on the current state of the national affairs and other issues of mutual interests, as the nation’s present and future heirs, as well as YCYW, being the umbrella body for the Yoruba youths.
We hope this clarion call would constructively summon our dying consciousness of building and salvaging our nation from imminent total collapse, for canons of war or attrition cannot solve our dreaded ailments, but exploring dialogue as the alternative first aid of getting out of this evil hoods.
We believe that no human life is worth to be shed on the altar of mediocrity and quests for power.
For we must ensure to protect all inhabitants within our territories and by extension all Nigerians nationally.
Long live Yoruba Land.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Signed: Aremo (Barr)Oladotun.Hassan,Founder and President,Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide(YCYW).
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The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has charged Commanding Officers of Army units within the South South, South East and South West zones of the country to work towards tackling crimes and criminality within their areas of responsibilities. General Buratai spoke at the Nigerian Army First Commanding Officers workshop for 2019, urging the Commanding Officers to tackle kidnapping, smuggling, pipeline vandalism and terrorism.
He tasked them to work close with the authorities within their areas of responsibilities to be able to gather intelligence and ensure that they nip crisis rocking these areas in the bud. The Army Chief, who was represented by the Commander, Nigerian Army Signals Corps, Major General Mohammed Mohammed, urged the commanding officers to refresh their minds on how to confront criminality within the areas they are deployed to.
He said that all operations in which the Army was involved in across the country was to sharpen the knowledge of the commanding officers and make them perform optimally, adding that the workshop was put together to ensure that they share knowledge with other Commanding Officers participating in the workshop.
He said: “We have informed the commanding officers to understand that workshops like this are intended to refresh their minds, their experiences and for them to share knowledge with their colleagues from other regions.
“Like you understand, the commanding officers here are from the South South, South East and South West and there is rich knowledge of activities going on in these areas. So, bringing them together here is for them to share knowledge and to understand also the new directive and policies that will guide their conduct and understand the need to integrate with the societies where they are working.”
General Brutai tasked the officers to learn from their contemporaries on how to apply leadership skills in their various units, adding that the workshop was aimed at improving the skills of the Commanding Officers towards developing a more professional and efficient approach to the performance of their statutory roles in both peace and war times.
“I am highly delighted to be in this occasion of the first Commanding Officers workshop, which is highly necessary in line with our vision to the security challenges confronting us on daily basis, and also to find a solution to those challenges,” he said.
Earlier, the General Officer Commanding 81 Division, Major General Musa Yusuf, said the training activities were designed by the Army Headquarters to enhance and build the capacity of the Commanding Officers.
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