The pioneer director of the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Albert, has absolved Governor Seyi Makinde of blame over the security crisis I Oyo State.
Albert, in a press interview, said the Federal Government should be blamed for rising criminality in the states because its body language encourages and emboldens criminal herdsmen who keep terrorising helpless citizens across the nooks and crannies of the country. He pointed out that the Federal Government, which controls all security agencies in the country, is doing little to help governors confront criminality for reasons best known to them.
He also pointed out that the rise of Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho to the occasion in Igangan, in Ibarapa North Local Government Area,was a replacement of the power of government by a non-state actor
His said: “To me, I don’t think there is anything happening now that is strange to a scientific analyst. When a Federal Government fails to listen to good people, opinion leaders and traditional rulers, non-state actors will rise to occupy the space. It is established in extant literatures. If you don’t want to have the likes of Sunday Igboho, then you must have a state that has the capacity to respond. So, when the state is not responding, non-state actors will fill the space. And I think that is what we are witnessing. Sunday Igboho wouldn’t have been as popular as he is and be followed by so many young people in Ibarapa and Oke Ogun area if there was an adequate response to the problem. I don’t want to go to his past. But what I just want to say is that he took advantage of an existing gap in the security architecture.
“We know the governor to be active, but recently we have been having security breaches all over the state, not due to the incompetence of the governor but because despite him being Chief Security Officer of the state, he doesn’t have the resources to act powerfully in that capacity. So, if people were being killed and kidnapped in Ibarapa and Oke Ogun, the governor doesn’t have the wherewithal of going there to arrest the kidnappers. The best he could do is to talk to the commissioner of police and the security agencies in the state. But if these people have not been able to arrest the problem, there will be an escalation of the problem and the interpretation of the people will be that the governor has not been defending them.”
Albert, however, faulted the state government for not communicating enough its efforts to curb criminality across the state.
Albert, who is a professor of African history, peace and conflict studies, also sounded pessimistic on the new agreement by South West governors to ban open and night grazing as well as under-aged herders. He said what would make the agreements reached in Akure effective is implementation, which he said was largely within the capacity of the Federal Government.
“The law hasn’t been implemented because the Federal Government has been encouraging the herdsmen to believe that they are above the laws. Even the resolutions passed in Akure on same open grazing won’t work if the Federal Government doesn’t support it. This is because the governors of the South West states do not have the police under their control. Forget about Amoketun; there is a limit to its powers. After those resolutions, if the Federal Government can come in to make a general announcement that henceforth, we don’t want open and night grazing and it is pronounced at the federal capital in Abuja, these herdsmen will comply because the government will send the police to go and enforce the order. If they can’t enforce it, the army will come in to assist them. But when you have a presidency that is saying that the herdsmen are entitled to where they are and what they are doing, it is like you have a presidency that is supporting criminality. So, how do you manage those two extremes? The state governors are saying we don’t want this around us and the Federal Government is saying you must have it around you. This is what is emboldening the herdsmen because they know that the governors are just making noise which will not amount to anything,” Albert added.