Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, has alleged that security agencies, especially the police, are frustrating the efforts of local vigilantes in their fight against insecurity across the country.
The monarch stated this on Wednesday at a stakeholders town hall meeting on security facilitated by Governor Seyi Makinde, which was held at the House of Chief, House of Assembly Complex, Secretariat, Ibadan.
Oba Adeyemi expressed shock at the manner the efforts and intelligence gathered by local vigilantes and are being rubbished by security agencies.
He said: “I want to use this medium to appreciate the governor that invited us the traditional council to discuss the security challenges in our domains. If we sit down here, there are some things that we cannot say publicly. If the meeting had been a private one, there are things we would have been able to say.
“We the traditional rulers are stakeholders in our communities and villages. Those being killed are our wives and children, our daughters and women are those being raped. They are killing our people and we cannot relocate to Ibadan in search of protection.
“I have a prepared speech, and if I decide to read it, this place will shake. All the suspected criminals that we arrested through our own local intelligence in the forests, we handed them over to the police. They were arrested for kidnapping, rituals and so on. But we usually see them on the third day, walking around the street.
“Governor Makinde is taking the right step, but the Constitution that we are operating in Nigeria is defective. The governor is doing what he can and he can do whatever you want him to do. But when it comes to the area of security, there is nothing the state government can do, if the Federal Government does not do it.”
Oba Adeyemi added: “The state governor cannot direct the Commissioner of Police to do something if the Federal Government does not approve of it. The CP will not honour the governor; we should not deceive ourselves.
“Since 2018 that they started the Jihad, we the traditional rulers have not been sleeping with our two eyes closed. They have been kidnapping kings too. When they kidnapped the Baba-Aso of Igbole, we the traditional rulers were the ones that contributed money for ransom before the monarch, his wife and child were freed.
“We have secured the release of many victims. We have our own vigilantes in the forests. We bought 10 bags of garri, 10 bags of semovita and so on for the vigilantes in the forests. We would not declare our operation modality until after the arrest of the suspects and we hand them over to the police.
“I will leave the original copy of my address with the governor. He can investigate at police formations, especially at the anti-kidnapping unit in Ibadan. None of those arrested and handed over to the police has been jailed.
“The money that Oyo State Government is spending on security, you are just spending because there is no appreciable result. We are stakeholders, we partner with you, and we spend our money to put up vigilante groups that are still in the forests.
“Also, we have some Fulani that believe in us. If they enter the forest today, before tomorrow, they are already in Benin Republic. A suspect that was arrested with AK-47 rifle, we have his photograph, that we handed over to the police, where is the AK-47 rifle now? If you invite us, we will advise you appropriately.
“The initiation of Amotekun Corps by the South West governors is the first breakthrough in tackling insecurity in the zone. But if we have not reach the stage of having state police in Nigeria, the states will continue to be puppet under the Federal Government of Nigeria. How did we get to where we are today? Your Excellency, you can build a wonderful edifice but the operation of the Constitution will not allow you to achieve the goal.”
Speaking , the Olubadan of Ibadan land , Oba Saliu Adetunji, represented by the Otun Olubadan, Senator Lekan Balogun, advocated that Nigeria should become true federalism, adding that true federalism would give the state governors power to deal with security challenges in their states.
Oba Adetunji stated that the responsibility of providing security rest on the shoulders of three groups- public office holders, security agencies in uniform and the traditional institution.
He called on the Federal Government to recognise the three groups and encourage them to work together in order to ensure adequate security.
In his address, Makinde revealed that after his administration reviewed the security situation in the state, the government had to set up Security Taskforce and War Room to deal with the peculiar security challenges in different zones of the state.
He added that the state decided to involve traditional rulers and non-state actors to deal with its security challenges in order to ensure adequate security of lives and property.
The meeting had in attendance Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi represented by Oba Oyetunji Ojo; former Governor Rashidi Ladoja; deputy governor, Rauf Olaniyan; Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin; Garrison Commander, 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Brig-Gen Adesoji Ogunsugba; Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko, top government functionaries, political appointees among others.