Mimiko, Okoh, others seek state of emergency on kidnapping
SEQUEL to the spate of insecurity and recurrent kidnapping across Nigeria, civil society groups, political parties and clergies; despite their sharp differences in creed, beliefs, vision and ideologies, have come up with a common call that a state of emergency be declared on kidnapping and that potent policies should be formulated to stamp out the menace.
They all urged government at all levels to ensure the safety of every Nigerian and peace in the polity in line with the constitutional responsibilities of all these level of governance.
One of those who made the call is the Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh who however noted that insecurity is a global menace threatening the peace of the whole world through the activities of ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and Al-Queada.
Okoh said that “they have different names in different environments, but the whole thing is that government has responsibility for security, in fact, that is the primary duty of government, to ensure that people are protected and well defended so that they don’t fall into harm.”
The Anglican cleric disclosed this last week at the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion attended by over 180 bishops across the country held in Akure, capital of Ondo State, two days after Chief Olu Falae, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and also, the Chairman Local Organizing Committee of the Anglican event, was kidnapped.
The recent kidnap cases, whose news went viral were that of Falae, and Mrs Toyin Nwosu, wife of The Sun Newspaper’s Deputy Managing Director, raising waves of criticisms against the dastardly acts.
The Falae saga had also caught the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari, who ordered the Inspector General of Police and all other relevant security agencies to ensure immediate release of Falae un-harmed.
The presidential directive has however not gone without criticism, some people have queried why such attention was focused on Chief Falae while many Nigerians regularly fall victims of kidnapping with little or no attention from government.
In their view the only way to ensure that equal treatment is given to all Nigerians irrespective of their status is by declaring a state of emergency on kidnapping and by formulating potent policies that would ensure that kidnapping is nipped in the bud.
Archbishop Okoh expressed the assurance that “with what is happening in the pursuit of Boko Haram, the government is set to defeat it,” adding that “if the government can tackle insecurity, then all the people who are in different bushes capturing people and who have arms will all disappear.”
According to him: “So, there should be a Task Force to check the bushes and ensure that these people are disarmed.”
While the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase publicly reiterated his commitment to battle the security menace in the country based on the mandate given to the Police, he however admitted that “security challenges like this, are new trends; they are emerging trends, not only localized in Nigeria, it is a global thing.”
“We are going to devise strategies to ensure that hoodlums cannot overwhelm a state. We will continue to interdict them, degrade them and catch them,” the IGP assured Nigerians.
Governor Olusegun Mimiko expressed his fears over the kidnap of the Yoruba frontline leader, Falae by alleged Fulani kidnappers Fulani and cattle rustlers, noting that “there could very deep security dimension to it.”
“The issue of kidnapping is taking another dimension for somebody of his pedigree to have been taken away while working on his farm. To us, these are very important security challenges and I think we must address them in all their wider dimensions,” Mimiko said.
Aside the efforts of security operatives to nip the hydra-headed monsters, insecurity and kidnapping in the bud, the National President of the Yoruba militia; Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Dr. Fredrick Fasehun has suggested a militia intervention and has convoked an emergency meeting o the group for next Sunday.
“OPC is not interested in crisis but it was founded primarily for the protection of its people and for building bridges in Nigeria. All lovers of Nigeria unity like OPC, communal peace and national progress must rise to this challenge,”
In the same vein, another chieftain of the militia, Chief Gani Adams lamented that “it is also worrisome that the nation is descending into an era when a citizen is not safe even in his own home,” warning against the excesses of the Fulani rustlers “over the hospitable nature of the southerners and that that should not be seen as a weakness by anybody.”
The 80th birthday ceremony of the OPC leader, Fasehun, at the weekend in Lagos, gave a new insight to an exigent measure of looking to the militia groups for lasting solution to the insecurity menace.
Governor Mimiko and the former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State Al-Mustapha, lauded the militia group and acknowledged the work it has been doing since its establishment.
Excited by the legacies of the OPC leader, especially in maintaining peace, order and integrity of the Yoruba race, Mimiko remarked: “I speak on behalf of the government and people of Ondo state; we are proud of you. As a governor of Ondo state, I am proud to be associated with you.”
He added: “One thing is clear and I have always said this that OPC is about protection of Yoruba people, because Yoruba people hate injustice.
“You founded OPC, today, I tell you in Yoruba land that many Yoruba people will feel secure with OPC guarding their streets than the conventional police.”
Several dignitaries like Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, chieftain of the Social Democratic Party Seyi Makinde, spokesperson of Afenifere Yinka Odumakin, and Chairman of Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC), Johnson Ogunyemi etc.
“I don’t know who is safe in this country any longer,” said Durojaiye, but hanged his hope and that of more than 400 ethnic groups in Nigeria on the President’s integrity saying he has “confidence in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government with the cooperation of the security agents to take necessary steps on the development.”
Ogunyemi, who recently organized a peace summit in the OSOPADEC mandate areas: Ilaje and Ese-Odo LGAs of the state in collaboration with the Nigeria Army (NA), Nigerian Navy (NN), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), youths and pressure groups in the area, urged the Federal Government to adequately re-orientate the masses about the volatile state of the nation.
At the conference with the theme: “Peace and Security Initiatives for Sustainable Development,” Ogunyemi said: “We need to remember that conflict is everywhere in the society, even at home it is there. Wherever there is scarcity of resources or unresolved grievances, there will be conflict.
“Ultimately, our inculcation of dialogue and peace would undoubtedly engender development in our land, and bridge the gaps between the ruled and the ruler as well as between the governed and the government,” Ogunyemi said.
The OSOPADEC boss advised that there must be mutual interaction in all cadres and strata of the society, advocating further that there must be paradigm shift from the lust for money among the youth to appreciation of moral, integrity and societal values.
“It is the lust for money that is creating most of these problems. We must embark on changing the orientation of everybody to be contented with what they have and look for a better to fulfilling their lives rather than engaging in criminal activities,” he said.
He added that such orientation exercise should also be extended to the security operatives in the country, especially the police, in order to build a working relationship with the society that is based on trust.
Meanwhile the Ondo State Commissioner of Police, Mike Ogbodu, while taking over from his predecessor, Isaac Eke, has pledged “to encourage the people of state to build a high level of trust in the police through community policing, quick response to distress calls, display of high level of professionalism in carrying out their duties.”
Ogbudu, among other things, said he would frustrate all criminal activities and reduce to the barest minimum nefarious acts in the state just as he has also pledged to operate a human right driven police.
He tasked police officers across the three area commands in the state, reminding them of “the need for dedication to service and humanity as I will not condone any form of laziness and indiscipline, likewise the anti-corruption crusade of the Inspector-General of Police is still on course as the current dispensation is allergic to corruption.”
Ogbudo said he would maintain the cordial relationship with other sister agencies and extend hands of fellowship to other security outfits to combat crime and sustain the peace of the state.
“I wish to solicit for the cooperation of our respected royal fathers, the youths, corporate bodies and private individuals to give their maximum cooperation in order to achieve the entire mission stated above,” the new Commissioner said.