We’ll deal with marauding herdsmen — Aare Ona Kakanfo-in-Council
•New security policy for Lagos coming, says Sanwo-Olu
•Efforts to combat menace in place — Ekiti govt
•Buhari, N-West govs working to tackle insurgency — Presidency
By Dapo Akinrefon, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Peter Duru & Monsuru Olowoopejo
LAGOS — The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, weekend lamented that parents are now terrified to send their children to school due to insecurity in the country, especially girls, who have been victims of kidnapping while at school.
This came on a day the Aare Ona Kakanfo in Council vowed to deal with marauding herdsmen terrorizing the South-West, just as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State said he would disclose a new security policy to stem the increasing rate of kidnapping in the state.
Still on the issue, the Presidency in a statement last night said that President Myhammadu Buhari and governors of states in the North-west Zone were working out strategic plan to end insurgency in the zone and the Northern region.
UNICEF Communication Specialist, Mr. Geoffrey Njoku, in a statement on behalf of Mr. Peter Kawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria to mark this year’s Day of the African Child themed: Child Rights in all Situations, Including During Humanitarian Crises, said parents are now so scared to send their children to school due to the high level insecurity in the country.
He said in commemorating the day “about 2,000 youths across 10 Nigerian states, including Abuja, presented petitions to their governors, parliamentarians, policy-makers and other influential persons in a mass effort to draw attention to the need to act on commitments to increasing access to safe, quality education for all children, especially girls.
“The Nigerian campaign for access to quality education will hold the newly-elected government officials at all levels accountable for their campaign promises to provide equitable access to free, safe and quality education for every child, especially the girl child, in Nigeria.
“The 10 states where the mass actions are taking place — Bauchi, Niger, Katsina, Kano, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba and the FCT — have about eight million children not in school and an average enrollment rate of only 57 per cent.
“Schools should be a safe place for children, one in which they can get quality education that will put them on the path to a secured future.”
‘We’ll deal with marauding herdsmen’
Also concerned about the worrying rate of insecurity in the country, the Aare Ona Kakanfo in Council, yesterday, vowed to deal with marauding herdsmen terrorizing the South West saying “we cannot continue to fold our arms and let these bandits continue to soil our land with the blood of the innocent.”
They raised the alarm that the Yoruba race is at the risk of being haunted and slaughtered by “this reckless group if we keep sugarcoating the bloody implications of their evil enterprise.”
This was the outcome of the council’s extraordinary session chaired by Aare Gani Adams in Lagos.
In a statement titled: Our stance on the Fulani herdsmen scourge in Yoruba land, he called on traditional rulers and local chiefs in the region to show more than passing interest in the activities of people in their domains.
The statement was signed by Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Aare Gani Adams; Mr. Wale Abel (Balogun Aare), Hon. Taofeek Isa (Baaregunwa), Mr. Olusegun Dare (Agba Akin Aare), Mr. Shola Osunkeye (Baaroyin Aare), Mrs. Oluremi Dare (Yeye Agba Akin), Capt. Michael Adeshina (Baarejiroro), Akogun Gani Balogun (Osi Aare), Hon Akeem Ige (Baameto Aare), Mr. Kehinde Oluwole (Baamofin Aare), Mr. Femi Bamisile (Baareselu Aare), Otunba Kole Omololu (Odofin Aare), Mr. Kayode Ajulo (Mayegun Aare), Mr. Yinka Oguntimehin (Asoju Aare), Prof Kolawole Raheem (Parakoyi Aare), Chief Ebudola Odedina (Fiwagboye Aare), Chief Kamorudeen Lamina (Borokini Aare), Mrs. Yewande Green (Yeyeshewa Aare), Mrs. Ige (Yeye Bameto Aare), Alhaja Adiat Ayinke Alao (Iyalaje Aare), Chief Yaqub Adeshina (Akogun Aare) and Mrs. Lateef Adeshina (Yeye Akogun).
After appraising the security situation in Nigeria, especially in the South West, the council said: “The campaign of blood by herdsmen, who have been ravaging our land, kidnapping, killing, maiming and raping our people in recent years has become a serious source of concern for the Yoruba race; a race renowned for their staunch passion for peaceful co-existence, national cohesion and development.
“The threat posed to our existence by these blood-mongering marauders cannot be overlooked as we, as a people, believe that for peace and accord to reign among the multiplicity of peoples who occupy a common territory, all parties must play a role in ensuring that each and every unit in this country respects each other in all ramifications.
“It is disheartening and most embarrassing that the group, despite several appeals to their consciousness and common sense, has continued to wreak havoc on our land, and forcibly planning to reap where they have not sown.
“They have proven that they have come to steal, destroy, and kill; as evident in the unmitigated attacks on communities where their nomadic enterprise takes them.
“They have been plundering Yorubaland, and we recognize evil when we see it. This is no exception.
“As true spawns of Oduduwa, we are unequivocally forthright about this threat posed by this group which the Federal Government has turned a blind eye to by refusing to call a spade by its name, dubbing the Fulani marauders as criminals, bandits, and pillagers.
“Every true blood of the Yoruba race is at the risk of being haunted and slaughtered by this reckless group if we keep sugar-coating the bloody implications of their evil enterprise.
“We are acquainted with the nature of Fulani nomads in the past, and we know as a matter of fact that they were not carrying AK-47s. It is because of this naked truth that we ask that these people be labelled as what they are. We are clamouring that the appropriate moniker should be used to tag them. They should be addressed as Fulani bandits, for we believe that there is power in names.
“We strongly advise Obas and local chiefs to show more than passing interest in the activities of people in their domains. They must know that they cannot be blameless for their failure to account for and monitor strangers in their areas of jurisdictions, particularly those whose activities run contrary to peaceful coexistence.
“We cannot continue to fold our arms and let these bandits continue to soil our land with the blood of the innocent. Consequently, we hereby ask these Fulani marauders to stop their murderous activities and vacate every inch of Yorubaland they currently ravage.
“Failure to reconcile themselves with these terms may warrant maximum retaliation as the principle dictates that a bully only respects a bully.
“We demand concrete action by the Buhari Administration over the activities of these murderous gangs. We are no longer comfortable with the continuing brutalization and murderous humiliation of our people. Government’s silence is distressing as it is emboldening the criminals. President Buhari must act now.
“They need to understand that their seeming stillness about this plague is a tacit alignment with the forces of evil.”
Efforts to combat menace in place — Ekiti govt
When contacted, Chief Press Secretary to the Ekiti State governor, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, said efforts had been put in place by the state government to see how the traditional institution could collaborate with security agencies and tackle banditry and insecurity in the state.
Oyebode said: “In Ekiti State, the government is taking steps to ensure the state is secured. Two weeks ago, the state government organized a security summit. We are looking at a situation where the traditional institution can collaborate with security agencies and ward off insecurity and banditry in the state. We are also introducing the unconventional system to tackle insecurity in the state.
New security policy for Lagos coming, says Sanwo-Olu
Meanwhile, Governor Babajide Saanwo-Olu of Lagos State, yesterday, disclosed that he would disclose a new security policy to prevent the high rate of kidnapping currently ravaging the country from getting into the state.
Sanwo-Olu said the decision to adopt a new security policy became imperative due to the current increase in the level of insecurity across the country which had forced other states to review their policies.
The governor gave the hint at the interdenominational thanksgiving service organized by the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, at Gbagada, which was also attended by Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mudasiru Obasa, and others.
He said: “This is because there are so many issues around security within Lagos and across the country. We will not sit back and fold our arms. We will work with the security operatives so that in the next couple of days, we will make a very definitive pronouncement on security.
“The pronouncement will include what we need to do and how we will achieve a better secured state. This will help to ensure that issues around cultism, kidnapping are checkmated in Lagos. Lagos is the home to all. It is the home for the rich and the poor.
“We will strive to ensure that we do this within the resources available to us. We want to ensure that Lagos becomes the best place anyone can think of in terms of security.”
Buhari, N-West govs working to tackle insurgency — Presidency
The Presidency last night said that President Muhammadu Buhari and governors in the North West were working out strategic plan to end insurgency in the zone and the Northern region.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in Abuja said that President Buhari’s administration and the North western state governments were pursuing an urgent revamp of the national security apparatus in the sub-region following the infiltration of bandits into areas.
According to the statement, the renewed effort to secure the zone came on the heels of the recent killing of 34 persons in an attack on Tungar Kafau and Gidan Wawa communities in Shinkafi Local Government Areas of Zamfara.
President Buhari, who expressed sorrow over the renewed attacks extended his sympathies to the governments and people of Sokoto and Zamfara states and charged all stakeholders, made up of the federal security agencies and the states involved in drawing up the long-term strategic defence plan to begin its immediate implementation.
It said that, “Under the plan, states are joining the Federal Government in supporting the security and military operations by providing logistical support.
“States are providing additional vehicles in addition to those provided from the center. The federal government is establishing new forward operation bases and when all of these come together, the ongoing operations will be scaled up.
“The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA and the various State Emergency Management Agencies, SEMA are expected to streamline their operations to provide succor to displaced persons, thousands of whom are taking refuge in the neighboring Niger Republic.”