…Urges security agencies to come to their rescue
By Ademola Adegbite, Ibadan
FOLLOWING the recent attack on about 30 farmers from Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State by suspected Fulani herders, the state chapter of Vigilante Group of Nigeria, VGN, has appealed to the state government and security agencies to come to their rescue, saying, they don’t have vehicles and manpower to fight dangerous criminals.
“It is demoralizing our members. Whenever we are having distress call, our people are not encouraged to go into the forest. This is the time we really need the support of our people, especially the government and security operatives because we don’t have vehicles, manpower and even weapons to engage them.” It explained.
Recall that the farmers were attacked at Alaga in Itesiwaju Local Government area of the state on their way to Atisbo Local Government for awareness campaign.
Addressing newsmen in Ibadan, however, the state Commandant of VGN, Comrade Ogunmakin Moses, said the group was still making frantic efforts to see Governor Seyi Makinde on their welfare despite series of Save our Soul, SoS, letters written and sent to him which had not yielded any fruitful result.
According to him, we are appealing to Oyo state government led by Governor Makinde to move the outfit from the Ministry of Women Affairs to Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters for effectiveness and efficient patrol.
“No need to regularize vigilante patrol team from adhoc to permanent gazzetted; government should increase our monthly stipend; procurement of sophisticated weapons and provision of mobility vehicle and motorcycle for efficient patrol.
“We have written about five letters to the governor but there was no response. We met with him when he was a year in office but we couldn’t discuss anything related to our welfare. Lack of supports from the state government is affecting us.
“This is because the bandits have surrounded us. The bandits are everywhere in Oyo state. This is the time the government needs to empower us so as to tackle the bandits. We need logistics. Because of government’s neglect, we embarked on strike before and just resumed after the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs appealed to us.
“Our monthly stipend is N17, 000 and many are taking even smaller amount. The poor renumeration is one of the reasons our members are not ready to work again. We buy bullets and arms from our pocket. We only sacrifice our time and resources because we love our state. If we are empower with good arms, they cannot overpower us. We need pump actions and other sophisticated weapons to fight bandits in the forest in order not to overpower us.” The commandant pleaded.