The recent happenings in Ibarapa especially Ibarapa Central and North Local Government Areas should be a great concern to everyone who is development driven.
The gory stories of killings, maimings, kidnappings and invasions within the region vis a vis the lethargy and lukewarm cum diplomatic disposition of Government and its agencies at all levels to the security of the Region has given rise to self-help as the ultimate help. With the sudden surge of insecurity in the Region, one would have expected any Government that prides itself as people-oriented to have left no stone unturned in ensuring the safeguard of lives and properties.
It is high time Governor Seyi Makinde realized that the major regions as well as the minor regions deserve equal attention and Ibarapa region must not be treated as a negligible region when it comes security and infrastructural development. So far, the Region could hardly see the presence of the Government in the Region and this largely contributes to the current state of affairs in the agrarian Region. On this issue of insecurity, empathetic leadership dictates the urgent need for the Governor to conduct on the spot assessment of the situation and Ibarapa with a view to finding lasting solution to the crises.
The current cacophony of strategies within the Security architecture needs to be revisited and repositioned. We can no longer afford security apparatus who probably encourage criminals at the expense of the Region. The situation in Ibarapa requires intelligence policing rather than the current abrasive approach. This and many more must be done.
Protection of lives and properties is the primary responsibility of any Government pursuant to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; we therefore call on the Governor of the State to live up to his Oath of Office and take the safety of our lives and properties in Ibarapa and Oyo State in general as the supreme law.
While we commend the entire Traditional Council of the Region for closing down all Kara Market in the wake of current crisis, we wish to also reiterate that eternal vigilance remains the price of freedom and all hands must be on deck to ensure that peace, justice and equity is enthroned in Ibarapa.
The current passivism of most political appointees, leaders and leaders of thought, religion or otherwise from the region is condemnable. You cannot choose political correctness cum diplomacy over and above the lives of your people. A dangerous time like this demands more than ‘sitting on the fence’. The once flourishing agrarian economy of the region is in shambles as people can no longer undertake their ventures without fear of kidnapping or maiming.
The on-going face-off between Fulani in the Region and their host has once again underscored the urgent need to have a sincere talk that will culminate in truth and reconciliation. A Security Summit where minimum standards will be agreed on must urgently take place. One needs no expert to accentuate the act that the continued stay of the herdsmen in the Region can no longer be a ‘business as usual’. There must be minimum standard of decency and decorum that must be agreed for mutual co-existence. No doubt, no Region is self-sufficient and we need one another in the journey to sustainable development but this must Not be at the expense of our lives and properties.
We are troubled that the inter-tribal relationship between Ibarapa people and the Fulani sojourners have broken down to the level of distrust in which a call for the Fulanis to quit is being made. This call and the ensuing drumbeats of war should abate now to leave room for meaningful dialogue.
To this end, we, as a movement, shall be willing to partner with all stakeholders in the Region to host this much needed Security Summit. We also call on Government at all levels and relevant agencies to join hands with us in building a lasting peace in the Region. This is a moment in the annals of our Region to jettison petty politics and bury individual ego for the ultimate benefit of the Region.
We advise well-meaning people of Ibarapa to refrain from the musings of violence while we forge a new framework for peaceful coexistence and security of everyone