Communique Issued at The Extraordinary Meeting of the Ooni Caucus on the 4th February, 2024 to address the emergency crisis of Insecurity/Kidnapping in the South-West

The Caucus extends its heartfelt sympathy to the families, communities and the people and government of Ekiti state on the brutal and abominable killings of traditional rulers including the Oba of Koro in Kwara state; the horrific kidnappings of school children and their mentors and the recent violent assault on the peace, security and corporate integrity of Ekiti state, the South West and indeed all the six geopolitical zones.

We await the outcome of investigations into these reprehensible and criminally insane acts; and hold that culprits should be subjected to the wrath of law to its fullest extent

The Ooni Caucus requests the location of a Military Base to reinforce the extant security apparatus in the state, which had proven woefully inadequate

The Caucus join the urgent calls for a constitutional amendment towards the decentralisation of the Nigerian police with the specific objective of enabling the creation of state and community based policing. The decentralisation should be complemented with the cooption and collaboration of Ex-servicemen i.e. retirees from the Police, Military and Paramilitary Forces.

We call for the enhancement of the capabilities of the local law enforcement agencies domiciled in the 774 Local Government Areas through the office of the Divisional Police Officers

We commend the establishment of the Amotekun, the Pan South West Zonal security outfit and its conspicuous accomplishment in its short existence regardless of acutely inadequate resources at its disposal. We appeal to the state governments of the South West zone to double down on this initiative with the provision of ample resources and logistics support. We equally deem the activation of the Oodua Peoples Congress
OPC as of the essence and urgent imperative

Other notable pro-Yoruba communal security groups apart from OPC and Amotekun such as the one led by Chief Sunday Igboho should be equally encouraged and energised towards the strategic protection and defence of Yoruba Region.

There is the need to highlight the specific responsibilities of the government, communities and the private sector in the onerous task of securing our nation and its communities. The economic dimension to security calls for economic interventions especially skills development and job creation schemes to stem security threats arising from socioeconomic factors.

We call on the Southwest political leaders to stimulate and encourage
community-based security initiatives across every hamlet, village and town in Yoruba land. We need to protect our borders as well as identify and secure all our ungoverned spaces, especially forests and public utilities.

We urge leading lights and critical stakeholder groups from across the length and breadth of the region to snap out of their self-destructive complacency and indifference regarding the security of Yorubaland before it is too late. They should regularly liaise and consult with SW Governors to identify current security threats and articulate remedial actions.

Our royal fathers and leaders of traditional institutions should hold mandatory meetings among themselves to discuss and mutually agree actions that would promote and defend the Yoruba heritage. They need to be sensitised and alert to the risks of harmful land and property ownership practices that render Yoruba communities vulnerable to external threat and subversion.

In view of their strategic utility in the peace and security of their domains, we call for the strengthening and empowerment of the traditional rulers.
The institution must enjoy a level of autonomy commensurate with the huge responsibility they bear in the local communities.

We need to begin to ‘Name & Shame’ those individuals and institutions that have been found guilty of compromising and sabotaging Yoruba interests for parochial and selfish reasons.

It is incumbent on all our leaders to regularly embark on regular campaigns to educate citizens on security issues and the need to be vigilant and prepared
to effectively grapple with security threats and challenges.

We do not know for certain the security status of Mr Sunday Adeniyi Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho. We hold the view that he does not constitute a threat to the peace and stability of Nigeria in any way. He should, therefore, be accorded the freedom, rights, and privileges that are due to every Nigerian citizen. If he is not in Nigeria, he should feel free to return home at a time of his choosing

Finally, we find the need to prompt and remind President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to redeem his pledge of support towards the decentralisation and devolution of powers in Nigeria.

Balogun Akin Osuntokun Coordinator

Dr Yomi Layinka Secretary-General