Ibadan Chiefs Raise Alarm Over Resurgence of Kidnapping in South-West

Traditional rulers in Ibadanland, chiefs, mogajis, and baales have raised alarm over the resurgence of kidnapping and other criminal activities in Nigeria, particularly in the South-West region of the country.

The chiefs said the rate of kidnapping in the last few months across the nation which is gradually engulfing the southwestern part of the country should be a concern to residents.

A statement by the President of Mogajis of Ibadanland, Mogaji Asimiyu Adepoju Ariori, and the coordinator, Ibadan Compound Peace Initiative, Mogaji Nurudeen Akinade, stated that Ibadan as the gateway to other South-West states would not fold its arms and allow the menace to continue

According to the duo, kidnappers had allegedly taken over some areas in Nigeria, particularly Yorubaland in the last few months.

They urged government at all levels and relevant authorities to come together and find solution to the challenge for the safety of lives and property of the people.

The statement said: “A few days ago, the chairman of the Lagos state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Philip Aivoji, was abducted by some yet-to-identified gunmen along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

“Yesterday, two traditional rulers in the Ikole local government area of Ekiti state were killed by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers.

“The two traditional rulers were the Elesun of Esun Oba Babatunde Ogunsakin and Olumojo of Imojo, Oba Samuel Olatunji, while the Alara of Ara-Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Fatoba escaped from the scene.

“Kidnapping in the last few months was only in Abuja, but now gradually extending to Yorubaland, Ibadan as a gateway to all Yoruba states won’t fold its arm and allow such to persist.

“We kick against re-insurance of criminals, we believe the criminal act has gone with our efforts particularly the effort of the Ibadan Compound Peace Initiative in collaboration with other security agencies

“Considering the way we worked in synergy with other security agencies a few years ago, we thought the criminal act had been depleted but we just discovered that it has relapsed.

“We are already in touch with all various community development groups and associations in the southwestern part of Nigeria, various informal groups and societies including but not limited to markets leaders, unions and associations and they are prepared to key in and be part of this all-important security movement.

“We implore the government to quickly without further delay fine-tune ways of having security synergy with all volunteers, our hunters’ associations, concerned local security networks, various security operatives, traditional institutions, and other relevant stakeholders in Ibadanland, Oyo state, and Yorubaland to find solutions to the issue.

“If this is quickly encouraged, it will afford us the opportunity of blocking all the escape routes in all our cities, towns, and villages including our forests and bushes most of whom are considered as ungovernable spaces.

“We can’t successfully engage in this all-important security synergy without the support of the Governors, most especially in Yorubaland.

“While appreciating all our regular security agencies including Amotekuns for their commitments and service to the nation, we advise the Government not to withdraw our security agencies on our highways and major roads whenever they are having any major events like road commissioning as some of these attitudes has been reportedly responsible for the upsurge in the onslaught of the Kidnappers along these highways.

“It seems insecurity has engulfed the Yorubaland, we need to wake up before it gets out of hand, the statement concluded.