Obas’ Killings: Pan-Yoruba Groups Write IG, Gov Oyebanji, Calls for Police Post in Affected Communities.
The Inspector-General of Police (IG) Kayode Egbetokun and the governor of Ekiti State, Abiodun Oyebanji, have been asked to, as a matter of urgency, establish police stations in communities where traditional rulers were killed.
The pan-Yoruba group also called for immediate recruitment of indigenes of the affected communities into the police, DSS and Amotekun for effective policing of the area.
In a statement on Tuesday morning signed by the Alliance of Yoruba Democratic Movements,(AYDM), it called for immediate provision of security stations in affected communities.
AYDM is an alliance of over 130 pan-Yoruba and community-based groups, including Oodua Peoples Congress, (OPC-New Era), O’odua Nationalist Coalition, (ONAC), Covenant Group, (CG), Agbekoya, Iteskiri Nationalist Congress, (INC), O’Odua Peoples Congress,(OPC-Reformed), Yoruba Network Alliance, (NENA), South-West Professional Forum,(SOWPROF), Association of Amalgamated Unions of Motor Mechanics and Technicians of Nigeria (South-West), South-West Progressive Youths Congress,(SWYC), Nigerian Automobile Technicians Association, (NATA-South-West) and many others.
AYDM in a statement signed by Ajayi Popoola, the general secretary, on Monday said it was regrettable that there were no single police stations in Ekamefa communities with a population of some 30,000 people.
Ekamefa is made up of six ancient communities of Itapaji, Iye, Ipao, Oke-Ako,. Ijowa and Irele communities, but none of them has any police station. The next police station to some of the communities is about 20km away.
AYDM said that for the past 25 years, police stations have never featured in these communities, leaving them at the mercy of terrorists and armed bandits.
The group said the absence of police stations had turned the area into an ungoverned territory where kidnappers have a free reign.
“We appeal to the Inspector-General of Police and the Governor of EKiti State to see the establishment of six police stations, one in each community as an immediate step to be taken, to stop the continuous killing of royals, professionals and ordinary people alive.”, AYDM said.
The AYDM General Secretary said, in less than one week, the I.G can set up make shift police posts in these communities while preparing the establishment of standard police stations in the months ahead.
The group said lack of police stations made life unbearable and empowered armed groups to operate unhindered.
The AYDM said that the communities were historical settlements dating back to over 1,000 years of history and were of significant relevance to Yoruba history, culture and economy.
The AYDM General Scretary said, “Ekamefa, unknown to many people, has one of the most fertile land in Yorubaland and the hub of rare species of plants and animals. It is rich in biodiversity with its vast green lurch tropical forest and extensive farmland. It is one of the few forests in Yorubaland that still boasts of Cheetah and Buffaloes all of which now face extinction.
AYDM recalled that the Action Group, (AG) and the Unity Party of Nigeria,(UPN) led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo chose the area for ranching that flourished for many years.
AYDM noted that the communities in the eighteenth century produced remarkable warriors that defended Yorubaland against Fulani invasion and also played a significant role in the Ekiti Parapo War which ended in 1886.
The AYDM said the communities were ready to partner with the Inspector-General of Police, but were frustrated by security initiatives that excluded the indigenous people who were the direct victims of atrocities of murderers.
The AYDM said, “We are prepared to take the case of Ekamefa to the United Nations if the IG fails to do the right thing.
“Creating police posts is the easiest thing the IG can do.There is a military checkpoint in the area that has been compromised. What the people need are police stations made of people that live with them and experience their fears and aspirations. ‘The Ekamefa people are traumatized and many have been forced to flee their community, due to the siege of fear and melancholy,” AYDM said
According to the group, no fewer than 50 people have either been killed, maimed or attacked in the past ten years in Ekamefa communities.
The group said it was embarrassed by the attitude of National Assembly members representing the area who acted as if they did not understand what it meant for traditional rulers to be killed like chickens.
“Instead of crying like a baby, we expected the House of Representative member representing Ajoni and the Senator representing the area to have relocated to the communities until police stations are set up. We expected them to have moved swiftly to even begin the construction of police stations as a constituency project”, Popoola stated.
The AYDM said it was shocked, but not surprised by the attitude of Yoruba political class to the sad event in Ekiti State.
“It is surprising that after the killing of two traditional rulers in Ekiti State, and one in Kogi, it is as if the burden has been left for Governor Oyebanji alone while other South-West states, apart from Ondo, are literally drinking and wining while their fatherland is under fire.’
The AYDM commended the governor of Ekiti State, Abiodun Oyebanji for his swift responses, his dedication, hard work to get to the root of the violence in the state in the face of legal limitations occasioned by Nigeria’s defective Federalism.
The group cautioned security operatives to update Nigerians on investigations in line with global best practices and not to create diversion through selective arrests of some people meant to divert Yoruba people from the real issue of armed alien invasion and terrorism in Yorubaland.