Fulani Herdsmen: Ogun Govt Denies Inviting Sunday Igboho To State
Ogun state government on Monday refuted media reports suggesting that it enlisted the help of Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, to combat crimes in the state.
The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Abdulwaheed Odusile, dismissed the report in a statement issued in Abeokuta hours after Igboho arrived in the state on Monday to ‘flush out killer herdsmen’.
According to Punch, Remmy Hazzan, Special Adviser on Public Communications to Abiodun, said Igboho was free to come to the state for consultation.
However, giving clarification about Hazzan’s statement, Odusile said the report which emanated from an interview with the special adviser on public communication, was quoted out of context, PremiumTimes reports.
The interview was twisted to achieve sensational effects. In the interview, Hazzan had said that the state government, in its usual inclusive approach to governance, would continue to work with all the stakeholders, both within and outside the state to ensure security of lives and property.
Sadly, however, this statement was disingenuously twisted to mean that the state had invited Mr. Adeyemo (Igboho) to help curb insecurity. This is regrettable and totally misleading.
The Dapo Abiodun-led Administration, since inception, has been known to be inclusive in its approach, collaborating and engaging with a wide range of stakeholders including security issues. This has resulted in the achievement of the enviable status and recognition we enjoy as the most secured state in the country.
A recent award given to us by the Business Day Newspaper, among other organisations is a testimony to this.
The Commissioner recalled that Dapo Abiodun-led administration had taken giant strides in securing the state since it came to office.
Upon assuming office, this administration restructured the Ogun Security Trust Fund and put the critical stakeholders (private sector) at the driving seat.
It strengthened the engagement with security agencies in the state and provided them with 100 Hilux patrol vehicles, 200 motorcycles and other equipment to make them more effective and efficient.
Our government also partnered with other states in the South-West region to set up the Amotekun Security Network
We have also appointed two Special Assistants ( on ethnic relations) to ensure smooth interface with non-indigenes on a wide variety of issues, including security.
Therefore, Hon. Remmy Hazzan’s statement of working with stakeholders within and outside the state should be viewed within this context.
The government will neither welcome nor endorse any initiative that amounts to self-help or one that is outside the contemplation of the constitution.
He, however, stressed that the state would not be conducive for any group or individuals who tried to undermine peace, security and social wellbeing of the citizens.
The commissioner explained that the government had directed the security agencies to be unrelenting in swiftly apprehending and bringing to justice any perpetrator of crimes in the state.
The Yoruba freedom fighter, Igboho, arrived the state on Monday, saying he was visiting to help expel problematic herdsmen from the state.
Igboho, on arrival in Abeokuta, the state capital told journalists;
We are here in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. Fulani herders are killing us in various South-west states, and that’s why we, the youths, came out to demand our rights.
I observe there is an injustice from the herdsmen because they know the power that they have in the Federal Government. So, they behave as if Yoruba people are nobody. They kill our people, they kidnap our people, and they rape our women. Any Fulani herdsman who engages in kidnapping would be flushed out.
Igboho has been in the news recently for giving an ultimatum to herdsmen in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State to vacate the area and upon the expiration of the ultimatum, the home of Seriki Fulani in the area was attacked.
Consequently, Seriki Fulani, who said his house was destroyed and several cars parked within his compound burnt, fled the area for Kwara State with his family.
There have been several reports of criminal activities carried out by herdsmen especially in Ogun West senatorial district of the state.
However, under Nigeria’s laws, no citizen has the right to expel other citizens or residents from wherever they chose to live or do business in the country.