…Calls for Constitutional Amendment and State Policing
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III has urged the residents of Oyo State not to put the blame of the security challenges being experienced in the state on the shoulders of the Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde.
The First-class Monarch said this at the meeting of the Oyo State Traditional Council of Chiefs and Security agencies organised by Governor Makinde earlier today at the House of Chiefs, Oyo State secretariat, Ibadan.
The Monarch in his speech praised the efforts of the Governor in combating the tides of insecurity sweeping every corner of the state but emphatically stated that the Nigerian constitution is a handicap to every effort being made by the Governor and others.
He said, “Our Governor is really doing everything he can to battle these security challenges but according to the Nigerian constitution, the security sector is under the exclusive list which belongs solely to the Federal Government.
“So, on security matters, the Governor can only try his best but he is handicapped by the constitution unless the Federal Government gives a mandate.
“Gov Makinde can set up a wonderful security edifice but the constitution of Nigeria will not allow him to achieve the goal of an improved security architecture.
“The Governor cannot give an instruction to the Police unless the Federal Government gives approval. If the Federal Government orders the Police not to act on what the Governor said, they have no choice but to obey the Federal powers.
“Let’s not deceive ourselves. The army is not under the command of the Governor.”
Alaafin lamented the security situation in the state, especially in the Ibarapa zone. He added that despite the efforts being made by the traditional rulers in each zone to ensure the security of the people, every suspect arrested by vigilantes employed by the traditional rulers were later released by the police.
He said, “It’s unfortunate this meeting was made public as there are things we traditional rulers present here have to say that has to be said in private.
“We, the traditional rulers, are stakeholders when it comes to security. In our regions, zones, farm, our wives are being murdered, our children are being raped and killed. Our people are the ones being killed and we can’t flee to Ibadan in search of protection.
“Due to my radical view, I won’t be able to say much. If I should read the note I prepared for this meeting, it might cause uproar here.
“70% of our farmers in Ibarapaland have abandoned their farms.
“I have here with me the record of all those that we’ve had to pay ransoms to free from the den of these kidnappers.
“We have vigilantes in the forest and we have to always buy food items for them with our own money.
“Whenever we raid our forests and apprehend these kidnappers and miscreants, we hand them over to the police. The most surprising thing is that by the third day, you would find these same kidnappers that were handed to the police on the street and in the forest.
“I’ll give this report to the Governor. I want him to investigate the Police Anti-kidnap unit in Ibadan and verify which of these kidnappers we handed over to them have been prosecuted and sent to jail.
“I can say emphatically that not one of these kidnappers has been jailed.
The Monarch consequently called for an amendment of the Nigerian Constitution as he noted the money being spent by the State government on the improvement of the security sector is being spent in vain.
Oba Adeyemi said, “We are the stakeholders. We partner with you. We synergise with you and spend our money to put up vigilante groups in the forests but there are no appreciable results.
“We still have some Fulani men that partner with us and we raid the forest together.
“We have apprehended a lot of these kidnappers, armed with guns and we handed them over to the police.
“Where are the guns retrieved from the kidnappers?
“If you call us in private, we will advise you on how to handle the security challenges in the state.
“One of the first breakthrough recorded by the South West governors was the creation of the Amotekun Corps.
“However, until we have state police, the state will continue to be a puppet under the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Until the Constitution is amended, there can’t be no progress as regards security matters.
“We cannot operate an adulterated Federal system of Government. What we are operating today is a unitary system of Government under which the state government has no power to save its people.
“If you arrest someone and hand them over to the police. If the Inspector General of Police calls the Commissioner of Police and orders for the release of the arrested person, the CP listens to no one else but releases the suspect.”