OPINION: Makinde And The Return Of Political Pessimism In Oyo State | By Martins Sijuwade - Mega Icon Magazine
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OPINION: Makinde And The Return Of Political Pessimism In Oyo State | By Martins Sijuwade

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In the International Court of Justice Report of 1992 at page 93, The Honourable Judge Bola Ajibola KBE of the International Court of Justice made the following remarks: “Again I ask myself what is justice in a case of this nature? Justice is to maintain international peace and security, to take effective measures to prevent and remove all threats to peace; to suppress all threats of aggression or any form of breaches of peace in any part of the world. To me, justice requires prompt action to prevent deterioration of peaceful co- existence… No man goes to sleep when the house is burning”. Without donning the garb of preposterousness, the security rooftop of Oyo state is burning seriously and uncontrollably.

All over the world the importance attached to security of lives and properties is nulli secondus. Larger attention is given to it for security is the bedrock of human existence. Dead men don’t negotiate business and they don’t contribute their quota to national and state development. It is now so unfortunate that a key man to the Governor of Oyo State and the Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Surveys was attacked by unknown gunmen in his house killing his driver and his orderly heavily wounded. The cypher hereinafter posited is that if the life of a serving Commissioner and the henchman of the Governor is not safe, whose life and property is? Nothing can be further from the truth other than saying that security under the watch of Governor Seyi Makinde is at its lowest ebb. Seyi Makinde’s government is taking us back to the Hobbesian era when life was solitary, nasty, brutish and short.

Like W. B. Yeats said in his classic poem The Second Coming, “things have fallen apart and the centre cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.” For emphasis sake W. B. Yeats stated in his poem as follows”:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer
Things fall apart the entre cannot hold
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

The world has not fallen apart. Oyo state is.

In disparaging the roles of bad governance it is quite instructive to remark that one of the factors holding back our democratic process is that some office holders are not prepared for the jobs they were voted to perform. The greatest threat to governance is to elect leaders who find themselves overwhelmed by the challenges of office because they were never prepared in the first place. Ever since the emergence of Governor Seyi Makinde as the governor of Oyo state, his became the tale of a man who was never prepared for governance. From a rubber stamp State House of Assembly headed by a young man who was not also prepared for the seat of Speakership, and down to charlatans who left various political parties to find retirement benefits for themselves within the corridors of Seyi Makinde’s government, the recent comatose state of Oyo is and can be largely attributed to unpreparedness of Seyi Makinde and his arrays of political office holders.

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Or how best can one describe an attack on a serving Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Surveys of Oyo state right within the comfort of his house by unknown gunmen? The government of Seyi Makinde is condescending into failure; failure is staring at the face of the leaders who unfortunately met themselves unprepared for the major task of governance. Mockery of the system it is for a government that has no answer for the insecurity in the land. It is a colossal mockery for a government to pay lip service to the populace assuring them of a secure and safe state when on the contrary the high and mighty and the middle classed civil servants and citizens are scampering to safety with no hope in sight.

Governor Seyi Makinde in a bid to show off and over-impress the people embarked grossly on misplaced priorities and is always all out to disparage the antecedents of the immediate past APC led government. Makinde via his lacklustre attitude to governance has tremendously proven that Oyo is being taken like 10 years backward: the popular pre-Ajimobi era. Before the election of Senator Abiola Ajimobi, pre-Ajimobi Oyo state was always a war zone.

Ranging from the criminality perpetrated along the Molete axis, down to the notoriety of street urchins at Bere/Oja-Oba down to Oje, Iwo Road and the unrest always recorded at Foko and Oke-Ado, Ajimobi came to power minding the fact that governance without adequate security is a failure – colossal one for that matter. As the Chief Security Officer of the state, Ajimobi brought the Oyo State Security Trust Fund (OYSSTF) to limelight to provide for the wherewithal of fighting insecurity. He brought the Operation Burst and Joint Task Force which really worked like a magic wand in nipping criminality in the bud. Like a Cyclop, Ajimobi restored sanity, sanctity and order to Oyo state. The facts can be verified: no Commissioner or public officer was attacked under the nose of Senator Abiola Ajimobi when he was in government.

As it stands now, it is audible to the deaf and visible to the blind that Governor Seyi Makinde does not have a clear-cut blueprint on how to handle the matter of security. It is therefore not surprising that instead of building institutional countercheck to insecurity, Governor Makinde is busy lavishing borrowed funds on misplaced projects and flying all over the world. What is the problem? The problem is the successive cohorts of opportunist politicians and their ever available collaborators who are continuously using public offices, politics and power for themselves for self enrichments with the mass of the people getting steadily poorer by the day.

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The procurement of some patrol vehicles was made public on 20th November 2019 and in the evening of the same day, unknown gunmen attacked a serving Commissioner under the watch of the Governor at his home claiming his driver’s life. Seyi Makinde should know as a governor that outcome policies based on consensual, participatory, and transparent processes are more easily sustained than lone, solitary-minded, eccentrically dogmatic viewpoints. By implication, institutions of good governance that embody such processes are critical for development and should encompass partnerships among all elements of civil society representing different shades of opinion and ideology.

Before this can materialize, it is fundamental that a solid foundation of effective organizations and enabling institutions is a necessary precondition. Once a governor fails to take initiative and is always fond of putting his eggs in one basket, then it frequently results to underperformance. And the most paramount performance index rests solely on the issue of security.

The present ruling party in Oyo state and its drivers have no direction. It’s a tale of confused drivers looking for confused passengers. They have degenerated to political miscalculations that have fallen below the expectations of the people. In a scenario similar to Seyi Makinde’s government, the former General Secretary of the Communist Party of Russia Nikita Khrushchev in his book titled Krushchev Remembers, reported that “after the Nineteenth Party Congress, Stalin created among the new Presidium members some wide-ranging commissions to look into various matters. In practice, these commissions turned out to be completely ineffectual because everyone was left to his own devices. There was no guidance. There was nothing assigned for these commissions to look into, so they made up their own assignments. Everyone in the orchestra was playing on his own instrument anytime he felt like it, and there was no direction from the conductor”.

Those appointed by governor Seyi Makinde in various capacities cannot boast of having achieved anything spectacular other than media noises, television misdemeanors and radio cacophonies. This best summarises the infamous and inglorious roles currently being played by the charlatans under Seyi Makinde’s administration. His appointees practise what we can best refer to as political shenanigans. Their orchestra lacks a conductor: always embarking on aimless adventures. The founding fathers of Oyo may not be that happy in the heavens with Governor Seyi Makinde paying mere lip service to governance.

Clarion call is hereby made to the Commissioner for Lands of Oyo state who was attacked and who escaped death by thin air and indeed the entire cabinet members of Seyi Makinde’s government to immediately resign from Governor Seyi Makinde’s cabinet as the recent attack shows that cabinet members’ lives are not secure. A government that cannot adequately secure its cabinet members will definitely fail to secure the lives of the ordinary citizens.

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Seyi Makinde should know that security is serious business no one can play politics with. He seems not to have a firm grasp of the issues surrounding the state’s security and terrain. This is a Governor who spends more time outside Oyo state than inside. He prides in coasting all over the world and abandoning his primary responsibility of governance and security stability. Seyi cannot be blamed: he lives most of his adult life in the South-Southern part of the country. He barely knows the Oyo terrain and landscape and those who are meant to be his eyes can’t really see farther beyond their nose. It’s a tale of the one-eyed man leading the blind. The Ibadan people with their witty sagacity had long posited that in the land of the blind, a one-eyed man is King. He leads his cabinet and they follow him sheepishly.

Governor Seyi Makinde should borrow leaf from the technocracy of the immediate past Governor of Oyo State Senator Abiola Ajimobi. He should not be too arrogant to approach the elder statesman at his Yemoja Street residence in Oluyole Estate, Ibadan. After all Seyi Makinde had confessed to the Oyo public that most of Senator Abiola Ajimobi’s policies are valuable and priceless. Government should be in continuum and pride and party politics should not step in place of good governance. If Governor Seyi Makinde is not prepared for the office, at least he can seek the way from those who have gone ahead of him in the journey.

Seyi Makinde has failed the people and he should face it. He should look at consulting the experienced to salvage Oyo’s dwindling glory.

 

 

Martins Olamiji Sijuwade, a legal practitioner and the President of Global Social Thinkers’ Institute, an organization concerned with good governance, accountability and public transparency writes

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Opinion

Opinion: Amotekun Will Succeed As A Shield Not As A Sword | By Muideen Olagunju 

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Let’s not deceive ourselves, AMOTEKUN evolved into our security consciousness because of the incursions of criminal elements among the Fulanis of Northern Nigeria who have mastered crimes like pillaging, malicious damage, murder, rape and armed robbery. If I am not directly familiar with the modus operandi of the ones that lay sieges along the Osun-Ondo-Ekiti axis, I am fully abreast of the activities of these Fulani gangsters in my immediate environment of Oyo Town. The Oke Ogun zone of Oyo State has also been the stomping grounds for Fulani armed robbers.

Many of us view them as mere cattle herders but they are super intelligent. The level of their conspiracies is higher than that of common criminals. A Fulani man doesn’t act alone. If he is a crime perpetrator, he could get backing as high as Abuja. If he’s the victim, and the wrongdoer is Yoruba, haaaaa, his rights and interests could be defended by the high and mighty.

I’ll give you an example. A Fulani herdsman was killed just before Fasola Village in Oyo Town in 2013. His kinsmen reported to the Police and 3 individuals were arrested close to the scene of the crime. They protested their innocence and were able to give accounts of their whereabouts at the time of the murder. In short, in legal parlance, they had alibis. The DPO exercising jurisdiction over the matter couldn’t release the suspects. He said he had to transfer them to Homicide Division at the State CID even though he was convinced they are innocence.

He confided in me that he feared the influence of the Fulanis and their propensity to escalate the matter up to the office of the IGP in Abuja. He then gave me an alternative route to get my clients released. He said I should talk to a particular Fulani man who, at the time I must add, was the Head of all Fulanis in the Oyo area. I approached him. He said MIYETTI ALLAH was monitoring the matter. He became convinced too that the suspects had nothing to do with the murder but said only a directive from Miyetti Allah could make him drop the case. We exchanged numbers as he promised to get back to me. He did the following day and asked me to meet him at a Filling Station around Gedu, Oyo.

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I met him and at least 10 other men. He asked me to tarry as they were expecting Miyetti Allah’s representatives from Ilorin and Ibadan. Within one hour, the delegation from Ilorin comprising three individuals arrived and two persons came from Ibadan. They spread mats within the premises of the filling station and began deliberations. After about 20 minutes, I was summoned. I presented the case of my clients before the entire group. One of the men from Ilorin replied.

He was quite garrulous and had an air of assumed authority. He said they could punish my clients for the sins of Yoruba farmers against their people in the area. He added that but for the generous recommendation from the Seriki Fulani about me, my clients would have faced charges of murder. He then gave the OK that my clients could be absolved.

The above is just to tell you how organized and protective these people can be. We cannot forget how President Buhari accompanied them to confront erstwhile governor of Oyo State, Lam Adesina, over skirmishes between Fulanis and local farmers in Oke Ogun area in 2001. In terms of influence, we don’t actually stand a chance.

Now let’s discuss the composition and the operational nomenclature under which the Amotekun outfit will function. It appears they would not bear firearms and if they would, it is likely police or the government will only allow such basic firearms like pump action rifles. It goes without saying that the Fulani marauders bear more sophisticated weapons. The least In their Arsenal is the Kalashnikov (AK 47) assault rifle. In terms of operations, we have to remember they are primarily pastoralists.

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Walking the bush or forest is child’s play to them. Stamina comes in abundance. They can operate during the day or night with ruthless efficiency. No matter how well we train the Amotekun outfit, taking the battle to the marauders will be counter-productive except the Police and/or army will be co-opted to assist in the manhunts.

Keep in mind that the Amotekun initiative is being rammed down the throats of Northern interests. They see it as act of confrontation. In the minds of the hardliners among them, it is an affront. The current make up of the hierarchies of the security sector in Nigeria is not favourable to Southerners except we want to live a lie. All out battle against the marauders may elicit surreptitious complicity from the rank and file of the traditional security outfits like the police and the army in their favour.

As a sword, Amotekun will be like a Pygmy squaring up to Goliath.

So we have to use it as a SHIELD. At least by now, the signs are obvious that Southwestern states are fed up with the brazen activities of Fulani bandits. We have to mix the show of force with clever diplomacy. We have to open an interface for dialogue and engagements with the relevant stakeholders including the Miyetti Allah. This will include security summits between our six governors working in unison and their Northern counterparts. Engagements should include fast-tracked solutions to the perennial open grazing crises. This is where engagement with the federal government is crucial. The POWER OF SIX should be persuasive and result-oriented.

Of course, not all Fulanis are bad. The settlers are actually good people for the most part. Their major infraction is malicious damage of farmlands. Many of them have been with us for long and some have been completely Yorubalized. We can develop a system of useful collaboration with them. One thing I’ve discovered is that they also hate the activities of the nomads particularly since the settlers are often victims of the cattle rustling activities of the nomads. The “enemy of my enemy is my friend” mantra is apt in that situation.

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While the issue of banditry may have spurred the birth of the Amotekun initiative, there are sundry crimes being committed daily by Yorubas themselves. Ritual killing is one. Youth gangsterism is another. Proliferation of drugs is also a matter of concern. Amotekun should be localized to work with community leaders for the purposes of identifying bad eggs among us. Working in tandem with the police, criminals can be easily identified and reined in. We should also work hard to see that the outfit is not infested with corruption. Who would have thought the FRSC will deteriorate into being part of the “Sabanmu” gang?

It will take a lot of tact and wisdom to get Amotekun to achieve its fullest potentials. May we get it right.

 

Barrister Muideen Olagunju, ex-lawmaker,

Oyo State House Of Assembly writes from Oyo town

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Opinion

Opinion:Feeling worried over gruesome murder of Oko Oloyun Worldwide | By Onike Rahaman

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The gruesome murder of Alhaji Fatai Yusuf a.k.a. Oko Oloyun, the popular Lagos based traditional therapist on Thursday, 24th of January 2020, along Igbo Ora-Eruwa road in Oyo State,is not just a shocking news,it calls for worry.

By the circumstance of his death, this seems to be more than armed robbery incident. It may also not be wrong, if one looks at the dastardly act as direct indictment that the government at various levels lack the will and capacity to provide adequate security.

What this simply means is that government have not succeeded in the performance of its core mandate of providing security of lives and property for the citizens.

This is to also serve as a further reminder that government needs to improve in the area of security architecture,intelligence gathering and digitalization of security operations throughout the country.

For those of us that ply Maya-Eruwa-Igboora road weekly, we know the area is unsafe and more or less a den of people of underworld.
The brutal assassination of this silent philanthropist is a further testimony that insecurity of lives and property is now a major challenge in the country.

I am privileged to come across Oko Oloyun in the course of traveling around and meeting like minds to advance frontier of knowledge in the area of phytochemistry and uses of medicinal plants.Without any reservation,I can say that Oko Oloyun is a genius and guru when it comes to knowledge of nature cure and herbal medicine.

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His death will definitely create a vacuum in the field of alternative medicine.

I pray this time around,the killers and their sponsors are fixed out.

The whole world is waiting eagerly to see how far the police will go in its investigation of the heinous crime committed by unknown gunmen.

The Oyo State police command spokesman, SP Gbenga Fadeyi, said that the state’s police commissioner, Shina Olukolu, has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.It is my prayer that his assassination doesn’t end as one of other unresolved murder cases in the country.

Oko-Oloyun, who until his death was the President of the Physiotherapists’ Association of Nigeria, was also the manufacturer of popular Fijk Flusher among other popular herbal products.

Those close to him say he was a lovable personality and cheer giver who never discriminated against any tribe or faith before his gruesome murder by yet to be identified gunmen.

May God Almighty repose his soul and give his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

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Opinion

Opinion: Beheaded Adamawa Pastor: CAN Got It Mixed Up | By Femi Adesina

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It was very sad and doleful to hear of the eventual beheading of Rev Lawan Andimi, Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Michika Local Government, Adamawa State. He had been abducted by terrorists earlier this month .

I felt the killing of Andimi very keenly, not for the fact that he was a clergyman, but “any man’s death diminishes me, because I’m involved in mankind.” (John Donne).

No man should die the way Rev Andimi was killed. Beheaded by insurgents, who then proceeded to gleefully announce his decapitation. It should not happen. Evil and senseless. It is classic example of man’s inhumanity to man, and those who did it have long lost their humanity, if they ever had any.

President Muhammadu Buhari has sympathized with the family and relations of the dead. I have also been in a state of melancholy over it. May God have mercy.

I am mourning Rev Andimi, not just because he was a cleric, but because he was a human being. And my distress was increased by the statement issued on the tragic event by the central body of CAN. Too many things were mixed together, which the apex Christian body in the country should have been mindful of, lest it departs from the mind and essence of Jesus Christ, our perfect example.

For years, since he emerged on the national scene as a military leader, and later as an aspirant for the highest political office in the country, and eventually as President, spirited attempts have been made to position Muhammadu Buhari as anti-Christian faith. It worked against the man for a long time, till majority of Nigerians saw through the smokescreen, and made up their minds against the demonization.

That was why as much as some church leaders tried to dress Buhari in borrowed robes in 2015 and 2019, millions of Christians went ahead to vote for him. The inexorable truth is that in Nigeria, Muslims can’t wish Christians away, and vice-versa. We shall all stay here, and salvage it together.

However, the statement by CAN on the death of Andimi gives hint that the leadership of the Christian body still harbors some of the old narratives that have been discredited, and from which majority of people have purged themselves, except the willfully irredeemable.

Hear CAN, through its Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Evangelist Kwamkur Vondip, speaking for Rev Samson Ayokunle, President of the body: “Maintenance of security is the least responsibility of any government that knows its worth. We are once again calling on President Buhari to purge himself of the allegations of nepotism and religious favoritism by reconstituting the leadership of the security forces.”

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Let’s consider this part of the press statement. Maintenance of security is the least responsibility of any government that knows its worth. Not news. The Constitution says so. But don’t you glean a hint of bile and bias in “that knows its worth?” Oh, CAN, this is not the mind of our Master. He gives praises when due.

Security is number one on the priorities of the Buhari administration. It has pumped time and humongous resources into it, and while the job is not fully done, we are not in the same position we were before the administration came. At least, to those who want to be honest. And CAN should be honest. That is what we’ve learnt from our Master. There were times bombs used to go off in this country like firecrackers, and deaths were in many scores.

Now for months on end, you may not hear of a single bomb blast. Emirs that had fled their palaces, like those of Askira and Uba, have returned after two years. Secondary schools that were shut for two years in Maiduguri have reopened. Roads long closed due to activities of insurgents are back in use. Kidnappers are being arrested in droves in different parts of the country. Clashes between farmers and herdsmen are reducing to the barest minimum.

Yet, CAN is talking about a government that knows its worth? The Buhari government does, and honest Nigerians know it, and wish it more successes. Security, in any country of the world, can only be work in progress.

Hear again: We are once again calling on President Buhari to purge himself of the allegations of nepotism and religious favoritism…Wait a minute. If any purging is to be done, is it not by those making allegations?

The allegations lasted for many years, but truth eventually overtook them. If CAN would then still dwell on the discredited accusations, it must be the one to purge itself, as millions of Nigerians, including Christians, have already done. The insecurity in the country is not about any religion. It is pure evil, from the pit of hell.
And then: …purge himself of the allegations…by reconstituting the leadership of the security forces.

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CAN, oh CAN, in a condolence statement? Are you saying under a different leadership of our security forces, insurgency will vanish after they wave their fingers? Why mix the wheat and chaff together? In the leadership of the security forces as we have it now, is the position of Chief of Defence Staff not held by General Abayomi Olonisakin, who is also a pastor? Is he not a member of CAN? Is the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe-Ibas, not a Christian, and under the banner of CAN? Listening to the organization, you would think not even half a Christian is in the leadership of the security forces. This kind of sentiment breeds hatred and malice in a country, and CAN should not be involved in such, for Jesus would not do it. And we’ve been called to walk in His steps.

If the leadership of the security forces would be changed, it is a sitting President that has the prerogative. It will not happen when CAN begins to make such demand in what should be a sober condolence press statement. Don’t mix bias and sympathy. They don’t mesh.

And then, this completely reckless portion of the statement: “In the light of the current developments and the circumstantial facts surrounding the prevailing upsurge of attacks against the church, it will be difficult for us to believe that the Federal Government is not colluding with the insurgents to exterminate Christians in Nigeria, bearing in mind the very questionable leadership of the security sector that has been skewed towards a religion and region.”

Holy Moses! Did CAN say this? Shameful and ridiculous. These are the things that sow malice and animosity in the country, and a Christian body is not expected to be involved in such. You can’t sow discord, and expect concord.

In that statement, the Christian body urged the Federal Government to ensure the release of the prisoner of faith, Leah Sharibu, and hundreds of victims who are in Boko Haram and ISWAP captivity. It equally called for three days fasting and prayers by Christians in the country. Good. The role of the church is not just in making snide remarks and statements, it is in what the Good Book calls “the demonstration of the Spirit and power.” When Herod locked Peter up, and was going to behead him, the early church prayed fervently, and Peter was rescued miraculously the night before. Rather than cast the government as omnipotent, it is God that has all powers. And some things are never resolved spiritually except through prayer and fasting. It is not me that said so. Jesus did. So, let the Church be fully involved in supplication for divine intervention in the country, rather than playing subtle politics and unwittingly generating hate in the land.

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CAN says kidnappings and killings are shameful to a government that boasts that it has conquered insurgency. Boasts. So that is all that matters to CAN, as if it was an opposition political party? Boasts. No. This would not augur for unity and cohesion in a country. We are not asking the Christian body to be in bed with government, that would not help anybody, but the organization has been sounding too long like a political party. We daily learn to walk with Jesus. His spirit is not an unduly critical one. And He left us an example “that ye should follow in his steps.”

Rev Andimi was not killed solely because he was a Christian. Those evil people kill anyone they lay their filthy hands on.

May Andimi’s soul Rest In Peace. May his loved ones be comforted. And may evildoers get their recompense, and fast too. Amen.

 

Femi Adesina is the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari

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