Some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State have fingered the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration for poor handling of security in the state.
The APC members, under the auspices of The Pacesetters Initiative (TPI), held that the body language of Makinde overtly and covertly encouraged hoodlums, criminal elements to perpetrate criminalities while public disorderliness and indiscipline are allowed to reign.
The group through a statement signed by its coordinator, Afeez Bolaji and acting Director of Organisation, Olawale Sadare, particularly pointed to reports of killings, gang clashes, kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery, thuggery as one that had assumed a frightening dimension under the Makinde’s government.
According to the group, residents of the state from Ibadan to Oke-Ogun, Ibarapa and Ogbomoso now live under palpable for fear of attack by hoodlums, bandits, rampaging herdsmen and insurgents.
The group bemoaned that the security situation in the state continued to degenerate from outset of the Makinde government owing to his failure to read a riot act to criminal elements but allowed them to regroup and to regain confidence for their nefarious activities.
Rather than point accusing fingers at the federal government for the challenge of insecurity in the state, the group said it was imperative for Makinde to mend fences with security agencies who may be unhappy with the government’s handling of the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests in the state.
The group stated: “We have watched with dismay how the current PDP administration has failed in the all-important task of securing the lives and property of the people.
“Things took a frightening dimension from the first day when Gov. Makinde did not mince words to indicate his desire to set aside all the fantastic programmes of his predecessor, as it included proper handling of security, for no just reasons other than politics.
“In actual fact, insecurity did not creep into Oyo State naturally as it took its roots from Gov. Makinde’s failure to study the system he inherited with a view to improving on it.
“He neither deemed it necessary to mobilize support from relevant stakeholders nor read a riot act to criminal elements not to heave a sigh of relief as Sen. Ajimobi had left the saddle.
“As a result of this; residents of Ibadan are now under the palpable fear of hoodlum attacks, armed robbery, extrajudicial killings, brigandage and other organized crimes even as people in Oke-Ogun, Ibarapa and Ogbomoso battle banditry and killings in the hands of rampaging herdsmen and insurgents.
“People of Oyo town can no longer sleep with their two eyes closed due to regular gang or cult clashes. As if this was not enough, disorderliness has taken over the public space such that street trading, suffocating road traffic and public indiscipline are now the order of the day particularly in Ibadan, the state capital.
“However, as much as some uninformed persons might want to blame the federal government for the spate of insecurity in Oyo State, we would challenge them to ask Gov. Makinde whether he has ever been denied his own share of the monthly stupendous security votes being paid to each of the governors in all the 36 states of the federation.
“Another pertinent question here is whether President Muhammadu Buhari had ever stopped him from working together with the Police, Army, NSCDC and other security agencies in the state to sustain or improve upon the achievement of his predecessor especially in the area of security.
“To this end, it is imperative for the governor to mend fences with all security agencies who might have been disappointed by his actions and inactions which encouraged hoodlums to hijack the last ‘EndSARS’ protests in the state as lives of some law enforcement agents, equipment and facilities were avoidably lost. In conclusion, the state government should be advised not to see its Amotekun outfit, populated by PDP members, as an alternative to the regular law enforcement agencies otherwise, the danger ahead would be unimaginable.”
Taking on the APC group, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State described as irresponsible, reprehensible and untoward any attempt to put the blame of the spate of insecurity on Governor Seyi Makinde.
The Oyo PDP through its Publicity Secretary, Akeem Olatunji, described attempts by APC members to pass the buck of the growing insecurity to Governor Makinde are lame, unthoughtful and mischievous.
The party held that Governor Makinde had invested greatly and supported security agencies in the state.
Rather than question Makinde, the PDP said President Muhammadu Buhari should be called to question on the failure of the security system across the country, including Oyo State.
The party equally faulted the position of the APC members on Governor Makinde’s role in the #EndSARS protests, noting that the governor did not in any way support hoodlums against security agents.
The Oyo PDP said: “The attention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Oyo State has been drawn to a statement authored by some jobless noisemakers in the All Progressives Congress (APC), who are trying to magnify the security situation of Oyo State out of proportion.
“The statement in question erroneously indicated that the security situation was getting worse in the state, clearly unmindful of the monumental investment of the incumbent administration in that sector.
“It is clearly untrue that the security is getting worse in Oyo State. What is clear is that a few APC unpatriotic loudmouths have been trying all they could to wish Oyo State bad by magnifying whatever incident slinked directly or indirectly to Oyo State in an attempt to rubbish the achievements of Governor Makinde in the area of security.
“While we do not want to insinuate that APC members and leaders, some of who have openly boasted that they will set traps for Governor Makinde not to succeed, are sponsoring hoodlums to disturb the peace of the state, the body language of the opposition and the fruitless attempts to pass the buck of insecurity in the entire country to Governor Makinde has sold them out as unpatriotic.
“What we in the PDP know is that Oyo State ranks among the least troubled in the national security index as attested to by undiluted facts. But agents of the APC, having failed in their efforts to find faults with the laudable infrastructural initiatives in Oyo State under Governor Makinde, are trying to exaggerate every incident just to paint a picture of insecurity and blackmail the administration.
“However, we won’t fail to direct them as appropriate to President Muhammadu Buhari, who made the security of lives and property a keyword of his agenda while campaigning for the presidency.
“We will admonish them to ask the president what happened to the security architecture he inherited from President Goodluck Jonathan, which Oyo State under the APC also benefited from, to the extent that kidnapping, banditry and insurgency have become a daily occurrence across the 17 states of the North and parts of the South.
“We want to direct the APC elements to ask the President how he mismanaged the country to the extent that Nigerians, including Oyo State residents, became so angry and rose against the system during the #EndSARS protests and how the pent-up anger has continued to affect the society to date.
“The truth is that Nigeria was safer and better managed under the PDP administration. It is being badly managed under the APC and that’s what is robbing off on the states of the federation.
“Those who are busy making noise about Makinde like the usual armchair critics that they are cannot deny the fact that the governor has been the most supportive of security agencies among his peers. On assumption of office in 2019, he immediately bought 100 security vehicles equipped with communication gadgets, added another 25 in 2020 and spearheaded the formation of Amotekun.
“He has also launched the state security hitting 615, Oyo State Crime Alert application and a statewide CCTV coverage. No wonder the state has been positively feeling the impacts of Operation Burst, Amotekun and even the Police, which has finally ended its boycott of the roads in states of the country.”