The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has responded to the letter by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, over the insecurity situation in the nation.
The Alaafin had in a letter entitled ‘Yoruba question in Nigeria conundrum,’ and addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, warned that there is looming anarchy in the land, if the siege on Yorubaland by herdsmen and kidnappers is not immediately contained.
He had also alleged that Buhari’s government had failed to bring the culprits to book and warned that the Yoruba might resort to self-help if the security in the zone did not improve and people guaranteed safety of lives and property.
But in its response, BMO in a statement signed by its chairman Niyi Akinsiju and secretary Cassidy Madueke, said Buhari was not oblivious of the fresh security challenges in the country and “he is doing everything possible to arrest the situation.”
According to BMO, security operatives have actually been making arrests over the spate of kidnapping and sundry security challenges in the country.
The statement read in part, “We have acknowledged the security situation that the Oyo Monarch has alluded to, but facts on ground do not support his allegation that no major arrests of suspects have been made.
“The very first case of high profile abduction that was linked to suspected Fulani herdsmen was that of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olu Falae who was kidnapped in 2015 from his farm in Ilado village, Akure North, Ondo state.
“We recall that Falae’s captors, numbering six, were arrested by the Police, prosecuted by the Ondo state government and have since been sentenced to life imprisonment each.
“And in recent times, the Police have arrested the suspected kidnappers of an orthopaedic surgeon at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile ife, Prof. Olayinka Adegbehingbe, and those behind the abduction of Mr. Dayo Adewole, a son of a former Minister of Heath, Professor Isaac Adewole.
“These are high profile kidnap cases that were cracked in days, and there are also other instances where the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Police lived up to their responsibilities not only in the South West but also across the country”.
BMO also noted that while some of the arrested suspects were Fulani, there were also instances where the people found to be behind the abductions were locals.
This, the group said, is a clear indication that the emergent security challenges cannot necessarily be pinned to one part of the country.
“One example that readily comes to mind is the April 2019 incident involving the Lagos State Fire Service Director, Mr. Rasaki Musibau and six others who were kidnapped along the Ketu-Ereyun, Ikorodu-Epe road by a 7-man gang who collected a N5 million ransom before releasing them.
“But when the police swung into action, two suspects identified as Blessing Boyo and Smart Alfred were arrested and paraded.
“And there is also the case of one Victor John, a suspected member of a kidnapping syndicate using military camouflages to carry out operations in Ondo State, who was arrested by the Anti-kidnapping Squad of the Nigeria Army.
“These may look like isolated incidents but it is a pointer to a new trend in criminality that has no ethnic or religious divide to warrant it being linked to a particular ethnic group,” BMO said.
It further claimed that the police had in recent times arrested 105 suspects for armed robbery and seven for kidnapping and also foiled a number of abduction through prompt response to distress calls.