Aftermath kidnapping of Bishop, wife on Ogbomoso-Oyo road, Ogbomoso youth group takes the bull by the horns 

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Aftermath kidnapping of Bishop, wife on Ogbomoso-Oyo road, Ogbomoso youth group takes the bull by the horns

Yinka ADETUNJI

The security crisis in Nigeria has become seriously alarming, with government, statutorily saddled to curtail the situation, appearing incompetent, overwhelmed or complicit, thus reality is dawning that individuals and communities must take greater responsibilities in protecting themselves and lands.

Members of the OCYF and OPC in a group photograph

Last week, an Anglican Bishop from Jebba, Kwara state, Rt. Rev. Oluwaseun Aderogba, and his wife traveling through Ogbomoso-Oyo road got abducted by dare-devil criminals, along with their driver, and were only released after payment of ransom. Earlier in the month, bandits the federal government later identified as ISWAP bathed a Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo state, in blood, when they stormed the church as service was about to be rounded off, opened fire indiscriminately killing over forty worshippers according to official reports and wounding another eighty or more. Elsewhere in Ogun state, worshipers at a church vigil were also kidnapped.

Left to right: Rev’d Peter Olaleye, Comrade Babatunde Alabede, Comrade John (pioneer OPC leader in Ogbomoso) and Comrade Adebayo Adeniran (OCYF PRO)

 

The future even looks scary – as the perpetrators often go scot-free, never apprehended to face the wrath of the law, never thwarted by intelligence report even with contentions that the assailants, who are suspected to be Fulani elements, allegedly bent on subjugation of other peoples and appropriating their lands, have indeed infiltrated and waiting in the wings to launch attacks on the whole of southern Nigeria. The prognosis is that of doom.

 

Kidnapped but released Bishop Aderogba and wife

 

Propelled by the maxim of “to be forewarned is to be forearmed,” Ogbomoso Community Youth Forum (OCYF) has taken it upon itself to activate traditional security groups for swift response in case of strikes by the criminals. “Our aim is to improve the security architecture of the communities in Ogbomoso zone by putting traditional security groups on red alert so as to be able to respond to emergencies. The security situation has degenerated so badly that we have to be prepared for any unprovoked attacks by criminals and that is why we have approached the local security groups especially the OPC to discuss with them, discover their needs and mobilize them,” president of OCYF, Rev’d Peter Olaleye, told ogbomosoinsightonline.com during a chat.

 

Rev’d Olaleye opined that the unfolding bloody scenario requires all hands to be on the deck to forestall an ugly situation in our communities, noting, “We should not start crying after the milk is spilled, we need to be proactive and take the bull by the horns.”

 

He explained the key focus of OCYF is to ginger the local security groups by holding interactions with them so as to discover what the community can do to aid them. “We are still on it; we want them to be in a state of readiness in which they can be mobilized within the shortest time possible in case of emergencies.”

 

The youth leader added, “We however are not dismissing the efforts of the conventional security agencies, they have always responded to critical situations, we are only working with the aim of making local security bodies complement their efforts.

 

“But these traditional, voluntary associations including the OPC, vigilante, Agbekoya and so on need community assistance in terms of operational vehicles, motorcycles and fund. The guys also have families and once in a while they need to be given incentives to serve as compensation.

 

“God forbids we will have bandits’ attack, everybody will be looking towards them to assist the police but what have we done to help them to get ready? We should set our priority right. We will also encourage them on gathering of intelligence and patrol. That is what prompted our gesture. We should not wait till our security is breachd like in Owo before we act. We must also recognize that Ogbomoso is at the boundary of the South and North of Nigeria, ” he said.

Victims of Owo Church massacre prepared for mass burial yesterday

Chief Babatunde Alabede, OPC coordinator in Ogbomoso zone, confirmed the interface with the OCYF during a telephone interview with ogbomosoinsightonline.com.

 

“Alabede Oosa” as he is fondly called, exuding confidence, disclosed his members are always ready to respond to emergency situations though admitting the group needed assistance, “We don’t have operational vehicles or motorcycles for deployment of our men, and for routine patrol. All what we are hearing that herdsmen are hibernating in our forests portend danger and we should be prepared for it.

 

“In the times we have intervened in crises we spend our own resources, the motorcycles belonging to our members and other things and many times these boys expected to be compensated. Imagine if I ask the boys to take a look in a village they would be motivated the more if when they come back they receive monetary gifts after all they left their jobs and would have to give their families pocket monies during the period. It is on that basis we need assistance. Alabede is not buoyant to spend his money on such. We are risking our lives for our people.”

 

Asked if the community has rendered any help in the last one year he answered in the negative, disclosing, “We were approached by some leading organizations in Ogbomoso last year on ways of assisting us but nothing has come out of it. We only received promise.”

OPC charged to prevent such

 

 

 

 

 

 

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