OGBOMOSO: Traditionalists dismiss fear of terrorists, say city adequately fortified 

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OGBOMOSO: Traditionalists dismiss fear of terrorists, say city adequately fortified

Femi OGUNLANA

Amid fear of outbreak of sustained attacks and possible overrunning of Ogbomoso by terrorists and bandits, two traditionalists have said the fear is uncalled for.

Three abductions within three weeks with a total of N13m allegedly paid as ransoms, with the last two victims killed, and with governments and security agencies appearing lackadaisical, the people’s panic is justified.

Benue and some other states in the northern part of the country are still neckdeep in the carnage unleashed by bandits and terrorists including ISWAP and Boko Haram, leaving thousands of casualties and igniting inglorious displacements of many indigenous people, several who now find refuge in various Internally Displaced People camps.

Furthermore, several others are forced to pay taxes to the outlaws in order to have access to their farms and engage in other lawful activities, yet governments at various levels are passive thus fueling insinuations of complicity from the high places.

Many intelligence reports have it that the southwest would be the next hotbed of terrorism and banditry. Ogbomoso being a border city with the northern part of the country, the emotion of fear overwhelming the people should therefore not be waved aside moreover when the invasions have been activated.

However, two traditionalists have dismissed the fear averring that the city is a kingdom fortified against such menace.

Chief Babatunde Alabede, the coordinator of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Ogbomoso zone, as well as Chief Sunday Olalere Babatunde, the masquerader of the dreaded Danafojura – the fire Egungun in Ogbomos, in separate interviews with ogbomosoinsightonline.com assured that the zone won’t be turned into a killing field.

Alabede Oosa

Chief Alabede said, “People should be calm and be rest assured; we traditionalists are not idle in the face of the existential danger that now confronts us as a community.

“We are doing those things required of us to ward off the threat. Bandits can’t perpetuate their nefarious activities in Ogbomoso zone, it is fortified against such threat.”

Alabede added that there are “boys” ready to go head to head with the bandits but that they need incentives and utilities like motorcycles and vans for patrol and easy deployment.

That therefore constitutes the major headache to the OPC boss who stresses, “The boys are ready but we are constrained by lack of resources. That is our problem.

“We have been reaching out and appealing to rich indigenes and politicians to assist in getting motorcycles and vehicles but it has been brickwall, none is forthcoming.

“My members also have families which they have to care for; if they are sent into the bush to engage the bandits they have to provide for their families in their absence.That is the draw back,” he emphasized, however assuring, “but we will not relent.”

Danafojura

In his own Chief Babatunde re-affirmed the invincibility of Ogbomoso, declaring, “terrorists cannot set their agenda in our land. God will not permit such. The gods of the land will expose the marauders. People should not fear, they should hold their peace. We are doing the necessary things for the protection of the realm.”

Alabede also noted that when there is an emergency people will be calling them “but what have been their contributions to the efforts to prepare us for such challenges? Imagine, the abductors took N13m from Ogbomoso victims I’m two weeks, a fraction of that would have gone a long way in preparing us in quickly responding to such challenges.”

He also lamented that the many alarms on insecurity raised by Iba Gani Adams, Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, are never heeded, calling on governments, security agencies and every individual to cooperate and collaborate in defeating the terrorists.

He however assured OPC would continue to complement government security agencies.

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