The Senior Elders Forum of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has accused the Federal Government of indifference to the poor security situation in the Southwest.
It alleged that the Federal Government is frustrating the region’s security outfit code-named Amotekun.
Rising from a meeting at its Ibadan, Oyo State office yesterday, the forum expressed its displeasure about what it described as Federal Government’s “continued frustration of the security plans put in place by the Southwest zone of the country.”
Addressing reporters after the meeting, its leader, Col. Ade Agbede (rtd), said the elders were unhappy about the situation in the country, particularly the insecurity, including unchallenged activities of bandits terrorising the Southwest.
On the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun), which was launched this year by governors of Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, Osun, Lagos and Ogun states, the forum said the hasty approval of community policing was aimed at scuttling operations of Amotekun.
Agbede described it as unacceptable.
“We, elders in the Southwest, are worried about the continued insecurity, particularly in the Southwest.
“We also expressed our displeasure about the continued bamboozling of our security plans, particularly the issue of Amotekun, to which they are raising a competing community policing, which they knew all these years and they did not practise until this Amotekun was brought to bear.
“We also noted with serious concerns the rate at which bandits are taking over all parts of the Southwest, starting from Ilora, Akoko, Remo and other places and the level of impunity by which these bandits operate.”
“We are not very comfortable with the silence of the Federal Government over the operations of these bandits. They equip themselves with sophisticated weapons such as rocket launchers, grenades and other items of warfare.
“Our people are now frightened to move from one place to another. Our women are afraid of coming out or moving from one place to another. Our children are very jittery. The level of insecurity has put a lot of fears in our farmers who are afraid to go to farms.
“The Southwest, being an agrarian zone, the shortfall of farming has manifested to the extent that the government now imports rice and cassava.”
The elders called the attention of the Federal Government to the fact that youths are very angry, noting that the frustration and level of impunity are possibly driving them into cybercrimes and other vices.