The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, on Tuesday, warned opposition elements in the state to stop playing politics with the insecurity situation in Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun parts of the state.
The governor’s aide maintained that most of the comments attributed to opposition elements on the security situation in the state missed the point due to pettiness, contempt and clear attempt to play to the gallery.
“Their utter attempt at showmanship and unpatriotic conduct portray them as babes and sucklings intervening on sensitive matters,” Adisa said.
According to him, if opposition elements were true lovers of the state, they should have used the occasion to demonstrate patriotism by empathising with the people of the state and coming up with their own ideas on how to address the situation.
He added that merely playing to the gallery only showcases them as ordinary politicians who do not think about the state but solely about the next election.
The statement by Adisa indicated that contrary to the picture being painted by the opposition, especially the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare, and some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which suggested that the government did nothing on the Ibarapa security challenge, the Makinde administration took a number of steps.
Adisa wondered why a Sunday Dare could pass the buck on insecurity to Makinde when it was obvious that the lack of action and apparent dereliction of duty by the APC-led Federal Government brought the entire country to its knees, security-wise.
“Whereas Nigerians can count on their fingers the number of states ravaged by insecurity in 2015, today, none of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, is free of kidnapping, banditry, rape, and other crimes.
“It is unwise and completely unwarranted for Dare to fail to tell the world what positive thing he, as a member of the Federal Executive Council, has contributed to assist the state in its battles against insecurity.
“The state of affairs security-wise in virtually all geopolitical zones of the country has exposed the failure of Dare’s boss and that’s a reality no Nigerian can deny,” he said.
According to the governor’s media aide, Makinde had, at the height of the insecurity in Ibarapa, deployed Operation Burst, a state-backed security outfit comprising the Army, Nigeria Security, and Civil Defence Corps and the Police to Ibarapa in large numbers.
The governor had also caused to be deployed, men and officers of MOPOL 72, located strategically in Ago-Are in Oke-Ogun axis.
He added that the government followed-up that deployment with the mass deployment of the men of the Oyo State Security Network Agency, also known as Amotekun, to Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun axes to quench the rising insecurity.
Adisa maintained that the mass deployment of security operatives to the area had begun to yield positive results in the last few weeks, stating that on January 9, the Amotekun Corps worked with Vigilante Group of Nigeria, local hunters, and Miyetti Allah Vigilantes to comb forests straddling four local governments in Ibarapa and Iwajowa
Local Government Areas of Oke-Ogun.
He maintained that as a fallout of that exercise, which was abruptly called off due to the massive deployment of fake news by haters of the Oyo people, the teams neutralized suspected kidnappers and criminals in Ayete area, while a number of the suspects were arrested and handed over to the Police.
Adisa said that the narrative being carved by the opposition, suggesting that Makinde had been idling away, was baseless and reckless, stating that the fact that the Makinde administration has not been engaging in showmanship on efforts to tame insecurity should not be taken as doing nothing.
Adisa said: “We have noted with concern the fickle-mindedness being demonstrated by opposition elements in Oyo State, especially individuals like the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare.
“It is sad that Mr. Dare has revealed himself as a small mind by playing to the gallery on insecurity in Oyo State, which is a fallout of the failure of the Federal Government on security issues.
“It is equally sad that such an individual serving in a government under whose watch the security system of the country has collapsed could turn around to point fingers at Makinde.
“While one would not have loved to join issues with Dare and other individuals whose desperation for relevance can make them stop at nothing, including setting their own state on fire, it becomes imperative to correct the erroneous statement that Governor Makinde is being cowed by fear in the handling of state matters.
“For the avoidance of doubt, before those fanning the embers of ethnic crisis and their Hosanna crowd went to town with their showmanship gimmicks, the government had made serious efforts to tame the insecurity situation in Ibarapa.
“Apart from initiating several peace meetings between Yoruba and Fulani residents of the axes, the government took steps to deploy a heavy security presence to Ibarapa and at a point, even backed a community-based effort to rid the forests of kidnappers and bandits.
“It would be recalled that the government had backed a similar approach in Kisi, Igbeti and Igboho axes of the state and was able to achieve a great success without necessarily making noise in the media about it.
“But since Dare, like his co-travelers in the APC, have ignorantly ventured into a matter they have little or no knowledge about, it has become important to point out to them that governance is not done by engaging in pointless garrulous displays in the media.
“It is equally sad that whereas Mr. Dare could pontificate about insecurity in the media, he has failed to do the same at the Executive Council chambers of Aso Rock which hosts the Federal Executive Council meetings, which obviously could have helped the APC government arrest the insecurity situation in the country.
“For sometime now, Dare and his journeymen have been grandstanding on issues in their home state, though they have failed to use their offices to canvass the same positions at the Federal Executive Council or make any meaningful impact in the state.
“We would like to admonish Dare and his fellows in the rat race for 2023 governorship to toe the path of honour and stop advertising ignorance and displaying unpatriotic tendencies when it comes to issues affecting the state.
“Let them adhere to the well-accepted maxim: power belongs to God and only He decides whom it fits at every instance.”