The Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, and former governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the 2019 election, Olufemi Lanlehin, have disagreed over the security challenges rocking the state.
While Mr Lanlehin in a statement on Sunday accused Mr Makinde of handling security challenges in Oyo State with levity, the governor accused opposition leaders of sponsoring alarming statements on security in order to scare investors.
“I have observed, with deep concern, the rising wave of insecurity in Oyo State, advertised in the increasing cases of murder, armed robberies, kidnappings and all sorts of criminal activities, that have now become almost a daily occurrence. It appears Oyo State is descending into the Hobbesian state of nature where life is ‘nasty, brutish and short,” Mr Lanlehin, a former senator representing Oyo South, said.
He argued that Mr Makinde is handling security challenges in the state with negligence “which forced Sunday Igboho, an acclaimed activist to take laws into his hands by evicting herders in Ibarapa axis of the state”.
“From Ibadan to Oyo, Ogbomoso to Oke-Ogun, and then Ibarapa, nowhere can be labelled safe and peaceful, presently in the state. More baffling, is Governor Seyi Makinde’s inept handling of the entire situation, particularly his laid-back, reactive and indecisive approach to tackling the most basic of challenges his administration can ever face.
“The recent incident, whereby Chief Sunday Adeyemo, fondly referred to as Sunday Igboho, gave an ultimatum to the Seriki Fulani in Igangan, is a case in point. With available information, one cannot but criticise Governor Makinde for his hasty, hollow and one-sided statewide broadcast on the incident, and his biased upbraiding of Sunday Igboho, without as much as showing empathy with the victims of the rape, kidnappings, murder, farmland destruction and other heinous crimes allegedly perpetrated by some criminal elements within the herders community, under the guise of working as herdsmen.
“As usual, the governor was just being politically correct, and excessively populist in that broadcast of his, when he should have been balanced, and not appear to pander to the whims and caprices of the supposed afflicters.
“Why couldn’t he have invited both parties to a meeting and set in motion the process to an amicable resolution, or even pay an on-the-spot assessment to Igangan, instead of rushing to broadcast his jaundiced opinion?”
Mr Lanlehin said till date, “there is no evidence of the governor personally visiting Ibarapaland, in his capacity as the state’s chief security officer”.
“In courage and valour, Sunday Igboho was forced to defend the people of Ibarapa, in their hour of distress, in the true demonstration of an Akinkanju Yoruba Omoluabi, at a time government; legally recognised to do so, has shown crass ineptitude and grave impotence. Although one would advise that Chief Sunday Adeyemo sheathe his sword and give Seyi Makinde another opportunity to pull himself up by his bootstraps, and rise up to the occasion.
“Let me advise Governor Makinde not to be carried away, neither by the euphoria of office, nor the allure of power, but instead, be guided by deep introspection, wise counsel and an abiding devotion to the protection of the lives and properties of the people of Oyo State, which he swore to, on inauguration, about two years ago,” he noted.
In his response to Mr Lanlehin, Mr Makinde said the former senator is “one of the opposition leaders raising an unnecessary alarm over security issues in order to derail Oyo’s economy and also chase investors”.
The governor reacted in a counter statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa.
He said, “the opposition leaders’ penchant to raise the alarm around (the) issue of insecurity and exaggerate the same beyond the realm of reality is a ploy to create fear in the minds of residents of the state and slow down its thriving economy.”
He wondered “whether Mr Lanlehin was sleeping when his principal met with security operatives and preached against trying to profit from insecurity”.
“The whole nation applauded Governor Seyi Makinde for leading the state’s economy out of the difficult situation he met it in 2019. Rather than allow the economy stagnate, verified statistics indicated that the governor grew Oyo State economy by as much as 26 per cent last year despite the spiral effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“And that is beside the landmark developmental projects that all can see across the state. But it is obvious that the opposition in Oyo State is unhappy with the developmental strides of the Makinde-led administration in the state and that they will do anything to drag attention to pockets of insecurity situation, which the administration is striving daily to bring under control.
“Rather than join hands with the Governor to find lasting solutions to the incidences of crime and criminality occasioned by the general failure of the APC-led Federal Government to secure Nigerian borders and stop the influx of bandits and criminal elements, leaders of the APC have been gloating over such instances.
“It is a clear signal of the measure of the evil they wish the state and an obvious demonstration of their unpatriotic conducts. Whereas cases of insecurity are widespread across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT Abuja, it is disheartening that only the opposition in Oyo State including Chief Lanlehin has been known to attempt to grab the headlines in celebration.”