Tension in southwest: Agbekoya warns Boko Haram to stay within northeast

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A Yoruba militia group, the Agbekoya Reformed Society, ARS, has warned the Boko Haram sect to restrict its activities to the north east of the country as any attempt by its members to disrupt the peace of the south west will be met with stiff resistance.
ARS leader, Aare Kunle Oshodi, issued the warning while speaking with the National Daily after a security meeting with Chief Olu Falae, a frontline Yoruba traditional ruler, leader and politician recently kidnapped by Fulani herdsmen in Akure.
Aare Oshodi said the infiltration of the south west with the aim of causing mayhem was a violation of the territorial integrity of the Yoruba nation, warning that such a move will be intercepted by all the militia groups in the region can muster to defend their people against any form of aggression.
The ARS leader said it has come to the knowledge of his group that members of the Boko Haram sect have infiltrated the south west especially Lagos where 45 were arrested recently, warning that they should return to their base in the north east and restrict their activities there or face reprisals.
“Should they attempt to disrupt the peace of our region we shall match force against force using every arsenal at our disposal and this may undermine the country’s unity in the long run if allowed to escalate,” he stressed.
According to the Agbekoya leader, the Yoruba will not wait for the NPF or the armed forces to intervene before the militia groups in the south-west region will move into action to retaliate as they have begun to mobilise their men in the event of any provocation.
The ARS leader, who disclosed that his group has formally taken over the personal security of Chief Olu Falae and other frontline south-west leaders, was to prevent a recurrence of the abduction of the frontline politician (or any other Yoruba leader) which he described as a rude violation of the privacy of the former presidential candidate in different elections in the country as well as a desecration of the sacredness of the traditional values of the Yoruba nation.
The decision of the ARS to take over the security of the frontline politician was the highpoint of the conclusions reached at a meeting between him and leaders of the militia group in Akure, Ondo state last Monday.
“We were caught unawares when he was kidnapped but I want to assure you that it will never happen again under our watch,” he said, pointing out that “we will not entrust the security of our leaders to a system we have no confidence in as it cannot guarantee our freedom to do business and go about our social life safely even in our own land.”
The move to take over the security of Chief Falae and that of other South West leaders was in furtherance of the stance of the Afenifere leaders at a recent meeting in Pa Reuben Fashoranti’s home that it was time the oppression of “our people in their homeland was halted once and for all”.
“We will not tolerate, under whatever guise, the oppression of any group by other nationalities in the country. If that should happen again we may be forced to defend ourselves, Pa Fashoranti had said then.
Aare Oshodi, who led the ARS team to the home of the frontline politician, told National Daily that the militia group has no confidence in the Nigerian Police Force presently guarding him since his release by his abductors, hence the decision to deploy ARS operatives to his residence to accompany him to everyone he goes, including his farm where abductors believed to be Fulani herdsmen kidnapped him sometimes ago.
According to him, it was under the nose of the policemen that the Fulani herdsmen returned with their cattle twice to feed on his crops in the farm spanning over one kilometre.
“The NPF operatives take directives from Abuja and as such we find it uncomfortable to entrust the security of our leaders in the hands of politicians,” he said.
“Henceforth, this type of interaction will become a regular occurrence; maybe, on monthly basis to review the security of our leaders whom we hold in reverence for the preservation of the Yoruba core values and traditions,” he added.
Aare Oshodi said the abduction of Chief Falae was not only an indictment of the nation’s security apparatus but also an assault on the entire Yoruba nation in his capacity as a frontline politician and traditional ruler.
“That (abduction) will never happen to any of our leaders either now or in the near future without dire consequences that may infringe on the nation’s unity,” he further asserted.
Chief Falae, while appreciating the team for its concern over his safety, revealed that those responsible for his abduction operate a sophisticated gang of criminals that should not be taken for granted by security operatives.
According to him, those who physically abducted him from his farm were different from those who negotiated the ransom while another group actually received the money paid by his family before he was released.
He therefore called on the men of the Nigerian Police Force to be more proactive in their approach to combatting crime especially kidnapping which is recent in our clime.
In her reaction to the development, the Force Public Relations Officer, Abuja, ACP Kolawole Adebisi said the police is the constitutional law enforcement body saddled with the responsibility of protecting every citizen as well as lives and properties across the feral republic of Nigeria.
“We will continue to ensure that there is adequate security in the entire federation at all times,” she added, while enjoining all Nigerians to support the force, trust them in the onerous task of providing security based on useful and prompt information that will help them even perform better.
On the forthcoming yuletide, people should be vigilant, watch out for strange things or objects within dwelling places that could pose danger to lives and properties.
She also called on Nigerians to report suspected movements as the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, has assured Nigerians of robust security.

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