Ibadan traditional chieftaincy title holders, known as Mogajis, have called on the governors of South West states to join forces in combating the escalating issue of kidnappings in the region.
Expressing concern over the recent surge in kidnapping cases in Oyo State and the tragic killing of two traditional rulers in Ekiti State, the Mogajis emphasized the necessity of a coordinated security approach, stressing that the collaboration of governors, particularly in Yorubaland, is pivotal to effectively addressing the menace.
The plea comes in the wake of the abduction of Philip Aivoji, the chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, along with other party officials on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Additionally, two traditional rulers were reportedly abducted in Ekiti State while returning from a meeting in Irele-Ekiti.
In a joint statement issued by Mogaji Asimiyu Adepoju Ariori, President of Mogajis of Ibadanland, and Nurudeen Akinade, Coordinator of the Ibadan Compound Peace Initiative, the leaders expressed deep concern about the resurgence of kidnapping and criminal activities across Nigeria, especially in the South-West zone.
Highlighting the urgency of the situation, the Mogajis emphasized that Ibadan, as the gateway to other South-West states, cannot stand idly by while the menace continues to escalate. They condemned the recent incidents and called for a united effort to tackle the criminal activities plaguing the region.
The leaders acknowledged the efforts of various community development groups, security agencies, and informal associations in the fight against crime. They stressed the need for a renewed collaboration with volunteers, hunters’ associations, local security networks, and other stakeholders to address the security challenges effectively.
Appealing to the government for swift action, the Mogajis urged the governors to support and encourage security synergy with all relevant stakeholders. They emphasized that blocking escape routes in cities, towns, villages, forests, and bushes is essential to curbing criminal activities.
While appreciating the commitment of regular security agencies, including Amotekuns, the Mogajis called on the government not to withdraw security personnel from highways and major roads during significant events, as such actions have reportedly contributed to the rise in kidnappings.
In conclusion, the leaders warned that insecurity is spreading across Yorubaland and called for immediate action before the situation worsens.