The Ibarapa Development Forum (IDF) has reacted to the statewide broadcast by Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, over the worsening security challenges in the State, particularly in the Ibarapa axis.
Mr Makinde, in his Tuesday broadcast, said the reports on insecurity in Oyo State are exaggerated by the media.
But in response to the governor’s statement, the group in a statement by its secretary, Akinbode Badiu, said Mr Makinde disappointed the residents of the Ibarapa axis of the state amidst endless tragedies of kidnappings, maiming, destruction of hundreds of acres of farmlands and killings.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that armed men recently murdered a doctor, Fatai Aborode, an Ibarapa son who was killed on his way from his over 300 acres of land that provides employment to scores of Ibarapa youths.
The group said rather than condemn the acts, Mr Makinde, in his broadcast said insecurity is overhyped.
“The body language of the governor and his subsequent broadcast underscores the need for the governor to be closer to the governed,” the group said.
“In his disquieting message, Governor Makinde constantly lapsed into the error of referring to Ibarapa region as Oke-Ogun and verbally ceded Igangan (an Ibarapa town and epicentre of herdsmen terrorism) to Oke-Ogun. We would not have been bothered about this blatant error of geography and history but for the insensitivity this ignorance also depicts.
“It shows that the Governor does not where what is happening in his state and who the victims are. For the purpose of education, we wish to tell Governor Makinde that we are Ibarapa, not Oke-Ogun and our lives matter! We are one indivisible region under God and in Oyo State.
“Ibarapa loses on regular basis to criminality which gained ascendancy in Ibarapa at the inception of Governor Makinde’s administration. Much of this has been represented to the governor over the last two years via various petitions to no avail. Hence, for the Governor to play down the magnitude of loss Ibarapa has experienced overtime is not only insensitive but also a betrayal. This is not what Ibarapa deserves from Governor Makinde.
“Since the Governor’s broadcast and now, we have it on record that a 20-acre farmland was invaded by the criminally-minded herdsmen and the entire produce feasted on by the marauding beasts.
“The governor needs to come down from his ‘high horse’ and listen to the people of Ibarapa who are groaning and counting their losses on a daily basis. It is quite obvious his understanding of the dynamics of the security situation in Ibarapa is compromised by those who feed him. At this critical point, the governor needs to connect directly with the region the same way he did when he so much needed ‘peoples’ mandate.
“We are aware and we affirm that the governor must be the governor of all. His broadcast however only expressed sympathy to the cause of the marauding herdsmen and sheer insensitivity to Ibarapa lives that have been lost to the criminals in recent past.”
The group further demanded that Mr Makinde should visit the affected communities that have reported cases of kidnapping and killings to assess the challenges of residents in the area.
When contacted for reaction, Taiwo Adisa, the chief press secretary to Mr Makinde could not be reached as of the time of filing this report. He also did not respond to enquiries sent to him by this newspaper.
Already, some youth, led by Sunday Igboho, a Yoruba nation ‘agitator’ in Oyo State, have given an ultimatum to herders in the Ibarapa axis of the state to vacate.
The seven-day ‘quit notice’ to members of the Fulani community called Igangan would lapse on January 22.
PREMIUM TIMES, however, understands that all schools in both Ibarapa Central and Ibarapa North of Oyo State have been closed down ahead of the impending clash in the areas.
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