The former Governor of Osun State, Brigadier General Olagunsoye Oyinlola (rtd), yesterday challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to redeem his image as an army general capable of fighting insecurity in Nigeria.
Oyinlola’s challenge to Buhari was contained in a statement personally signed by him and made available to journalists in Akure, Ondo State, when he paid a condolence visit to the leader of Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, whose daughter, Funke Olakunrin, was killed by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen last Friday at Kajola on Ore-Sagamu expressway.
The former governor, who also delivered a condolence letter sent to Pa Fasoranti by the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, was accompanied by Chief Oyewole Fasawe.
Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Dr. Kunle Olajide, said South-west governors should be blamed more for the attacks by herdsmen in the region rather than blaming the federal government alone.
Olajide, who also spoke to journalists during his condolence visit to Pa Fasoranti in Akure, said state governors ought to have taken drastic action against open grazing.
Also condemning the spate of insecurity in Nigeria, the leader of another Pan Yoruba Group, Afenifere Egbe Itesiwaju Yoruba, Senator Ayo Fasanmi, lamented that there was no respect for sanctity of life anymore in the country.
He said a lot needed to be done to curb the situation whereby someone can just get killed like a cow irrespective of his status and political affiliation in the country.
Oyinlola said the murder of Mrs. Olakinrin in broad daylight was a rude reminder that the country is in terrible mess right now, saying this is the time for all patriots to be sober and reflect on how we got to this Hobbesian point when life has become nasty, brutish and short in Nigeria.
He said: “These criminals have declared a war against our country and we should take the war to them. “The federal government is expected to lead the war without bringing politics to it and without any emotional bias against the law.
“One of the reasons some of us backed President Buhari in 2015 was his perceived competence on security matters given his training and status as a general of the Nigerian Army. He needs to redeem his image now that criminals have taken over the land, rubbishing all he has ever lived for.”
“He need to come out clearly now and address the country, outlining clearly his war plans to safeguard the life and property of all Nigerians. Nigerians want to hear him directly not through an aide or party chiefs. He is the one they voted for as the Commander in Chief and not anyone else.”
The former governor said with the latest tragic incident and several reported and unreported ones across the country, particularly in the Southwest, it is time to say enough is enough.
“Certainty of arrest and severity of punishment are time-tested deterrent to crimes and criminality. Criminals and other evil minded persons will always have a free reign where impunity is condoned.
“However, government must not be emotional about arrest and punishment. The government has a lot of work to do to convince Nigerians that it is for law-abiding citizens and that these criminals are not above the law.
“Government must also never be seen as being hostage to or complicity of crime and criminality. Government exits to protect lives and property; they do not exist to release condolence messages after each avoidable death as this one,” Oyinlola said.
On his remark, the YCE Secretary, Olajide, described the killing of Mrs. Olakunrin and others before it as a poison arrow shot to the Yoruba nation.
According to him “I have listened to some of our leaders who have been here and I want you to know that most of the comments are mere platitude, some of them are grossly insensitive and honestly offending human sensitivity.
“For me, there is much to this, it is a killing too many. This is a direct assault on Yoruba nation and to the sensibility of our people. It shows they have clearly taken us for granted and this has to stop.
“I am quite uncomfortable because most of the time, we lay the blame at the doorsteps of the federal government but I want to say that more of it is at the doorsteps of our state governors.”
Olajide also called on the governors and the legislators to increase funding appropriated to security.