Ibadan traditional chieftaincy title holders, otherwise known as Mogajis, on Tuesday, sought the support of governors of South West states in tackling kidnapping.
They said the security synergy needed to tackle the menace cannot be achieved without the support of the governors, most especially in Yorubaland.
This development is coming following cases of kidnapping in Oyo State in recent times and the killing of two traditional rulers in Ekiti State.
Unknown gunmen on Thursday abducted the chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, Philip Aivoji, and some other party chieftains at the Ogere area of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Also, two traditional rulers were reportedly abducted on Monday by suspected kidnappers in Ekiti State while they were returning from a meeting in Irele-Ekiti.
A statement by the President of Mogajis of Ibadanland, Mogaji Asimiyu Adepoju Ariori and Coordinator, Ibadan Compound Peace Initiative, Nurudeen Akinade, in Ibadan, the state capital, said re-insurgence of kidnapping and other criminal activities in Nigeria, especially in the South-West zone, called for a serious concern.
The traditional rulers said the rate of kidnapping in the last few months across the nation which is gradually engulfing the South-Western part should be a concern to residents.
The Mogajis further stressed that Ibadan as the gateway to other South-West states would not fold its arms and allow the menace to continue.
The chiefs said, “The kidnappers have allegedly taken over some areas in Nigeria, particularly Yorubaland in the last few months. A few days ago, the chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, Philip Aivoji was abducted by some yet-to-identified gunmen along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
“Yesterday, two traditional rulers in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State were killed by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers. The two traditional rulers were the Elesun of Esun, Oba Babatunde Ogunsakin and Olumojo of Imojo, Oba Samuel Olatunji, while the Alara of Ara-Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Fatoba escaped from the scene.
“Kidnapping in the last few months was only in Abuja, but now gradually extending to Yorubaland, Ibadan as a gateway to all Yoruba states won’t fold its arm and allow such to persist.
“We kick against the resurgence of criminals, we believe the criminal act has gone with our efforts, particularly the effort of the Ibadan Compound Peace Initiative in collaboration with other security agencies.
“Considering the way we worked in synergy with other security agencies a few years ago, we thought the criminal act had been depleted but we just discovered that it has relapsed.
“We are already in touch with all various community development groups and associations in the southwestern part of Nigeria, various informal groups and societies including but not limited to markets leaders, unions and associations and they are prepared to key in and be part of this all important security movement.
“We implore the government to quickly without further delay fine-tune ways of having security synergy with all volunteers, our hunters’ associations, concerned local security networks, various security operatives, traditional institutions and other relevant stakeholders in Ibadanland, Oyo State and Yorubaland to find solutions to the issue.
“If this is quickly encouraged, it will afford us the opportunity to block all the escape routes in all our cities, towns, and villages including our forests and bushes most of which are considered as ungovernable spaces.
“We can’t successfully engage in this all important security synergy without the support of the governors, most especially in Yorubaland.”
While appreciating all the regular security agencies including Amotekuns for their commitments and service to the nation, the Mogajis, therefore, called on the government not to withdraw the security agencies on the highways and major roads whenever they are having any major events like road commissioning as some of these attitude has been reportedly responsible for the upsurge in the onslaught of the Kidnappers on these highways.
“It seems insecurity has engulfed the Yorubaland, we need to wake up before it get out of hand.” The statement added.