Much as condemnable as the recent merciless killing of two kings in Ekiti State is, the swift action of the Federal Government and the Ekiti State Government that led to the arrest of some suspects in connection to the incident, according to current information at our disposal, is commendable.
There is no gainsaying the fact, however, that the people of Ekiti are now living in perpetual fear of insecurity. If a sacred institution like the Obaship is not only treated with disrespect but has become the target of a criminal onslaught, then what is the fate of ordinary subjects on the streets?
At the inception of this administration, hopes were high that the new era of the President Bola Tinubu-led government would usher in significant relief from the incessant massacres of innocent lives and, of course, other acts of inhumanity against humans that characterised the previous government. It is, however, sad that unfolding events are nothing different from moving from frying pan to fire.
Most heartbreaking is the fact that the duo of the late Obas David Ogunsakin and Olatunde Olusola of Esun Ekiti and Imojo Ekiti, respectively, paid the supreme price by becoming victims of abuse, injustice, and insecurity they fought vigorously against during their abruptly terminated tenures as rulers in their domains. Most worrisome and pathetic is the reality that the axis along Oke Ayedun-Ipao-Oke Ako-Irele road where the Kabiyesis were brutally murdered had earlier been identified as a flashpoint and den of criminal elements. Ekiti State security personnel cannot deny knowledge of this.
Unfortunately, we appear more interested in sending condolence messages than taking proactive steps to avert such tragedy. I regularly move around Ekiti roads. Whereas Sagamu/Ore road in particular is overcrowded with police checkpoints where they are clustered at an average of two kilometres from one another, police checkpoints are grossly inadequate in Ekiti State. Where you find them, they are usually sparingly stationed.
It is indeed high time President Bola Tinubu declared a national emergency on security. We read of incessant massacres in Southern Kaduna, Benue and Plateau states. Abuja, the seat of the Federal Government, is not even spared at the moment. Ekiti State is now under incessant attacks by criminals masquerading as herders.
Cry the beloved country! Who is now safe in this country if Obas cannot even move freely either within their localities or beyond? By the way, are traditional rulers not among the VIPs who are entitled to have police orderlies and escorts? A situation where traditional rulers could easily be gunned down just like that calls for serious concern. Prevention is better than cure. Thousands of condolence messages and visits cannot bring back the lives of the deceased.
In view of the aforementioned, therefore, permit me to offer the following suggestions I believe can stem the spate of violent attacks and brutal killings in the affected areas:
Military bases should be sited at identified danger zones and hot spots. Also, it is not too expensive for the government to commence constant aerial surveillance using chopper(s) along those routes.
In addition, military personnel should be deployed and mobilised to smoke out criminals from neighbouring bushes.
At least, one police checkpoint should be mounted in between each of the towns from Ayedun Ekiti to the Kogi border, between Irele Ekiti and Ogbe in Kogi State. More security personnel should also be deployed to be on the ground in Ekiti for now.
- Matthew Adeleye writes from Otta, Ogun State