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Prioritise community policing, Ooni urges FG

The Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has condemned the attack on three monarchs in Ekiti State that led to the death of two traditional rulers.

The monarch also urged the federal and state governments to expedite action on establishing community policing to stem the tide of insecurity across the country.

Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers on Monday killed two Ekiti State monarchs on the Ipao-Oke Ako Road.

The gunmen killed the Onimojo of Imojo in the Oye Local Government Area, Oba Olatunde Olusola, and the Elesun of Esun Ekiti in the Ikole Local Government Area, Oba Babatunde Ogunsakin, while the Alara of Ara Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Fatoba in the Ikole Local Government Area, escaped.

Sources said the traditional rulers were returning from a function in Kogi State when their vehicles ran into the suspected kidnappers, who had laid an ambush on the road.

The Chairman of the Ajoni Local Council Development Area, Micheal Ogungbemi, in whose domain the incident took place, said that the dead bodies of the two obas had been recovered from the scene and taken to a mortuary.

The council boss explained that information indicated that the traditional rulers, who were coming from Kogi State, were attacked in the Oke Ako area.

“The monarchs had driven past the checkpoint of the local security outfit when the incident happened. The Alara, upon escape, informed the local security of the development. The bandits were carrying sophisticated arms,” Ogungbemi said.

Reacting to the killing in a statement signed on Wednesday by his spokesman, Moses Olafare, Ooni described the incident as a sacrilegious audacity deliberately planned and executed to undermine the security capacity of Nigeria.

He urged Governor Biodun Oyebanji and President Bola Tinubu to expedite thorough investigations into the killings and ensure that the perpetrators face the full wrath of the law.

According to him, if this could happen to the traditional rulers, what would then become hopes for their common subjects who look up to them for local security interventions

He said the recent spate of killings and kidnappings of traditional rulers and school children across the country highlights the urgent need for a robust, community-oriented security system.

The monarch argued that community policing, with its emphasis on local involvement, will be helpful in enhancing intelligence gathering, deterring criminal activities, and ensuring the safety of Nigerians.

“This is a pure sacrilege and it is a deliberate display of criminal audacity to undermine the government’s security control capacity. This reprehensible act has not only robbed us of noble leaders but has also left a scar on the fabric of our unity and peaceful coexistence as a nation. The government must stop at nothing to ensure the perpetrators are arrested and made to face justice.

“We cannot continue like this. Several of our school children are still languishing in the undetected incarceration of these heartless terrorists. A party state chairman in Lagos State was a victim recently. What about the recently abducted schoolchildren in Ekiti State? Six sisters in Abuja not too long ago with one of them killed. Similar cases across the country. Who is safe in this country again? Enough is enough.

“The time should not be later than now for government both at state and Federal levels to show practical capacity in the area of security management and operations. The traditional rulers in Nigeria must be motivated with statutory community policing policy needed to work officially with the government as we remain the closest leaders to the people, we know the traditional techniques to get rid of all these unfortunate situations. We are no cowards and we are ready to rise to the occasion defending our traditional land. Get us statutorily involved and see that what we inherited from our respective ancestors is still intact and real.”

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