Yorubaland’s Aare Onakakanfo Iba Gan Adams said Wednesday that armed terrorists now occupy Kishi, located in northwestern Oyo state, as well as the vast Old Oyo National Park.
He said the recent development poses a great safety hazard to the Southwest area.
Aare Adams said that in recent days, armed groups have been involved in the kidnapping of locals as well as threatening their livelihoods and access to forest resources.
He said that children, the elderly and women are the most affected by the violent activities of armed groups.
“I have received numerous reports from Kishi, in northwestern Oyo state. Reports range from incessant kidnappings, rapes and threats to the lives of the Yoruba in the Oke Ogun area with Kishi as the current center of terrorist attacks. It is my responsibility to alert the public and also the relevant authorities, “said Aare Gani Adams in a statement from his special media assistant, Mr. Kehinde Aderemi.
Adams expressed concern that the region is gradually becoming a haven for bandits and terrorists disguised as shepherds. He warned that the situation must be nipped in the bud to prevent the Southwest from taking over the ignoble part of the Northeast and Northwest of Nigeria, where violence has taken hold firmly.
He said that what appears to be the gathering of armed groups in the area will affect the stability of the entire southwestern region.
Aare Gani Adams said that Oyo state has the largest land mass in Yorubaland with an area of 28,454 square kilometers and is ranked 14th in size among the 36 states in the Federation. He said that the occupation of Oyo state by terrorists will strengthen their infiltration throughout the Southwest.
He said the area retains a traditional route linking Sokoto state and also borders Ogun state, southern Kwara state and the Republic of Benin and in the east with Osun state.
Aare Gani Adams said that the area is home to Oyo Park, which has 2,512 km2 of land that covers northern Oyo at latitude 8 ° 15 ‘and 9 ° 00’ N and longitude 3 ° 35 ‘and 4 ° 42’ E, which extends to the state of Kwara.
He said that the occupation of the land by armed groups is an assault on Yoruba heritage and civilization, and said that part of the forest houses the sacred tabernacle of the ancient Yoruba Alaafin whose tombs were located in parts of the forest.
He said a recent intelligence report available to him indicates that the terrorists are now visible at the Old Oyo Game Reserve in Sooro Village in Kishi City, Irepo Local Government of Oyo State.
He said: “I have confirmed intelligence reports that the historic city of Kishi has been devastated by terrorists.
“The murder and kidnapping of more than a hundred people is terrifying and disturbing,” he said.
He further stated that he has raised the alarm for the second time in two weeks.
“The records are there. Kishi’s recent intelligence report is too scary because terrorists have taken over the area, and the number of victims is increasing day by day. We need to react to these senseless killings due to timing and demands.
“I have sent the report to the Governor of Oyo State, Engr Seyi Makinde. I have also alerted the General Director of Amotekun in Oyo State. I also informed the Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, through a message to Alaafin’s Personal Assistant, and informed the Okere of Saki, ”he said.
He said his action is to tell all those concerned about the security situation in the area to respond decisively.
Earlier, the Aare in the Council, after a recent meeting, raised the alarm about the security situation in the region, expressing concern that the Federal Government has not addressed the various security challenges in the area.
Speaking further, Adams said: “The Aare in the Council had already raised the alarm about the infiltration of terrorists and murderous Fulani herdsmen into the region. The council said that more than 500 electric motorcycles and a variety of armor belonging to the terrorists have been physically spotted along the abandoned Lusada route heading towards Sokoto, from Igbo Ora in Oyo state.
The recent report, he said, came from Kishi, a city that shares a border with Ibariba.
The Yoruba leader, however, urged all Yoruba sons and daughters in the Southwest and beyond not to back down in their efforts to provide the necessary information that is capable of exposing terrorists, ensuring that he will surely channel the information to the locations. appropriate.
“With the current situation, I think there is an urgent need for the state government to tackle the wave of insecurity in the area. We are ready to help the government keep terrorists at bay.
With the approval of the Oyo State Government and other relevant security agencies, I am able to mobilize the Southwest Security Stakeholders Group (SSSG) which comprises the Oodua Peoples Congress, Vigilante Group, South West Hunters Association, Yoruba Youth Council, Agbekoya Farmers Society Group and Agbekoya Gather together to complement the efforts of the security agencies and guarantee the effective security of the area by eliminating criminal and terrorist elements that are invading our forest reserve and the former Oyo National Park, which is our heritage in the Southwest ”, said Aare Gani Adams. .