By Ugo Aliogo
The Ibarape Development Forum has expressed displeasure over what it termed as gross neglect of the region by the Oyo State Government especially in the provision of security and infrastructural development.
The group in a statement jointly signed by the President of the Forum, Etomitade Oduola and the Secretary, Akinbode Badiu, said the recent killings, maiming, kidnappings and invasions within the area and lukewarm disposition of the state government to the security of the region have given rise to self-help as the solution.
The group called on the state governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde to conduct on-the-spot assessment of the situation in Ibarapa with a view to finding lasting solution to the crises, adding that the present strategies within the security architecture need to be revisited and repositioned.
The statement posited that the ongoing face-off between Fulani in the region and their host has once again underscored the urgent need to have a sincere discourse that would lead to truth and reconciliation.
The group remarked that the relationship between Ibarapa people and the Fulani sojourners has broken down to the level of distrust in which a call for the Fulanis to quit is being made.
It argued that, “this call and the ensuing drumbeats of war should abate now to leave room for meaningful dialogue.”
“With the sudden surge of insecurity in the Region, one would have expected any Government that prides itself as people-oriented to have left no stone unturned in ensuring the safeguard of lives and properties”.
The community urged Makinde to give the major regions as well as the minor regions, including Ibarapa region equal treatment when it comes security and infrastructural development.
“So far, the region could hardly feel the presence of the government and this contributes to the current state of affairs in the region,” the statement noted.
The group hinted that they cannot can no longer afford security apparatus which encourages criminals at the expense of the region.
The statement remarked that the situation in Ibarapa requires intelligence policing rather than the current approach.
The group called on the governor to take the safety of lives and properties in Ibarapa and the state as the supreme law.