Gbenga Adeniji  and BOLA BAMIGBOLA

The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Adams, has said the Oodua Peoples Congress is ready to assist security agencies in tackling the problem of kidnapping in the South-West if the group gets the nod of the governors.

There have been cases of kidnapping linked to herdsmen in the region. Adams, who spoke on the telephone on Saturday with one of our correspondents on the group’s plans to check kidnapping in the region, said there was a need to be careful with his current position and the group’s new image.

He said, “We are ready to assist the security agencies but there must be approval from the state governments in the South-West. Without clearance from the governors, it will be difficult to do that. We are not tired and we love our region. Even without money, we will defend our region but we must get the go-ahead from the governors.

“In July, I wrote to the governors that there was a need for a security summit in the South-West to feature different security agencies, hunters and retired security officers who believe in the cause of the Yoruba. Ondo held its and I send a representative.  I have to be careful with my new position. Even though we have the power, we have to be careful. We have had terrible experiences with security agencies. From the experiences, we learnt a lot. We have more recognitions and goodwill now and have to be careful. The issue of security shouldn’t be politicised.”

Recalling the role played by the OPC in checking activities of the cult group, Badoo, in the Ikorodu, Bariga and Kosofe areas of Lagos, the Aare Ona Kakanfo said, “The current Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, then Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), was determined to eradicate it and he invited us. I asked if he was ready and he said he was. We said the issue would be a thing of the past in two weeks.

“The OPC was also invited to the meeting on security for the coming elections and we stated our position. We secure many areas in Lagos and have large numbers in each state in the region across local government areas.  There can never be a development in any country if security is neglected.”

Adams noted that the security issue further underscored his stance that Nigeria must be restructured, adding, “Let every state develop at its pace and let each zone secure its region.”

Meanwhile, Adams has also invoked Yoruba ‘ancestral forces’ on killer herdsmen terrorising states in the South-West region of the country.

A statement by the Osun State Coordinator of Oodua Peoples Congress, Deji Aladesawe, said Adams invoked these ‘forces’ at the grand finale of this year’s edition of the annual Oodua Festival in Ile Ife, Osun State, while praying for the peaceful co-existence of Nigerians.

Copyright PUNCH.