Thursday, 18 February 2021 05:22

Ethnic clashes: Don’t take law into your own hands, Yoruba group advises Southwest indigenes

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Yomi Layinka Yomi Layinka

PRESS RELEASE

At its recent emergency Zoom meeting to discuss the series of interethnic clashes in South-West Nigeria, Majeobaje Movement resolved as follows:

1. We commiserate with ALL those who lost loved ones, property, and livelihoods as well as those who suffered injuries due to the recent interethnic conflicts in Ondo, Oyo and Ogun states

2. While our SW governors have improved in handling of security matters, a lot more still needs to be done especially by way of more support for and urgent capacity development for Amotekun. For example, their herculean task would be significantly facilitated by the urgent deployment of drones for aerial surveillance across the forest reserves and highways of the SW states

3. In the same vein, we urge the SW Governors to widen their State Security Committees to include more traditional rulers and local vigilante groups (e.g. Agbekoya, etc.). This will help provide more robust monitoring of strange movements and offer faster protection to outlying territories

4. We acknowledge that the northerners that have lived peacefully amongst us for decades are different from the criminals coming into the SW from the north in recent times. We thus expect these northern friends to demonstrate that difference by proactively helping security agencies to, regardless of kinship, identify the criminals and bandits that may be hiding amongst them.

5. In this regard, we call for the immediate de-escalation of ethnic rumblings by all sides and a stop to the encouragement of the use of violence to settle scores.

6. We particularly welcome the effort of concerned members of the northern elite to dissociate their people from the heinous activities of the foreign army of AK47-wielding, hardened criminals who have been going about maiming, raping and killing innocents souls throughout the SW.

7. Notwithstanding the provocations and pains, we urge people in the region not to seek revenge but to continue to report complaints and suspicious activities to security agencies and/or to their traditional rulers. This is not only because it is the lawful thing to do but also because we must be mindful to avoid ethnic profiling and its extremely negative consequences.

8. Finally, we call on all northern and southern leaders, especially the elected representatives, to work to help pull the nation back from the brink by initiating peace meetings and by boldly speaking in support of fairness and the rule of law for all citizens without fear or favour.

9. To keep this country safe and secure is a task for ALL. God bless Nigeria, God bless the SW states.

  • Yomi Layinka, Team Leader (Publicity and Sensitization)

* Akintayo Akin-Deko, Convenor