It is no longer a secret that Okunland, in the western senatorial district of Kogi State, is faced with security challenges along side with other socio cultural entities in the middle belt and southern Nigeria.
The awareness has been on over ten years ago when I exposed the eyes of those who cared to the existence of sophisticated arms and ammunition in our neighborhood. I mentioned places like Ahunrun, Irunda, Iye, Odogbe, Ayede, Okoloke, Agboro etc as the places where the fulani herdsmen have dominated the bushes. The call for vigilance has been consistent but our people are waiting for the time they will be hit before reacting.
Presently, we must know that the destruction of farm land is to cause food shortages which we are currently experiencing. They have threatened to stop bringing food to the south but they are busy ferrying our gari, yams, beans, beniseed, maize, corn etc to the north from Okunland!
There is trade freedom but considering the rate at which food prices are escalating in Kogi state, and Okun in particular, one must rethink and take a decision. A decision to protect our land and food movement. It is sad that gari is sold for #400. When we are confronted with food and war, one wonders what will be the consequences.
I now call on the state government to make provision for stock buying of these food items instead of evacuating them to the north.
Okun traditional rulers must intensify their meetings to synergise their efforts in securing our land. The local governments must not only be concerned about their territory alone but work together with other Okun local governments to rid our land of these intruders.
Food security is our major challenge now. The traditional rulers can see to the way our items are moved with trailers day and night.
It is equally of note that the way strangers are coming in to our land in the early hours is alarming. Most of these strangers are quickly engaged in okada riding and other businesses which make them have access to our strategic locations and information.
We must appeal to our people who take delight in sabotaging our security. No evil is perpetuated without the connivance of natives. Local informants are there aiding kidnappers. Okun leaders should start investigating sources of income of our people. Some people are not known for any job but living in affluence. Hoteliers should be invited and educated on the need to be whistle blowers on security. These criminals spend most of their time and ill gotten wealth in hotels drinking and womanising. Sad enough, our women in the rural areas mentioned above are too friendly with these criminals for monetary gains.
God will deliver us.
Let’s be vigilant.
– Hon Abiodun Elesho writes from Isanlu, Kogi state.