The Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, on Wednesday expressed worry over the incessant attacks on communities in Lagos and Ogun states by people suspected to be Niger-Delta militants, lamented the inability of the Nigerian police to protect the people living in the affected communities.
In a communique issued after its meeting in Akure, Ondo State capital, Afenifere appealed to Yoruba people to remain unprovoked by the activities of the aggressors.
It, however, said in the communique read by its spokesman, Yinka Odumakin that the people should go back to the traditional ways of defending themselves.
“We are worried by the attacks on Lagos and Ogun communities in the last two weeks which started from Ijebu Mushin down to Igbo Olomu, Ikorodu and now the abduction of Oniba of Iba who has been in the den of his captors for weeks now.
“We frown at the fact that the Nigerian Police, up till now, have only been lamenting. They have not apprehended any of the people who are carrying out these dastardly acts.
“Therefore, we appeal to our people not to allow themselves to be provoked into vengeful acts against their neighbours who may not know anything about the activities of the criminals.
“But we encourage them to activate their traditional self-defence mechanisms to be able to ward off these aggressors on their own until Nigerian state allows state police to complement federal police which have proved to be incapable of handling what is going on at the moment,” Afenifere said.
Urging President Muhammadu Buhari to deal with the roots of corruption instead of merely treating its symptoms, the group said it was surprised that some lawmakers could still be involved in budget padding despite the ongoing anti-graft fight.
Afenifere called for a new model of governance that would emphasise service, development and not personal pursuit.
The group noted the hardship the people of the country are currently facing, attributing it to the economic crunch which has made it difficult for governments at all levels to meet their obligations to their workers.
Afenifere insisted that until Nigeria was restructured in a way that would allow every state to go and bring out the resources in their soils to expand the productive base, the country would not get out of crisis.
In a related development, some residents of Lagos State on Wednesday trooped en masse to protest incessant gunmen attacks and raping of women in the riverine parts of the state by suspected members of Niger-Delta militants.
The protesters, who were mainly from Ibeshe town in Ikorodu, deployed the incessant attacks on their neighborhood, saying their lives were constantly being threatened by cultists and militants.
The Chairman, Ibeshe land Joint Community Development Association, Pastor Fred Olanipekun, who led the protest to Lagos House of Assembly, lamented that their community has been under the siege of cultists for a long time.
They called on the Lagos State government to come to their rescue and restore peace to the community, adding that the community has been bereft of serenity for the two years.
Olanipekun, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, said a cult group leader known as ‘badoo’ has caused havoc in the community, lamenting that he goes on raping spree, kidnap and maim people in the community.
He said: “For the past two years, we have been experiencing incessant rape of widows, single mothers, young and old women and ladies.”
Narrating their ordeal, he said that last month, the culprits who operate individually attacked a Ghanaian lady, simply identified as Grace, raped and removed all her teeth.
According to him, because of the brutal attacks unleashed on women, many women have ran away from Okeota community, a suburb area in Ibeshe town.
“Therefore because of the incessant attacks, brutalisation and rape of women, many women have moved out of Okeota community,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of women, Mrs. Oluwaseun Osundairo, said women in the community were afraid and decided to flee away, adding that some men have also ran away and left their wives and children in the community.
“We have been on this issue, made reports to the police but no result. That is why we are here to beg the governor to come to our aid,” she said.
Addressing the protesters, Mr. Segun Senuoye, a Lagos State Government official from the Office of Civil Engagement, assured them that the state government will henceforth provide adequate security for them and to restore peace to their community.