Posted by Sanya Adejokun, Abuja | 23 July 2019 | 1,023 times
An Abuja based lawyer, Olukayode Ajulo, has narrated his encounter with armed members of Miyetti Allah patrolling the highway in Ondo State on vigilante duty.
Ajulo in a statement he circulated on Monday evening said on his way back to Abuja on the 22nd day of July 2019 in the company of some security men, he encountered two men at the highway around Akoko, Ondo State carrying Dane guns.
According to him, the statement titled, “Synoptic account of my encounter with the Vigilante Group on the Highway,” was in response to a series of calls on his encounter and inquiries about what really transpired.
“On sighting them, an inquiry was made as to their duty on the highway with guns in their hands, being not uniformed men” the human rights activist and leader of Buhari supporters group disclosed.
Continuing he said “they thereafter responded that they were members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Vigilante group whose operation is known to all the security apparatus in the area.
“Also, they willingly showed us their identity cards which had their names and designations. Some other security men came to corroborate their claims.
“I, therefore, wish to debunk the account that I was stopped by Fulani Herdsmen as peddled by some persons.
“Our interaction is a voluntary undertaking as part of my profiling as a discerning leader of my community, desirous of curbing the menace of insecurity in Nigeria.”
“In response to the controversial reactions on my encounter with these men, it suffices to state that we as Nigerians, must sever political and ethnic sentiments from our minds in the bid to nip this ubiquitous insecurity in the land in the bud.
“In my comment on the gruesome killing of Pa. Fasoranti’s daughter, and a confidant, I categorically and unapologetically hinted that we should not see the killing as an inter-ethnic attack as there are reported cases of massive killings in other parts of the country.
“Recently, about 32 persons were killed in Sokoto State, several others killed in Kaduna, Benue, Niger, Zamfara and other states by some undisclosed bandits, who to me irrespective of their ethnic background are criminal and must be treated as such.
“The naked truth is that the insecurity in Nigeria is national which must not be ignored and we must join hands with our security agencies to fight the menace.
“Thus, we should not allow ethnicity and sentiment to becloud our sense of judgment and humanity in the war against insecurity.
“We are at a time in our nation that pretentious and sentimental interactions no longer works otherwise this bigotry may fan into flame the embers of civil war in this country.
“It will not be out of place to ask this poser: is it due to the lackadaisical attitude of the law enforcement agencies and disregards for the inputs and indelible contributions of our leaders, the OPC and other local vigilante groups that these Miyetti Allah groups are now manning our highways in the South West?
“This is the question that must be addressed by all stakeholders regardless of their ethnic, religious and political affiliations.
“As I thank all for their concern, may I conclude with the words of the legendary late Justice Chukwudifu Oputa JSC (as he then was) that “when we act in unison, we will achieve the peace that we search, but when we are fighting separately, it is not coordinate and if we don’t accommodate one another, we cannot live together” (Nigerian Tribune)
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