Tthe Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdganiy Adekunle Oloogunebi, says that selling native land to foreigners, particularly from Niger, Chad, Cameroon and other neighbouring countries, has fuelled insecurity in Oyo State, as he called on residents of the state verify the nationality of prospective land buyers.
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday at his palace in Iseyin at Oke-Ogun, the native ruler noted that selling land to foreigners has contributed to the wave of kidnappings, banditry, armed robbery and destruction of farmland.
Oba Adekunle noted that the crime wave in the towns of Eruwa, Lanlate, Igboora, Idere, Tapa, Ayete and Igangan in Ibarapa is as a result of a lack of vigilance by the people. He said that if residents could keep track of new faces and suspicious movements of strangers in their domains, those responsible for the crime wave would be nabbed before they had a chance to act.
The traditional rulers in the Oke-Ogun region, he said, have all resolved to keep their domains safe from crime that could hinder the economic growth of the region.
‘I will also want to appeal to my people to stop selling land to foreigners that they cannot ascertain their nationality. Recent security intelligence has shown that foreigners from Niger, Chad, Cameroon and other countries, who do not even have proper documentation, are buying land from our people,’ he stated.
‘This action portends near and future dangers. Those that sell such land are giving room for people that we do not know their ancestral and moral background to spread over our communities and wreak havoc. We have to stop this act.’
The monarch also maintained that the efforts of the state government under the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde to make the state an investors’ haven could only be realisable if citizens of the state would assist security agencies with prompt and useful information about strange individuals and events around them.
‘It is very saddening that kidnapping and armed robbery are the trending issues in the country today. What happened in the olden days, where our people keep vigil in their communities against invaders and criminal elements, is what we should resort to now. If you see any strange thing happening within your community, call the elders who will call on the King or Baale (village head). This will help the security agencies to have tangible information to work with.
‘If you see a strange person that came from the forest to buy food for more than two people, it means they are camping there and might be doing something ominous. Call on the people around and stop such person or persons for questioning, and if he or she cannot give a convincing explanation, call on the security agents. These are ways to foil criminal acts before they manifest,’ the local ruler advised.
He enjoined the people of Oyo to support the Makinde administration in creating mass employment and financial empowerment for the people through its agro-economy and infrastructure projects, as well as its efforts to protect lives and property.