From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has cautioned terrorists that may be planning to attack any part of Yorubaland in South West Nigeria, to have a rethink, warning that the Yoruba people have the capacity and the will to defend themselves.
Adams gave the warning when he visited the Olowo of Owo Kingdom, Oba Ajibade Ogunoye, at his palace in Owo, Ondo State.
Owo, the hometown of Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, is the site of the terrorist attack on St Francis Catholic Church weeks ago, which witnessed the mass killing of scores of worshipers that had gone for Sunday service.
Related: Owo church massacre: We’ve not arrested any suspect –Police Force HQ
Adams, in his address at the palace, stated that the South West Security Stakeholders’ Group (SWSSG), comprising the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) and 10 other security groups, under his leadership, would do everything possible to resist any form of attack capable of threatening the region.
Special Assistant on Media to Adams Mr Kehinde Aderemi, in a statement made available to Daily Sun in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, explained that the visit was part of the new move by the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland to secure the South West and forestall a repeat of the Owo attack in the region.
According to him, “My visit is to show my sympathy to your royal majesty and the Owo people over the attack that led to the death of over 40 worshippers.
“Immediately after the attack, I did a statement condoling Kabiyesi and the people of Owo. I was one of the earlier callers and I spoke with the Kabiyesi, assuring him of my support for the palace and the people of the town in making the town safe for the people.
“Also about four weeks ago, I wrote a letter informing the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Antonio Guterres, on the need to prevent the further calamity that is capable of destroying the entire country like what happened in Bosnia.
“The letter was addressed to all international communities and the State Security Departments across the world.
“The reports and the feedback we are getting have been great. However, I consider it imperative to visit Olowo and the people of the town to formally express my sympathy, even as efforts are on to strengthen the security situation in the town.
“This time around, Yoruba are more united and we are not cowards. In Yorubaland, we have not lost any war. Therefore, we are not going to relent or relax until we get rid of terrorists across the South West.”
The Olowo of Owo, Oba Ogunoye, who appreciated Adams for keeping faith with the struggle to defend the region, blamed the prolonged security challenges across the country on the failing federal system arrangements.
He emphasised the need for state police arrangements as a panacea for effective security in the country. He added that the Owo people would continue to protect their kingdom with whatever they have, saying the Owo people are prepared to defend themselves against any external aggressors.
“When they attacked us, Aare was among the earliest callers. He gave us his words with prayers and put in place continuous security surveillance arrangements with the Ondo State chapter of the Oodua People’s Congress. This is a good initiative that could enhance the security situation in the town.
“I am also happy that the Yoruba are even more united in the struggle to defend their territory.I can see their determination and it is a positive sign of unity against terrorism.”