BY Oni Gbolabo

With great sense of displeasure I express my hard feelings on the Security Meeting held today 21st of May, 2019 at Zenabab Hotel, Ilesha. First, I appreciate the initiative because it is evidence that the Government of Osun State is conscious of the current threatening security problem. However, I will state it clearly that having consciousness does not translate to understanding the enormity of the problem because what was discussed today in the open meeting proved that organisers are hundreds of kilometres away from the solution. In all sincerity, the organisers of that programme are devoid of clear cut objectives. The anchors of the programme mentioned Strategic Solution as the core purpose of the gathering. Alas, it was a ruse and subterfuge based on what happened there today. I did not see any evidence to substantiate their claim. The gathering was nothing but appealing to gallery, to make political statements. It may sound pessimistic, but just the plain truth. To me and all purpose driven attendees it was extremely difficult to define the purpose of the gathering as nobody mentioned anything apart from miners. What did they mention about the miners? They destroy our lands, they evaded tax, they hide weapons etc. I almost concluded that the gathering was on how to control miners for revenue purposes. They all left Boko Haram and ISIS infiltration into the southwest which was the core cause of kidnapping. If the state doesn’t know, I will tell them that mining had been going on from time immemorial before Boko Haram and ISIS infiltrated with sophisticated weapons to beat security.

I was shocked to the marrow when a young Hausa man was trying to tell the gathering their efforts to make sure the kidnappers did not infiltrate into their camps. The guy told the gathering with glee how he spent over 8 million naira to do biometric capturing of all labourers working in the mines.

I almost fainted. How on earth can someone be custodian of citizens biometrics without state knowing and the state never care to see shame or threat in such statement?

Osun state doesn’t have her citizens’ biometrics but a young man has it. One day we shall be consulting the Hausa young man for data..!. I am so bewildered. I won’t discuss this further here.

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I was expecting issues on how Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Oyo states will form synergy to act, nothing of that nature.
There are several vital issues that ought to lead us to Strategic Solutions to the problems, but because no single expert was invited to address the areas of Strategic Solutions.

All discussions were on miners as if miners were the only people that can kidnap. Although miners can be kidnappers, how are we sure they even kidnap? Why not expand our suspects’ scope?

Apart from Professor Olu, Head of SSS and Head of Prison who stated that the problem is deeper than miners issue; a man named Ya-Salam also dissented from those mentioning miners. I was surprised that a gathering can be discussing Strategic Solutions on how to tackle security problems which includes kidnapping without mentioning technology.

It was so strange, extremely strange. I was expecting issues related to how those kidnapped in the past will recount their ordeals so that stakeholders can reason about what they saw: the locations of the criminals, modus operandi, areas of the forest they reside, technology available there and how the kidnappers survive in the forest. Nothing of this nature was discussed but organisers preferred to invite party Mama Leaders, Iyalojas, party members and drummers, I mean no experts to discuss Strategic Solutions to insecurity problems.

As security experts were not invited the party touts took their seats inside the hall to make senseless noise whenever a politician arrives. These are the people that took most of the seats ought to have been occupied by technocrats, security experts, technologists and other professionals who should proffer Strategic Solutions.

Several people have presented solutions on this matter. My regards to Dapo Rotifa, Dotun Oyeniyi, Ayo Turton, Dideolu Falobi, Gbolahan Olojede, John Ogunlela, Seun Oni and my humble self Oni Gbolabo on what to do.

The people who always show concern about the security status of the state were not sought after, however, tout who are security threats in their own capacity were conspicuous in the venue of the event.

I was expecting hypothetical strategic questions such as how were the kidnappers able to negotiate with the families of the victims through GSM network undetected.

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They negotiate, collect ransom and walk away. I expect some experts to explain that any SIM cards can be traced to the barest 10 meters of the user in so much there is mast transmitting his calls. If the kidnappers are using sophisticated communication gadgets they can still be tracked through GPRS and real time Google Earth Geo-Information coordinate/resolution.

It is a shame that nobody talked about why Osun State should not have Security Screen Base where personnel can be in a place called Homeland Security Office in Oshogbo and see what is happening in all nooks and crannies of the state including the forest.

Yet kidnappers will trek with victims for three hours and nothing to track the movement. Who said it is expensive technology? It is a lie! With less than 20 million all these will be in place. That depends on if Osun peoples’ life is that worthy, more so no government officials had been kidnapped, just poor lecturers, clergies, private companies staff and school teachers. Is Osun state verifying all SIM cards the kidnappers used to negotiate? Who owns them or registered them?

I was expecting an expert to raise the issues of using drones to track the kidnappers in modern era when drones are now toys. I expect the establishment of Osun State Drone Units to do area surveillance manned by combined team of security personnel which will coordinate information with well equipped zonal patrols.

All I could hear was vigilantes; it is so comical that Osun State Strategic Solution to kidnapping is talking about local vigilantes.

I will tell my state that kidnapping is not done is rural areas but in lonely express roads. If not now that the kidnappers are becoming brazing to kidnap on busy roads in broad day light can any unarmed vigilante be posted to lonely places without being wasted/ these are the kidnappers who killed Esa-Oke poly workers in broad day light.

I was expecting experts to tell us that most of these kidnappers are hiding in the forest along the boundary between Esa-Oke and Efon, Ile-Ife and Ilesha, Iwo and Ede, Ilesha and Akure etc and how we can use Google Earth Map with real time resolution to track their hide outs. We should not wait until they strike. I was expecting experts to mention a dedicated radio station to Security Matters to update citizens on security issues, how to detect suspects, self defence, how to spy and alert security office etc. I was expecting how farmers, local hunters, villagers and transporters can observe and alert the Central Homeland Security Office for instant and coordinated actions.

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I was expecting how special patrol vehicles with GPRS, Tracking Devices and Communication gadgets can be launched to locate these beasts. We must take the battles to them not the other way round.

NOTE: Those who attended the meeting were not allowed to ask question…lol. what a stakeholders meeting.

(2). I am afraid they won’t come home to kidnap people due to lack of electricity, that was not discussed.
All I could see are dance, masquerades, chiefs and a Baale that sold his traditional palace to Chinese while he is living in a flat in Ilesha.

Then, bottled water was shared and people dispersed. The touts swamped on the politicians who grounded their destinies to halt to collect usual handouts to drink ogogoro.

We all went home after. As we were leaving the venue news broke that another chief was kidnapped barely an hour loooooool.

My view:

You know it is easier to cry for the Southwest than to laugh at our many ridiculous postulations.

This is what my pain as been about on this region; we easily look for scapegoat while leaving what we can do , undone.

From gathering Iyalojas, Transport Unions and chiefs of all kinds, we think we can get solutions to our myriad of challenges? These are our security experts? WONDERFUL!

As for the chief that sold his palace to Chinese and leaving in a flat at ilesa, what other thing do we need to be sure of how low we have sung as a people?

A Temitope Olodo , or any of the people listed above would have done a better job with achievable timelines, cultural research and how to mitigate these challenges and cost effective , life saving and property preservation strategies.


May Nigeria Succeed…