Richard Elesho/ Lokoja
The Obaro of Kabba, Oba Solomon Dele Owoniyi, has raised the alarm over rising cases of kidnapping, banditry and killings in Kogi West Senatorial District, generally regarded as Okunland.
During the week, the monarch, who doubles as Chairman, Okun Traditional Council went on consultation with his colleague, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland and the Acting Chairman of Kogi State Traditional Coucil, Dr Ado Ibrahim in Okene on the issue of increasing insecurity in his domain.
Oba Owoniyi bemoaned the worsening state of security in his domain, a development he noted is being fueled by the influx of herdsmen and other undesirable elements into the entire Okun area.
He said the frightening situation had led to the spike in cases of kidnapping, rape, attack on farmers and the destruction of farmlands with the attendant dangerous implications for food security not only in Okunland, but also entire state as a whole.
The monarch, who noted that insecurity was happening at a time when farmers were supposed to mobilize for the new farming season, observed that heavily armed miscreants were still pouring into the area on a daily basis.
The royal father, therefore, called for urgent action to stem the dangerous tide. He commended Governor Yahaya Bello for tackling insecurity, but called for increased and urgent steps to restore peace and sanity in the affected areas.
The Oba urged the acting chairman to lend the weight of his office to the efforts aimed at checking the the infiltration of armed herdsmen into Okunland and other parts of the state.
Receiving the royal entourage, the Ohinoyi also expressed concern and sympathy with the Obaro and his traditional rulers with a promise to take the matter to higher authorities.
The Ohinoyi, who noted that the emerging insecurity in the area, if not tackled with increased efforts, could result in famine in the state advised the people in Okunland to be extra vigilant and report suspected movement and cases to the security agencies.
On the entourage of the Obaro were: the Olujumu of Ijumu, Oba Williams Segun Ayeni; the Olugbedde of Gbeddeland, Oba Olusegun Oloruntoba; Oba of Oranre, Oba Olusegun Aliu; Oba of Gbeleko, Oba Mike Obamero and the Olu of Okebukun and Oba Timothy Ige Omonile among others.
The News reports that Kogi West has recorded several security breaches believed to be perpetrate by criminal Herdsmen who have infiltrated the entire zone.
Last Monday 14 people including widow of former Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Chieftain, Kola Matthew Ojo were kidnapped in Iffe, Ijumu LGA.
The zone records regular clashes between farmers and herders while abductions, banditry and killings have also been on the increase.