‘Security Trust Fund Should be Revived to Effectively Tackle the Menace of Ajagungbales, Cultism’ – Mr Olabinjo, UAC &Onyabo leader
In this interview held in his office along Ireshe road, Ikorodu, with THE IMPACT NEWSPAPER Publisher/Reporter-in-Chief, KUNLE ADELABU Mr Lanre Olabinjo, President United Area Clubs, the amalgamation of youth clubs and bases in Ikorodu (which was formed to fight social menace) and the Deputy Leader, Onyabo Vigilante Group, Ikorodu, deduced that the activities of the land grabbers and failure of the traditional institution are the major reasons cultism activities have remained unabated in Ikorodu. He also challenged the political office holders to ensure that the Ikorodu Security Trust Fund is revived. Excerpts:
THE IMPACT: You have been leading the efforts to curtail the activities of the cult groups over the years, what can you possibly say is the reason for the unabated of the senseless killings?
Mr Olabinjo: It is unfortunate that these young men allowed unnecessary and senseless supremacy fight between the two illegal cult group groups to degenerated to the level of killing one another on the streets of Ikorodu, but most unfortunate is the activities of ‘Ajagungbales’ (Land Speculators) who engaged these boys as agents, armed and trained them on how to shoot…. (cuts in)
THE IMPACT: Are you saying that activities of the ‘Ajagungbales’ are majorly responsible for the incessant cult clashes and killings?
Mr Olabinjo: The genesis of these cult killings is traceable to the activities of the land speculators who engage the services of these boys against their competitors and initiated them into outlaw groups. Unfortunately, there are always unsettled score from the various sites they are operating which are being extended to the town. It is more pathetic because innocent people are caught in the cross-fire and killed too and the peace of the community usually disrupted.
THE IMPACT: But there was a reconciliation facilitated by Onyabo, UAC and some individuals years back among the cult groups in Ikorodu and this led to the much celebrated oath taking at Iti-Liwe (Liwe shrine) at Ajina. Why are we still experiencing constant bloody fights?
Mr Olabinjo: The recent clashes culprits are mainly from Igbogbo town because their counterparts in Ikorodu have been behaving sensibly since the peace deal which also involved oath taking which was struck at Liwe Shrine in Ikorodu. But it is very unfortunate that the traditional institution in Igbogbo failed to take advantage of the situation despite our overtures. It was the Eiye Confraternity members that suggested during the peace deal that the process will be incomplete if the cult groups in other parts of Ikorodu, especially in Igbogbo town are not involved in the peace deal and oath taking. This was communicated to Adeboruwa palace and at a point in time, the late Oba (Dr) Salaudeen Oyefusi, the then Ayangbure of Ikorodu also intervened by calling necessary parties to ensure that the Igbogtbo phase of the peace deal was done but up till today, we did not hear from Igbogbo.
THE IMPACT: How best do you think the menace can be effectively tackled?
Mr Olabinjo:Ikorodu has failed for too long to identify and deal with the ‘Ajagungbales’ that are the root cause of the insecurity problems we are facing presently. If we are to effectively tackled the menace, then our leaders must be ready to tackle the primary cause which are the ‘Ajagungbales’. They must be arrested and made to account for their crimes which are well documented. Leaders like Chief Babatunde O. Benson (SAN) and others should take it as their responsibilities to see to how we are going to flush out these land agents that have imported crimes and criminalities into Ikorodu and using our wards as tools of their violence while they are increasing economically. The silence of Ikorodu leaders is not helping in any way.
THE IMAPCT: Our honourable representative in the Lagos State House of Assembly sponsored a bill on the activities of the ‘Ajagungbales’. How do you think this can effectively benefit Ikorodu?
Mr Olabinjo: Our representative, Hon. Agunbiade has done tremendously well in sponsoring the bill. Beyond the bill, we must be ready as a people and community to fight the menace of the ‘Ajagungbales’ to a stand still, more so, that our honourable has provided legal backing for us with the bill. We are expecting the other representatives in the Lagos State House of Assembly and at the federal level, Hon. Solaja and Hon. Jimi Benson respectively to get involved practically. Likewise, the traditional institution, especially royal fathers. The Nigeria police in Ikorodu are also helping especially succeeding Divisional Police Officers (DPO) but they are usually been posted out while trying to established themselves and help us in stamping out the menace and most unfortunately, what do you expect from a DPO posted from Zamfara to Ikorodu? For any police to effectively work, you can never rule out native intelligence and this come with outstanding of the area. Also, Lagos State Government should give recognition to local vigilante groups, especially Onyabo by assisting us with working tools and supports because Ikorodu insecurity is a peculiar one to our environment.
THE IMPACT: Ikorodu Security Trust Fund Bill was proposed during the time of Hon. Azeez Jimoh Olosugbo as the Leader of the Ikorodu Local Government Legislative arm and there is another arrangement by IKODASS in conjunction with Onyabo, but both did not see the light of the day, what is your view on this?
Mr Olabinjo:They just used the initiatives to deceived Ikorodu people and it is very unfortunate, because how can you explain a situation where private businesses in Ikorodu were mobilized and show willingness to contribute only for the body that was supposed to coordinate the trust fund found wanting? It was during the administration of Otunba Fatai Olukoga as the Chairman, Ikorodu-Oga Development Association (IKODASS) that the idea of Ikorodu Security Trust Fund was initiated in conjunction with Onyabo Vigilante Group, whereby big businesses in Ikorodu were invited and they responded positively and shown readiness to contribute. But along the line, Otunba Olukoga traveled abroad and IKODASS Vice Chairman was automatically put in charge. Unfortunately, things took another dimension which caused set back. How can you asked the big businesses to contribute financially and materially and at the same time insisting that they cannot be part of the management of how the fund is been used? The Ikorodu Local Government version was also initiated with good intention, but ended up as another way through which AlhajiAnipole fooled Ikorodu people. We are urging the present Executive Secretary to look into it and revive the laudable initiative which if well implemented would go a long way in assisting Onyabo in effectively dealing with insecurity in Ikorodu caused majorly by the activities of ‘Ajagungbales’ and cult groups. If the Trust Fund is in place, the Onyabo will perform effectively well and Ikorodu residents and businesses will contribute without being force. Presently, we task ourselves to fuel and maintained our operational vehicles.
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