PROTECT SHASHA FROM REPRISAL ATTACK BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE - By Ogo-Oluwa Adelakun - Penangle | News Portal in Nigeria %
Tue. Jun 25th, 2024
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Some say it is important to study history carefully, so as not to foolishly fall into an obvious gaping pit of chaotic mistakes made by oneself or by others. While it is not unusual to make mistakes due to our human nature which is in itself inherently flawed, it becomes a different conversation altogether when there are multiple reference texts that could have been read to avert some very avoidable mishaps in society. It is therefore no surprise that our elders love to say “once bitten, twice shy” because it is in wisdom we ensure that an unpleasant event never repeats itself.

In recent months, parts of Oyo State have become hotbeds of attacks and reprisals heavily linked by many, to the herder-farmer crisis; an issue with deep ethnic undertones.

Just days ago police in Oyo State confirmed the death of 11 people in an attack on Igangan community in Ibarapa area of the state. While some reports suggest that some Fulani herders carried out the attacks, police authorities claim suspected armed bandits invaded Igangan Community on the night of the 5th of June to unleash mayhem on innocent persons.

In a swift attempt to immediately calm tensions, governor Seyi Makinde commendably went to the community to offer condolences to the mourning people, while promising that such horrific act would never see the light of day in the state.

However, the question is, are thoughts, prayers, condolences and promises to do better enough, when months ago criminal elements killed chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Fatai Aborode, on his farm in the same area, which gave popularity to the likes of Sunday Igboho who called for the eviction of Fulanis from Ibarapaland? What have we done with lessons from that event?

If the situation in Igangan serves as a note of warning, then it would be for residents of Akinyele Local Government area of Ibadan where months ago the Shasha market had to be closed for a while due an ethnic clash which recorded some casualties.

The pains of those who have lost both loved ones and livelihoods in that part of the state are quite frankly better imagined than experienced. This is why well meaning residents of Oyo State who value the importance of security and its implication on economic development have expressed concerns for Shasha people. Many are scared that if something is not done proactively to mitigate the insecurity in other parts, it may be only a matter of time before the community plays host to another set of attacks, even though it is yet to recover from the ramifications of the previous carnage meted out of the community.

As much as no one prays for havoc in the state, thoughts and prayers are not sound security policies, neither are mere promises sufficient enough to count as proper strategies to solve impending problems that can be neutralized due to what history showed us in Igangan days ago.

Or would we sit on our arms and then begin to shed tears later when devastation revisits because we have chosen to be reactive and not proactive?

The time to plan was yesterday, the time to act is now if we plan to salvage what is left in those communities. We must make hay while the sun shines and before time runs out .

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