Ogun State: Never Before, Never Again!

Looking critically into the current situation of things in the gateway state of Nigeria, one would know that the state is currently not in a smiling mood. As the festivity period draws nearer, the people of the state were clamoring, complaining, crying over high level of insecurity and government insensitivity to the complaints of its people.
It surprises me to hear that banks throughout Ogun state were under lock and key for a whole two days last week due to armed robbers threat. The rumour that started just like a child’s play at early morning of Thursday 1st of December, 2011 in Abeokuta spread like fire to other parts of the state that robbers were on rampage and the Ogun state lacks security capacity to combat the high and sophisticated class of robbers. Banks quickly shut down their operations and this extends to the next day which is Friday 2nd of December, 2011.
Fortunately, the 3rd and 4th of December are Saturday and Sunday respectively so banks don’t usually operate but it is sad to know that up till today Monday 5th of December Banks throughout Ogun State were still under lock and key. The fear of robbers is now the beginning of wisdom for banks in Ogun State.
How come? why are we in this mess? No water, no good roads no electricity and now no security in Ogun State. These and many other rhetorical questions are what Ogun indigenes are asking. They started analyzing issues and comparing governments and how they take security matters.
Through discussions at a public function yesterday I was able to gather information that Governor Amosun does not have a security adviser, he has been collecting Six hundred million naira (N600, 000,000.00) security votes monthly for almost seven months without using it for any meaningful security matters, he has been frustrating Okada riders with tax and permit which later results to the increase in the numbers of “local robbers” within Ogun State.
During the discussion, someone pointed out that Banks around Ijebu axis of Ogun state have closed their operations for the year due to fear of robbers and they will return to office next year January.
Although, I was a little bit calm at the party but some thought started running through my minds over this matter. I imagined what must have happened to some market women who always save their proceed to banks on daily basis, I guess some of them will take the money home while some will save it in their shops. But, be it home or shops none is save because “local robbers” can as well pay an unscheduled visit to them.
What of churches that must have collected tithe and offerings from their members and don’t have the privilege of saving it in the bank? Are we saying robbers will not visit pastors just like Jesus Christ will visit us when he comes back?
My mind went to the aged that rely solely on western union money from their children abroad and were unable to get it due to bank closure for days. I also imagined someone that is losing a child at the hospital and needed some cash to save the life of the child.
While still in deep thought, I heard a gunshot very close to where I was so I quickly re-adjust myself and asked what went wrong? Before I got the answer, I saw some old men in brown uniform with ‘den gun’. I curiously asked who they are. The response I got was that they are the Vigilante group who are in charge of security matters in Ogun State and it was established by His Excellency, Governor Amosun.
Again, my mind went back to busy mode; how on earth can these old men with den gun (Ibon Ode) who are not even well fed have the ability to combat crime or face armed robbers who are using pump action, Ak-47 and grenades? Something struck my mind that they may have charm (juju) but can they run? Can they stand the noise of these guns? Do they have the technicalities and security sense and training to know what to do at critical moment? NO! Even if he wants to empower them why can’t he take them to farm settlement since most of them were born farmers and hunters?
While coming out of my imaginative world, I saw I distorted image of a man with a hard face and red eye balls and my instinct tells me the guy must be a thief and he is targeting my gold hand chain and blackberry so I quickly jumped up and tell my people that I had to leave but insisted that they must escort me to the car.
On my way home, I was busy thinking about how things have gone so bad in Ogun state security wise. I singled out three cadres of thieves in the state now. The lowest operates with okada, the middle cadre operates at midnight or in the afternoon and their targets are Houses and shops in the afternoon. While the highest cadre focuses on banks.
But Ogun state is a big state with quality people, the state of a two presidents (Obasanjo & Shonekan); the state of Nobel Laurent (Wole Soyinka); the state of Professors, Business dons, Musicians etc up to the level of royal fathers where we have the Ogbagba himself (Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona); Alake (Oba Aremu Gbadebo); Oba Dapo Tejuoso, Olowu Kangunere etc.
But our parents use to say “Agba kii wa loja ki ori omo tuntun o wo”. Could it be that they are discussing with the governor on what to do but he is not listening? Could it be that the governor find their advice irrelevant? Or He does not even consult them.
Then I decided to leave the matter for another day and on getting home I was so tired that I had to lay on the cushion thinking on what the governor is doing with his security votes? And why can’t he approach the Alamala Barracks Commandant to help him out as the chief security officer and dole out little cash for the army boys? Before I dozed off.
In my dream world, I find myself in the mist of all the notable kings that I have mentioned and other ones and I saw a market woman that was busy analyzing issues and suggesting ideas on how to run the state for the council to pass across to the governor. A King (name withheld) then now told the woman that it is disgracing and sad that a market woman who is a primary six graduate could be offering a positive idea on how to run the state while a sitting governor is busy with vendetta.
He said they have spoken to the man and they have advised him on what to do but he is too stubborn. He said they made the greatest mistake of their life and such will never repeat itself again. Then I interrupted, mistake on what sir? The kings answered leave that for the elders!
As I was curious to ask the next question, the next thing I heard was that “Honey, aren’t you eating anything tonight? You been sleeping since I came in”. It pained me but I can’t blame my madam now, she never knew that I have been busy with state matters in the other world.
It was after my dinner that I fathom the message that it’s like some people are saying NEVER BEFORE & NEVER AGAIN! Could it be the governor promising Ogun people that such thing will never happen again? Could it be the people that are saying they’ve never had it so bad and they will never have such again? or the kings or the banks in Ogun state that are saying it? I don’t know yet, but the message is NEVER BEFORE AND NEVER AGAIN!

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