By Adeyanju Adegoke Awoso
To be a patriot is not to stand with Mr President/Mr Governor neither to foolishly support or promote a particular party or leader at the detriment of your people but to stand firmly for their interests and wellbeing.
The abnormality and stupidity of Nigeria Custom Officers in conjunction with our military personnel in Ogun West where they claimed to be doing their duties and by so doing killing the innocent people in Ogun West is becoming alarming and evil.
The incident that happened in Ayetoro town at Kikelomo Street in the State constituency on 22/12/2020 that claimed the life of Mr Sola popularly called Isho and more than two innocent people were injured by straight bullet in their house is barbaric. The same thing happened in Ilaro on the 26th of December, 2020 which also claimed the life of a young man in Ilaro. Yet, such death has never been recorded in the North.
The bitter truth about these uniform men is that they are the main cause of this problem in our area. Due to my findings, I discovered that they are the ones allowing these smugglers to bring in the rice and other contraband goods into our country.
This is after they might have collected their illegal booking. They will later alert other custom officers in Lagos or Abuja to come and raid shops and houses in the neighbourhood. This often time leads to shooting when those smugglers refused to release the goods.
I believe in my findings because with the numbers of Custom checkpoints and even with Joint taskforce on our roads in Ogun West whereas there are no airports or waterways, how come do the smugglers pass from Republic of Benin down to my town Igbogila, Ayetoro, Imasayi etc.
Ijoun to Igbogila which is just 15 minutes drive has more than 20 checkpoints where they extort our innocent market women, Okada riders and our motorists. Amidst all these useless and numerous checkpoints with fully armed officers, unknown Fulani gun men still kidnap our people and collect illegal ransom regularly.
I can say it specifically that the greed, cowardness and over ambition of political leaders and our traditional rulers in the South West put us in this mess. This has turned us to complete slaves because if not we shouldn’t be suffering for this long and nothing meaningful done to ameliorate our suffering.
History matters, records were not kept because of the weakness of the memory but to guide the future – Prof. Wole Soyinka. I will like to remind you about the video that went viral few weeks ago wherein a young man representing President Buhari Federal constituency stood up in the Green Chamber to condemn the useless and meaningless border closure.
The Hon. said the House of Mr President is just 13Km to border and the executive order is total closure of border is 50km but the Hon. said it was so unfortunately that he drove himself around 1.am midnight and it was free movement of goods in and out, so he didn’t see the essence of border closure. Up till now, we have never heard that any smuggler or any innocent youth was accidentally shot in the North. I want to call on our political leaders regardless of political party, elder statesman and royal fathers from South West to come together for the progress of our people because of posterity and aftermath.
I will like to implore Mr Governor PDA to come to our rescue in Ogun West as he has promised the last time I led the Ogun West Youths delegation on the matters of Custom brutality.
In the North, Hisbar Police is working freely for the safety of their lives and properties. Nothing is disturbing them but when our people inaugurated Amotekun security network, northerners felt threatened and different declarations were made to stop it.
Till today, something serious has not come up but our political leaders and our statesmen that needed to speak up for our freedom and safety kept quiet because of their selfish ambitions and greediness at the detriment of millions of our peoples. They have forgotten that it is only God that crown and can dethrone. It is not any mortal.
The ugly incident between Custom Officers and smugglers that led to the death of an innocent young man in Ayetoro on 22nd December also happened again in Ilaro on the 26th December 2020. Another young life was lost all in the name of doing their duty.
The bitter truth that I want Ogun State Custom Controller and Federal Controller to know about their boys on our South West roads is that these boys do collect bribes and illegal bookings. They will later send signal to other officers from Federal Team to burst these boys again to pack their goods. This act of betrayal will ordinarily lead to crisis coupled with their unprofessional handling of civil matter.
There are many checkpoints along our roads with joint taskforce from border to our township Igbogila, Ilaro, Ayetoro, Imasayi and so on which are more than 40km to border. The question begging for answer is that how do these goods get to our communities without their consent. Yet we have no airports or Waterways.
I have never heard about killing of any smuggler or innocent young person in North since this Executive order of 50km border closure. Yet, we have heard, read and seen how goods are coming in and out over there.
The bandits and kidnappers in the North are on dialogue. The FGN is swift in giving compensations to them for anyone that claimed to have repented whereas my fellow educated youths down south are looking for job without finding any. They are now the one being killed and injured by uniform men in the South West.
During the total lockdown, we saw a video where 20,000 were shared as relief fund to people in the North, till today I haven’t seen anyone from my State who benefited from that. We will all give account of our stewardship before our creator.
I decree and declare that whosoever that do any political permutations or any plans for his own selfish interest at the detriment of masses will suffer from generations to generations in Jesus name and the power in the blood of Jesus Christ. His//her ambition from ward to Federal level will not come to reality in Jesus name.
I want to beg our three Senators in Ogun State, Sen. Lekan Mustapha, Sen. Tolu Odebiyi and the most ranking Sen. Ibikunle Amosun and our nine Federal House of Representatives in Ogun to work hand-in-hand with our humble Governor PDA to find a lasting solution to the incessant killing of our youths in border communities because I believe Ogun State is one.
We all know that where two elephants fight, the grass will suffer and they should not forget the Almighty God will surely ask for all our stewardship at the end of journey in life. Party supremacy and our personal ambition should not be at the detriment of our people if truly we want to serve. There is posterity.
In all, I want to charge Pastor Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, all federal political appointees from South West and all political leaders across the South West, all our six South West Governors regardless of their political parties should emulate the late Sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo and fight for our freedom and development of our region.
They should not allow party sentiments and personal ambitions to divide us and also put our land and future into perpetual slavery. Anyone that does not regard the future of the masses because of his/ her personal ambition, he/she will suffer from generations to generations in Jesus Mighty name.
Hon. (Chief) Adeyanju Adegoke Awoso.is a member of Ogun State House of Assembly and writes this piece in Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital
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