Alao Faults Makinde’s Peace Talks With Area Boys, Cult Groups  

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Barr. SHarafadeen Abiodun
A stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC)  in Oyo State, Engineer Oyedele Hakeem Alao, has raised concern over the decision of the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde, to hold peace talks with area boys and cult groups in the state.
The state had in recent times witnessed increase in cases of insecurity such as armed robbery, clashes between members of the Park Management System (PMS) and federal boys as well as terror by miscreants.
Makinde recently came under criticism of shrieking in the responsibility of protecting lives and property in the state, forcing the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, to held a meeting with representatives of  militant groups that  include Agbekoya, Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), Vigilante Group of Nigeria, among others in Ibadan.
He stated the determination of the state government  to engage in talks with all area boys and cult groups in the state to foster peace, adding that the meeting aimed to solve the problem from the root as it will work closely with security agencies and leaders of the militant groups to meet with the cult sects and mediate between warring parties in the state.
Alao in a statement issued in Ibadan, by his Media Office, however faulted the decision, stating that while it is a welcome development to hold peace talks with those considered are relevant to ensure peace in the state, the timing is suspect.
He said since Makinde came on board as governor, he has continued to pamper those causing crises in the state and elevated thuggery, hooliganism and bringadary to the worst level in the history of the state.
He maintained that the governor refused to take any serious actions on the crimes of gruesome killing, kidnapping, raping, robbery, among others, going on all over the state, noting that he also did not heed calls of prominent stakeholders to do the needful and save the state from orgy of violence and insecurity.
The Asiwaju of Iroko, said holding peace talks with area boys when the 2023 general election is around the corner gives room for suspicion, insisting that it is nothing but an avenue for the governor to unify the area boys for an agenda not in the general interest of the people.
He added that the decision coming at this time showed that Governor Makinde had all along been playing politics with the security of lives and property of the people, disclosing that he would fail as he cannot pull wool over the faces of the people who have for close to three years failed to sleep with their two eyes closed.
According to him, “While it is commendable that the administration of Governor Makinde is ready to hold peace talks with the area boys and other groups to ensure peace in the state, however this coming when the administration is almost three years in office shows that there is no sincerity behind the decision.
“In as much as we are not averse to doing everything possible for the state to have peace, what is not in doubt is that Governor Makinde refused to listen to calls in the recent past by prominent indigenes that include former governor, late Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, tasking him to call a Council of State meeting comprising of former governors and other stakeholders to address security challenges in the state.
“Governor Makinde owes the people of the state while it is now that their security is his concern, the decision to have peace talks with the area boys cannot but be a way of using them as tools for the 2023 general elections with the government bringing them under its umbrella.”

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