The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams has said about N3 billion was paid as ransom to release about 400 people that were kidnapped, killed or maimed in the South West within a period of two years.
Adams expressed worries that over 200 persons had been killed in the Yoruba region by bandits and kidnappers within the period under review.
The Yoruba leader spoke on Thursday at the fourth edition of the South West Security Stakeholders Group Conference held in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
“When you quantify the amount of ransom that has been paid in Oke-Ogun, Ibarapa, Ekiti, Akoko and Yewa, it is even more than N3 billion. When you quantify those people that were killed maimed in all these jurisdictions, they are more than 400 people,” Adams said.
Adams, who claimed to have some privileged security information, said he always receives first-hand information about kidnapping in any part of the South West communities.
He, however, stated that the conference was an opportunity to bring all security agencies together to enhance capacity.
He added, “As the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, I am privy to some certain information that certain security organisations do not have. When things happened in any community, they will call my line that Aare, what can you do?
“Unfortunately, I don’t have enough power to act like the olden days Aare, but I am doing my own bit like a person that has a liberation Organisation.
“That was one of the reasons I brought all these people together so that it can enhance me more capacity to work with security agencies so that South-West region can be peaceful.”
Adams, who was concerned that the “region has been ravaged by the killer herdsmen,” said if the Yoruba leaders fail to act now, the region may record the same experience as it is in the North.
He appealed to the Federal Government to consider regionalism as an option towards rescuing the nation from its current situation.
“There’s the need for self-government or regionalism in the country where state governors would control the police and other security architectures of their states.
“At every point in time in the region, insecurity has reached an alarming need for us to take drastic action towards ending the prevailing scourge.”