All Eyes On Auxiliary As His Alleged Violent Conduct Threatens Peaceful Elections In Oyo State
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All Eyes On Auxiliary As His Alleged Violent Conduct Threatens Peaceful Elections In Oyo State

As Nigerians look forward to violence-free elections, some voters in Oyo State are rather scared of the potential threats of violence by Mukaila Lamid, Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of Oyo State Park Management System. Adeyemi Okediran of Development News Nigeria in this four-week investigation, shows how Lamidi has been accused of violating human rights and unleashing violence in the State.

On his first day in office in 2019, the governor of Oyo State Seyi Makinde suspended the activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and introduced the Park Management System (PMS).

Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi, also known as Auxiliary, was appointed chairman of its Disciplinary Committee, the highest decision-making body in PMS.

Shortly after the PMS was set up, many residents of the State had reasons to lodge fundamental rights violation complaints against Lamidi.

However, despite all these complaints, the Oyo State Government has made no official statement to address all the allegations levied against Lamidi.

Last August, Lamidi threatened the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Senator Teslim Folarin.

In a video, Lamidi accused Teslim of recruiting militants to go after him and claimed he was untouchable.

In response to the video, the All Progressives Congress, APC issued a statement, pointing out that Lamidi and Governor Makinde should be held responsible if harm befell the APC gubernatorial candidate.

Since then, some residents of the state have called for the arrest and prosecution of Lamid to prevent violence during the elections.

“Auxiliary should be tamed and neutralized,” said Dr. Ayo Sanda Ladigbolu, a businessman, adding that “If Mukaila and his guys are not put under control, they pose a great danger to the free and fair elections in Ọ̀yo State.”

Ladigbolu pointed out that in the presidential and national assembly elections, Lamid might not have any influence.

“However, during the gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections, his influence in the Park Management of Ọ̀yo State is a big one. He and his men may pose a very serious danger on the level of turnouts. He should be neutralized before the local elections,” Ladigbolu added.

The founder of Omo Iya Kunmi Foundation, Alhaji Siyanbola Akinkunmi, corroborated Dr. Ladigbolu’s position, alleging that Governor Makinde had empowered an alleged thug under the disguise of being the Disciplinary Committee Chairman of PMS to unleash violence on innocent people.

He added that due to their mayhem in Ibadan, many residents fear what may happen during the elections. He urged the governor to take Lamid off the streets before the elections.

“It is challenging to see a once-secured State being led to Armageddon,” said Mr. Aare Saheed Olayiwola, a political analyst.  “We have unabated violence in some areas in Ibadan and nobody cares to address this because of the political patronage of the perpetrators.”

Olayiwola added that “I don’t like to be a prophet of doom that violence is imminent. Already, we have situations around where candidates’ banners are being torn. We are witnesses to the procession of the PMS boss in Ibadan with clear disregard for the traffic and other road users. We see the grandstanding every day informing the public of another era of political violence since 2010.”

According to the Executive Director, Brain Builders and Youth Development Initiative, Mr. Abideen Olasupo, the security situation in Oyo State calls for serious concern now regardless of political affiliations.

“I can understand the security situation of the country is bad but that of Oyo State is important, and if we are not going to be economical with the truth, the chairman of the Oyo State Park Management as a personality or as an entity affects the security architecture,” Olasupo said.

He urged the government to declare a state of emergency on security structure to curb the excesses of Lamidi.

“If you look at elections in Oyo State, since the time of Ladoja, Baba Adedibu, Alao Akala, and Ajimobi. Elections in Oyo State and Southwest are usually tough. Political parties always trying to use the leaders of thugs against themselves. I’m afraid this time around as well, without labeling the chairman of the Park Management System, he is not the only one, and we all know a member of an opposition party is always proud to say he’s controlling thugs,” Olasupo said.

Accused Of Murder

Notable among those accusing Lamidi of human rights violations is Mr. Hammed Azeez, the Iwo Road Shopping Complex manager whose younger brother Ramon Azeez was allegedly killed by thugs loyal to Lamidi.

Narrating what led to the death of his brother, Hammed said on June 18, 2021 “I was refused entrance into my office, and I was bullied and attacked for asking why they blocked the complex.

“My tenants came out to me and defended me. Those tenants were bullied and attacked as well. After the issues were resolved, everybody returned to their businesses. Thirty minutes later, they returned with machetes, stones, and other dangerous weapons. Other traders came to my support.

“We chased them away. I invited Amotekun and Operation Burst. They spoke with me, and we settled it. When Operation Burst came, they arrested some of their men. All phones were stolen. Those people were still with the security operatives when we noticed that about a thousand people were coming, led by Alhaji Lamidi Mukaila, aka Auxiliary. When they got to our complex, Auxiliary asked those thugs to come into the complex, and kill us.”

Continuing, he said: “Unfortunately for Ramon, the victim went to the wrong place, but we were hearing him saying, ‘please don’t kill me’. We saw Eba, Eko, and Ridwan, the son of Auxiliary, when they were stabbing Ramon. Before we knew it, he had been killed. One of them was holding an AK-47. The security operatives didn’t do anything.

“The late Ramon was never a cultist. He was never involved in an argument with anyone. If you go to police stations in the state, you cannot find his record there. The complex vandalized was his mother’s complex. We are amazed that Makinde could come out and call him a cultist. We want the governor to come out and retract the statement. He was a devoted Muslim and never belonged to any cult group.”

The deceased’s mother, Alhaja Salmot Azeez said she wants justice for her son who graduated from Lead City University in Ibadan.  “He was not a cultist,” she insisted.

“My first child whom they attempted to kill studied in London, United Kingdom, but he decided to return to Nigeria,” she said. “My slain son had a shop where he was selling phones in the shopping complex. He was never a cultist. He was a phone dealer. I don’t know how I offended ‘Auxiliary’ that made him kill my son. I don’t know what I did to him. He knows me and I usually give him something. I gave him whatever he asked me. This is a great loss.”

One of the traders, Akeem Yusuf, said that the hoodlums, after killing Azeez and injuring many, looted their shops. He added that the thugs returned the next morning and stole the remaining wares in the shops.

Another victim of the mayhem, Mr. Kayode Ismail, pointed out that soldiers attached to Operation Burst and some Amotekun corps were present but did nothing when the armed hoodlums invaded the complex and wreaked havoc.

“The problem started with a complaint that the drivers blocked the entrance of the complex with their vehicles,” Ismail said.  “Azeez came and wanted to park his car but there was no way for him to enter the complex. He complained and that led to an altercation. The drivers called the park managers, and they attacked the young man. This led to a fight, but some shop owners came to his rescue and the park managers went away and returned fully armed.

“They chased Azeez, he fled before he fell. They started hurling sharp objects at him. They stabbed him and stoned him. They ensured that he died before they left while others started breaking into our shops, stealing and destroying the ones they could not steal.”

Oyo State Government Officials Decline Comment

After several calls, texts, and chats with the Chief Press Secretary to the Oyo State Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, he asked the reporter to meet with the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Mr. Fatai Owoseni.

Mr. Fatai Owoseni said he needed approval from Mr. Adisa before he could respond to a request for comment. 

Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the Oyo State Park Management System, Alhaji Lamidi Mukaila, known as Auxiliary, did not respond to multiple requests for comment on several allegations of crime against him.

This report is supported by Civic Media Lab.

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