Insecurity: South West Govs Meet In Ibadan, Demand State Police
Governors from South Western Nigeria, on Tuesday, convened a three-day summit in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital over the rising spate of insecurity in the region.
Present at the meeting were Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, Oyo State Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde, Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Osun State Governor, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola.
Besides the six governors, several traditional rulers were in attendance at the all-important meeting tagged “Stakeholders Security Summit”, organized by the Development Agenda for South Western Nigeria [DAWN].
The summit was held at the Theophilus Ogunlesi Multi-purpose Hall, University College Hospital, Ibadan.
A pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, and Agbekoya Farmers’ Association, however, boycotted the Security Summit.
During the meeting, the South West Governors renewed their call for state police, saying it is one of the major steps to stem the tide of insecurity in the region.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Governor Akeredolu said: “There is, however, the urgent need compelling a review of this liberal policy of openness.
“Our people are under siege, the harbingers of death, sorrow, tears and blood threaten the existing fraternity among the peoples of this country.
“Narrow-mindedness gloats over the horrendous crimes perpetrated by these criminal elements. Some fail to see beyond partisan parochialism.
“The situation on ground should compel a broader and open-minded analysis of this strange incursion, with a view to ascertaining the real reasons responsible for this disquiet.”
Akeredolu lamented the large-heartedness and hospitality of his people and intoned that all the good virtues would have to be reviewed owing the current security situation in the zone.
He said: “We are particularly lucky; we have many examples to draw from history, considering exemplary courage in the face of adversity, uncommon display of hospitality, even in privation, industry and distinctive virtues, all of which mark us as a unique people.
“The influx of peoples from other parts of the country and beyond, attest to our urbanity and humane disposition, which accommodate divergence.
“The evidence of great successes recorded by those who seek refuge in our geo-political space is sufficient reason for the sustenance of our hospitable disposition, provided our people’s interests are not in jeopardy.
“Again, our history compels us to be cautious when confronted with strange occurrences. Our past experiences should teach us that understanding a phenomenon will assist us tremendously in proffering useful solutions.
“As leaders of our people, we cannot afford to be emotive in taking decisions for their benefit.
““Any step taken must reflect the collective will to protect them. No sacrifice is too much to preserve this heritage of peace and prosperity.
“We should be particularly worried by the current spate of an insidious phenomenon, hitherto unknown and uncommon in our immediate clime, creeping into our erstwhile peaceful and prosperous ambience.
“The incessant perpetration of anti-social behaviours occasioning pervasive despair and the seeming helplessness of our security agencies to stem the tide of these aberrant attitudes, which threaten the very existence of our region as an autonomous socio-political entity, call for serious scrutiny.
“We must review these unfortunate incidents individually and collectively. Every state must be able to ascertain the extent of this current threat.
“We must locate the sources of compromise within our space with a view to curtailing same effectively in both the short and long run.
“Our collective goal should be the security of our space and safety of our people in all ramifications. On this, there should be no compromise. We must, consequently, be proactive in tackling the current security issues.”
On his part, Dr Fayemi of Ekiti attested that there was no doubt that the security situation in the zone had created palpable fears in the minds of the people and that something urgent needed to be done.
He said: “Just like my colleagues have said, the security situation is worrisome. It has created palpable fears in the minds of our people.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State suggested that State Police be considered to compliment the effort of the Federal Police in all states of the federation.
Stressing that state police is the way to go, he said:
“This would give the Chief Security officers in each of the states the opportunity to direct their affairs and make them accountable instead of waiting for Federal directives before major actions could be taken on incidents of banditry, cultism and other heinous crimes.
“Controlling one’s police at the State level would help us achieve unhindered and accelerated response to any criminal activities recorded within our communities.”
Oyo’s Governor Makinde agreed that the advantage of state police far outweighs the fears of the people and advised fellow participants at the summit to speak in one voice.
He noted that traditional rulers have a major role to play in maintaining peace in the region.
Other governors, speaking in turns, also decried the deplorable security situation in the region in particular and the country in general and agreed that urgent measures need to be taken to address the encroaching menace.
Those present at the summit include Elemure of Emure, Oba Adebowale Adebayo, Oba Francis Adefaraku, Oluwa of Igbara-oke, Oba Rufus Aladesanmi, Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Yusuf Adeleye, Olubaka of Oka Akoko, Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, represented by Oba Aderemi Adedapo, Deji of Akure, was represented by High Chief Folabi Fayehun, the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, et al.
Others are former Technical Adviser of Super Eagles, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, all the Commissioners of Police in the South West states and a lot more.