Amid frightening insecurity challenges rocking the country and zone, South West governors on Tuesday converged on Ibadan, Oyo State to ruminate of ways to tackle the problem in the zone.
The governors which comprise Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Lagos States said they will not fail in their responsibilities to their people, saying they should henceforth be held accountable for the protection of lives and property of individuals they govern in their respective states.
Speaking during a Stakeholders Security Summit which focused on the zone, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the governor of Ekiti State, who is also the chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi noted that although the issue of security was a collective efforts, the governors of each states in South West should be held accountable for the security of lives and property of their people.
Fayemi noted that security issue had been the main discussion of NGF since he assumed chairmanship position, adding that the south-western governor will not sleep until the issue is resolved.
“We need a regional response to the security of this region, lawlessness and criminality in southwest will soon go because all the governors are working together to curb the menace, crime is a global phenomenon that cannot be totally curbed, but it can be reduced to the barest minimum.
“Let us all see the challenges as our cross which we must carry by paying attention to the root cause of insecurity in Yoruba land, don’t let us play politics or ethnicity with our lives because the current security situations has called for a general concerns.”
In his speech, Governor Sanwo-Olu suggested that advocacy be introduced while state Police be considered to compliment the effort of the Federal Police in all States of the federation.
“State Police is the way to go. 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 “, he said.
According to him, “The importance of security in human existence cannot be underestimated which means security is paramount to the existence of all human beings and no meaningful development could be recorded in the absence of security.
Sanwo-Olu urged all States Governors in the zone and stakeholders alike to put all machinery in motion to find a permanent solution to the security lapses, adding that we should all speak with one voice and remove politics so as to put a permanent stop to the incessant incursions on our land.
The Governor maintained that no developmental strides could be achieved in the absence of security, just as he commended the efforts of the DAWN Commission for the laudable programme.
According to him, “the issue discussed here today coincides with the deliberations of the governors during a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and at the Governors Forum held last week in Abuja”.
He however suggested deep and consistent advocacy amongst our people even as he called on people from the region to live together and embrace unity as a way to sustain security and curb invasion.
Also speaking at the event was the governor of Ogun Sate, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who said that the only instrument for development in any environment is security of lives and property of the citizenry, adding that southwest governors should be held responsible if there is any bridge in security of their people.
“Peace and security is not a one man business, it requires collective efforts of each individuals and stakeholders, security of lives and property should be the main goal of a good government, security of other states has a direct effect on whatever we do.”
Abiodun reiterated further that the southwest governors are ready for the security of their people, noting that no sacrifice is too much to preserve the peace and security in Yoruba land, as there is urgent needs to consider the security situation of southwest region.
“Our region is under siege and only our collective efforts can liberate it because a state cannot develop in an isolation, the issue of social and economic should be taken seriously.”
Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde also noted that the problem of insecurity in the South West was like a snake in the roof and southwest governors cannot ignore it and go to sleep, adding that Nigeria’s security statistics as recently provided by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) places Nigeria as the third worst terrorism ravaged country in the world, and Nigeria have held this ignoble position since 2015.
He said although the problem of terrorism is mainly in the North East, but the events that contribute to the state of insecurity in that region are spreading like wildfire down south and southwest are now beginning to feel the heat.
“As Governors, it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone in our midst, indigene or alien resident is assured of security of their life and property. We also know that there are barriers preventing us from carrying out this constitutional responsibility to the fullest measure. One of those barriers is the fact that we do not control the security apparatuses in our states.
“A regional approach to security in South West Nigeria is important. The South West is interlinked. So, the challenges of one state can easily become the challenges of the entire region. Some of our states are also close to international borders, increasing the threat that we all collectively face”, he said.
He, however called on other governors in southwest to join hands in ensuring security of lives and property of their citizenry by putting an end to kidnapping and banditry in southwest region.
Earlier, the Chairman, Southwest Governors Forum, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, while declaring open the summit, reiterated that protection of lives of residents and people of South west is paramount to all the governors, hence their support for the creation of DAWN Commission.
He said the meeting was the Commission’s effort at creating engagement and discourse for finding a lasting solution to the security challenges in the south west.
Dignitaries at the event included all the governors of six states of southwest states including the deputies, security expects, the Alafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the Olugbo of Igbo land, Oba Fedric Akiruntan, Osimawe Of Ondo Kingdom, Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Oba Victor Kiladejo, Oluwo of Iwo land, Oba Abdul Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Victor Adejugbe, the Ogoga of Ikere, the Soun of Ogbomogbo, representative of the Ooni of Ife, and the Aare Ona kakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams, among others.
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