*To introduce community policing, neighbourhood watch
By Shina Abubakar
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, sought the cooperation of traditional rulers in the South-West to tackle the menace of insecurity in the region.
He disclosed this while addressing journalists after a closed-door meeting with traditional rulers in Osun State, at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Osogbo.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi led 80 other traditional rulers to the meeting, including the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Orangun of Ila, Oluwo of Iwo, among many others.
The Vice President said the Federal Government has consulted with the state governors and now seeks the cooperation of traditional rulers, being an important element of the state security architecture.
He stressed that the Federal Government is planning to adopt the community policing and neighbourhood watch to tackle insecurity across the country.
Osinbajo said: “The traditional rulers are very important to the method the Federal Government is planning to adopt to check the issue of insecurity, which is community policing and neighbourhood watch. You are all aware that the Inspector General of Police spoke about the deployment of Police officers to their local government areas because they would have a better understanding of the localities and ensure adequate security around the communities.
“The meeting is important because traditional rulers would interface between the communities and government and we are bringing them on board to ensure proper implementation of the strategy.”
Speaking on behalf of other traditional rulers, the Ooni of Ife expressed satisfaction with the proposed community policing and neighbourhood watch by the Federal Government, stressing that nothing could be achieved without community policing.
Oba Ogunwusi said: “The meeting with the traditional rulers became paramount because we are ready to cooperate with the Federal Government to ensure adequate deployment of security operatives in South-West. We want the government to ensure regular aerial surveillance of the forests in the region.
“This, we believe, could calm tension in the region and particularly, our sons and daughters in the Diaspora, who have stopped coming home, would return to contribute to the development of the region.
“Government now feels, firsthand, the pulse of traditional rulers. The policy of community policing and neighbourhood watch is a welcome development. We are ready to ensure its success. We would ensure proper monitoring of the scheme and commit traditional rulers in their respective domain to work for its success.”
Osun losing safety status—Govt
In his opening remarks, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State, represented by his deputy, Mr Benedict Alabi lamented that the state is losing its safety status due to the influx of criminals.
“The security challenges our state is facing at present is as a result of a conspiracy of factors among which is the movement of some criminal elements to mining sites in our State.
“Mr. Vice President, Your visit today (yesterday) is another vista in the relentless search for adequate security for our people because the security of the people and their welfare are the main constitutional responsibilities of government.