By Dayo Johnson
AKURE —South West governors, yesterday, pledged that a new security architecture for the zone would address the security challenges in the region.
Speaking on behalf of the governors, the Chairman of the South West Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu said that the Technical Committee had submitted its recommendation to the governors and will start the implementation by next month.
The governors in the region met behind a closed door in Akure, yesterday, to review the security situations in the states.
Akeredolu said: “the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, DAWN, Commission is going back to do some work for us, and thereafter, we will all implement it and ensure that there is security of lives and properties in western Nigeria.
”We are assuring our people that we are prepared and determined to deal ruthlessly with anyone found within the South West region perpetrating any criminal act.”
Police, activist tango over armed Fulani vigilante in Ondo
Meanwhile, the Ondo State Police Command, yesterday, refuted claims that armed Fulani vigilante groups were operating in the Northern senatorial area of the state.
The development had raised concern across the state as controversies trailed their alleged operations.
A human rights lawyer, Dr. Kayode Ajulo had on the social media posted pictures of the Fulani vigilante group alleged to be complimenting the police to curtail spate of kidnappings and killings in the area of the state.
But the police spokesperson, Femi Joseph said no such group exists in the state.
Joseph told newsmen in Akure that “the Command is not aware of the existence of any armed vigilante group in this state.
“As part of efforts to encourage communities participating in the security of their environment, the state police command established a synergy between the local vigilante in various communities and the police in the area.
“These local vigilantes are not allowed to carry arms but are only allowed to help the security operatives in intelligence gathering.
“I don’t know any vigilante group with identity cards and we don’t allow the vigilante to carry arms. We will surely investigate this.”
But Ajulo, while reacting to his discovery on the highway, however, said he ran into some vigilante of Fulani extraction on the road of Akoko area of the state and challenged them what they were doing with guns.
He said: “I was in Ondo State on Friday till Sunday because my mother was given chieftaincy title as Iya Ijo of Anglican Church in Akoko. On our way back, we got to Erusu, Igashi and around Akoko Southeast that is where we saw these Fulani men carrying guns and cutlasses.
“They people told me they were not armed robbers or kidnappers; they said they are Miyetti Allah Vigilante Group.
“The next question I asked them is what are you doing on the main road? They said they are on a joint patrol with the Police. I asked: where are the Policemen you are in a joint patrol with? They said the policemen were not around and that they were still coming.
“I made some calls and some policemen later joined us. From my understanding, they have been there for long.”