By Ola Ajayi & Deola Badru
IBADAN—THE Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar Adamu and the governors in the six South West States, yesterday, approved deployment of Special Forces to check rising wave of criminality in the zone.
This came as stakeholders at the South West Security Summit organised by the IGP agreed to set up a committee that would include the police, Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN and the citizens to discuss the modalities on reduction of kidnapping, banditry and other social vices.
Unlike the previous Security Summit held earlier in June, when all the six governors were in attendance, only Governors of Oyo and Osun States, Engr. Seyi Makinde and Gboyega Oyetola respectively, were present.
Governors of Ogun, Lagos, Ekiti and Ondo States were represented by their deputies.
While reading the 8-paragraph communiqué, drafted after the marathon session, Governor Makinde, who was the host governor, said: “The Inspector General of Police has approved the deployment of Special Forces to be commanded by the Commissioner of Police who will lead a SWOT team to support the crime fighting initiative of the States’ Commissioners of Police.
Makinde said: “The Executive Governors of the South West geo-political zone have made commitments towards provision of more serviceable, fast moving patrol vehicles in support of crime fighting which shall be launched in the no distant future to complement the available fleet.
“The traditional rulers have promised to join hands with the police to take the ongoing fight against the heinous crimes to the doorstep pf the criminals.
“The Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, has equally agreed to partner with the police in fighting crime to the lowest ebb.”
They also agreed to deploy the Closed Circuit Television, CCTV, to strengthen the security in the zone.
The communiqué reads: “Aerial surveillance of flash points across the South West geo-political zone is to be sustained.
“In order to give effect to the community policing vision of the Nigeria Police Force, Community Policing Officers, CPO, will be recruited from all the communities in which they reside. This will complement the police in law enforcement functions within their localities by performing low risk and non-sensitive functions.
OPC, Miyetti Allah collaboration
“It is agreed that the committee consisting of policemen, other security agencies, the OPC led by Iba Gani Adams, Miyetti Allah and the citizenry should be set up in each state to further discuss modalities for reduction of crimes and criminality as it affects the States.”
Though, the meeting was fixed for 11am, the governors and the deputy governors walked into the hall some minutes past 12noon.
Prominent Yoruba traditional rulers, who attended the meeting, include the Ooni of Ife, Oba Eniitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi; Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji; the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Aremu Adedotun Gbadebo, and Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu.
Others are Olugbo of Ugbo kingdom, Oba Frederick Obateru Akinruntan; Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun; Soun of Ogbomoso; Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba AbdulRasheed Akanbi and the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, who arrived the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan early.
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi was conspicuously absent but he delegated a member of Oyomesi (kingmakers) Yusuff Akinade, Bashorun of Oyo.
Elder Statesmen, leaders of the different socio-cultural groups, Senior Officers and personnel of the Nigeria Police Force and other Security agencies from the geopolitical zone were at the meeting.
Security roadmap unveiled
Earlier in his opening address, Governor Makinde disclosed that in the next few days,” we shall unveil a security roadmap that would focus on improvement on security infrastructure, awakening the security consciousness of our people, encouraging robust partnership of non-state actors, such as the traditional institutions, volunteers, and other well-meaning residents of the State.”
He said: “The overall objective of our intervention is to ensure safety and security of our people, reduce the fear of crimes, as well as ensure that all residents of Oyo State and investors can go about their lawful endeavour without let or hindrance.
“The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. We consider this sacrosanct.
“The Inspector-General of Police, as we patiently wait for you to discuss the issues and unveil the strategies to be engaged in addressing the deteriorating state of security in the South West Geopolitical Zone, we are hopeful that the measures will meet the much anticipated yearning of our people, which is a safe and secured South West.
Nowhere is immune to security challenges — Akeredolu
In his remarks, the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Adegbola Ajayi, who represented Governor Rotimi Akeredolu said: “There is nowhere in the world that is immune to security challenges.”
Ajayi said: “The Ondo State Government is aware of security challenges and has put some measures in place in order to guarantee the security of lives and properties of residents and visitors. The measures taken by the government is also to ensure a conducive environment for investors willing to invest in the State.
“The Ondo State government has purchased vehicles that will be given to security agencies. The Ondo State with other five states of the southwest; the DAWN commission are trying to engage our local vigilante and collaborate with security agencies.
This cannot be achieved without involving our traditional rulers who are the custodians of our culture; who know everybody in their communities. We are doing all of this so that we can sleep and close our two eyes.”
Don’t play politics with security — Monarchs
On his part, Oba Ogunwusi advised all the governors in the zone to shun politics when it comes to security.
Also speaking, the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, who said the security agencies should contact him for the magic wand to unravel the security challenges, added that he preferred community policing to state police.
Ibadan drop crowns for Olubadan
Meanwhile, all the new kings promoted by the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, appeared without their crowns to the ceremony.
In fact, Governor Makinde, while acknowledging them called them high chiefs which they didn’t object to.