…as Alaafin faults govs lack of power to control police
By Adeola Badru
As part of continued efforts of the Oyo State government to nip crimes and criminality in the bud, Governor ‘Seyi Makinde on Wednesday, assured of his resolution not to shy-away from governance and provision of adequate security for the lives and property of residents, irrespective of constraints faced by all in the state.
He gave the assurance, during an enlarged security meeting with traditional rulers and security agencies in the state, held at the House of Chiefs, Secretariat, Ibadan, which also recorded the attendance of the deputy governor, Rauf Olaniyan; Secretary to the State Government, Olubamiwo Adeosun and other top government functionaries.
At the meeting, the governor who stressed that security was one of the cardinal points of his administration, also pointed out that security also formed the content of his accelerated roadmap to development from 2019 to 2023.
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He said: “The reason we are in this meeting today is that security is one of the four pillars of the roadmap for accelerated development in Oyo State (2019-2023). There are actually four cardinal points, which this administration is standing on. We have Health, Education, Expansion of our economy and Security. So, If Oyo State is to continue on the path to economic growth, then, the state’s security architecture must be maintained.”
“So far, Oyo State is doing well economically and this is as a result of the policies, which this administration has put in place. For example, in February 2021, the inflation report for all food items shows that Oyo State has the lowest inflation rate in the country. While other states are battling with an increase in food prices and other things, in Oyo State, the cost of transportation, housing, bread yam, fruits and vegetables have remained stable. But if we want to continue to enjoy this stability, we must ensure that we maintain a secure environment.”
“When the security challenges in other parts of the country that we thought were far removed from us just crept in on us, we first started at Ibarapa Zone and some parts of Iwajowa. I visited and deliberately stayed overnight so that I can have adequate information. Last December, for my birthday, I visited Saki and stayed there for about four to five days. From there, I moved to Itesiwaju because I wanted to know the things that were happening in those environments. We got the information, processed them but instead of witnessing a decrease in the tension, it was increasing.”
“Earlier this month, we reviewed the security situation and it has stabilized a little bit but the improvement is not what we want as it is so marginal. To me, it is almost like saying there is no improvement.”
“I will like to take this opportunity to thank our security agencies because they are trying their best. They have been responsive but there is still a lot to do. After the evaluation of our situation, we decided to set up Security Task Force/War Room. We call it War Room because the situation we are faced with is war in the sense that Oyo State people must sleep with their two eyes closed. And until they are able to do that, we also will not sleep.”
“So, we had our inaugural meeting and since then, we have been meeting weekly to address security issues. Why I set it up as a Task Force was because this time last year, when the COVID-19 came, we set up a Task Force. Our members were meeting weekly and by the grace of God, we led the entire country in tackling that pandemic. So, it is an approach that has worked for us and we know that it will work for us in tackling the insecurity issue.”
“The Task Force is made up of 11 members led by me. I have some cabinet members in there and the DGs of Operation Burst and Amotekun. We held our third meeting yesterday and it is obvious that we cannot solve this problem alone. If our plans are to work effectively, we need the buy-in of everyone in Oyo State, but most importantly, our fathers in each of our communities, we need your buy-in and that is why I have invited you for this meeting today.”
“Let me say one thing here, I am very happy to see everybody coming together again for the first time after several years. There has been rancour in Oyo State’s Traditional Council even before I became the Governor. When I was going to call this meeting, I was apprehensive about bringing together the royal fathers who have not been sitting together with themselves before now but, today, you have demonstrated your support for this government.”
“Second, you have also shown to me that you take the issue of insecurity as paramount because you have put aside the differences among you and came here for us to work together to tackle insecurity in the state. So, our calling you here is because we want you to be a big part and major player in tackling the issue of insecurity here.”
“I have said it before that security cannot work without intelligent gathering and we cannot gather intelligence without getting closer to the people. In all of the troubled areas across our state, the royal fathers often get information before we do and that is why it is important that we must collaborate with you.”
“I also tried to reach out to some of my colleagues; my brother-governors to find out what they are doing in their state, which are bringing in good result and what they have tried but failed. One common thing that came out is, I need to tell traditional rulers that if they are witnessing insecurity in their domain, they will be deposed.”
“But I felt different governors got to the seat of power through different means. So, I had to reject the advice because I know that the traditional rulers in Oyo State are part of those that brought me into power. I rather said I will work with our traditional institutions as partners to deal with the issue of insecurity.”
“So, I called you here today not to threaten you but to ask you to work with this administration to tackle insecurity in our various areas of the state. We also know that if you understand while we are taking some insecurity measures, you will be the ones in the best position to communicate this to our people. For instance, if we talk about people working in the mining area, some of our traditional rulers in Oke-Ogun will sign a document for those who need land for mining for peanut.”
“If we interact on what we desire to do, you can also advise us on the local situation in your areas. So, I believe that with this, misunderstanding about some policies of the government will reduce and that is part of why I have called this meeting.”
“You are the ones who see some of these foreigners as they enter Oyo State and you can report when strangers have come in. You can give government information because you know whoever is accommodating strangers.”
While presenting a 10-page security report of operatives combing the bushes to Governor Makinde, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, lamented that operation of the constitution would not allow the government to achieve effective security in their domains.
“On security, we traditional rulers are critical stakeholders. The governor over the control of the police. The constitution we are operating did not grant governors total authority to control the police, this is where the problem lies.”
“If the state governor gives an order, the Federal Government can controvert it. If we have not got to the stage of having state police, the states will continue to be puppets to the Federal Government.”
“We are just operating an adulterated federal system of government. What we are today is a unitary system, under it, the state has no power to save its people. If you apprehend a criminal and hands him over to the police, if the IG instructs the CP to release him, the CP will ignore the governor and carry out the instruction of the IG.”
The Olubadan of Ibadan-land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, in his submission through the Otun-Olubadan of Ibadan-land, High Chief Lekan Balogun, requested for collaborative efforts of traditional rulers, government officials and uniformed men.
While responding to the submission of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, the Garrison Commander, two-division, Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General T. Ogunsugna, explained that the values of the Yoruba race must be revisited for security to be achieved in the state.
Affirming the level of work done by the Oyo State Police Command, the Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko, made case for intelligence gathering and cooperation from members of the public to achieve a secured environment in the state.