GOVERNOR Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, yesterday, said the state will hold on to the firearms seized during the invasion of Igangan by men of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, until the Federal Government gives him audience to address the issue.

The raid led to the death of the commandant of the Oyo State Security Network Agency, codenamed Amotekun, and two other persons in the area.

Local security forces repelled the night invasion, claiming that they thought the assailants were herdsmen.

But NCS later came out to say its operatives chased smugglers to the area, leading to a gun battle between local security and its men.

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Makinde said Federal Security operatives must, henceforth, inform states before carrying out any covert operation, to forestall deaths and injuries to residents of the state.

He said: “On security, most of the data in the past months shows that things are now improving. The Igangan incident, some days ago, was only falsified by some people who were saying that Fulani herdsmen had invaded Igangan again. The truth is actually about the NCS and smugglers. They know each other,” he said.

“Customs officials were accused to have entered Igangan, which is not a border town. But we are working with federal authorities and they have arrested most of them.

“The gun that was collected is still with us. I said I won’t release it until I get the attention of the federal authorities.

“In the Constitution of Nigeria, Oyo State is a federating unit. We are not saying federal agencies should not carry out their operations here. But they must tell us; they must inform us. They may not disclose the details of the operation to us, but we must know about it.

“If we had known about the operation, we would have pre-informed the security detail in the town and those who died could have been alive. The Amotekun coordinator that died in Igboora would have still been alive today.

“How can you go operating in an unidentified vehicle in a town where the security tactics have been heightened? As they wanted to enter the town, they were confronted because we have heightened security in all of those places.

“So, we will keep appealing to them and our people that false information won’t help anybody. Nobody will profit politically from the security issues we are faced with. It is our collective responsibility. The people will play their part and the government will play its part.”

The governor said a sum of N330 million will be spent on security in all the 33 council areas of the state.

He said: “We said each local government should set up a security committee, which should include traditional rulers and voluntary people willing to police their areas,” he said.

“I encouraged them to budget N10 million to service the committee every month. For the entire state, that’s N330 million per month by all local governments, excluding what we are doing generally at the state level.”

Vanguard News Nigeria


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