•We’ll confront terrorists in our forests
•Say VP slot is Tinubu’s personal choice
By Dayo Johnson
CHAIRMAN of the South-West Governors’ Forum, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, has declared that governors in the region will adopt ways to get arms to defend their people, following the worsening security situation in the country.
Akeredolu also vowed that the states will confront bandits and herdsmen terrorising their forest reserves.
Speaking during the Politics Today programme on Channels Television, the governor said that the people of the South-West are brave people who would fight the terrorists back into the forest.
He, however, decried a situation where criminals are left to acquire illegal weapons, while Nigerians are dispossessed of their legally acquired weapons.
His words: “We cannot continue like this any longer. The governors will adopt ways of defending their people.
“If the worsening security situation is to be controlled, Nigeria must begin to seriously consider the issue of state police, because that is the only way out of this insecurity mess in Nigeria.
“We know the limitations of our security agencies, which are caused by our perverted federalism.
“We cannot secure Nigeria with a central police command. We need to have state police. A situation where one commander sits in Abuja to give orders to the rest of the country is no longer fashionable now.”
The governor charged the people of Ondo State to, henceforth, confront the criminals when they attack them, instead of running into their homes.
His words: “We can’t run away from them. We must be prepared to confront the challenge. Our people cannot afford to lay back as if we are lazy.
“We are not lazy; we are indomitable. How we are going to confront the criminals is not what we shall discuss in public, but how we are going to do it is nobody’s business.”
Lessons learned from Owo attack
Speaking on the lessons learned from the Owo Catholic Church attack, Akeredolu said: “We should be more careful and very alert at all times to identify strangers in our midst at all times. And when incidents like that happen, we should not run into our houses, but confront it, and that way, the attackers will not be able to escape.”
VP slot is Tinubu’s personal choice
On the choice of the Vice Presidential slot for the All Progressives Congress, APC, the governor said the decision should be left solely to the Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
His words: ”I have contested elections. I ran twice. And I can confirm here that I made the wrong choice of deputy the first time. It is something you must give a thought to. I don’t believe it is something you should jump at.
“I know that our Presidential candidate is taking this seriously. A lot of factors are there to be considered. He can take his time and make the right choice. In the circumstance in which Asiwaju Tinubu has found himself now, there is a measure of ground wetting, for instance, he will not pick from the south.
“He’s left to choose from the north. And when you look at the north, a lot of factors will come to play. Some people are saying he can’t pick from northwest that the President is from Northwest.
“There are so many factors. I think determining who he will pick at the end of the day, he should look at loyalty. Muslim/Muslim or not, he should decide on who he can trust and we will support him.”