Insecurity: South West Governors okay State Police
By Adekola Afolabi
State and Neighbourhood policing has been adduced as the way out to curb increasing cases of kidnapping, armed robbery banditry and other criminalities in the South West.
This was the position of all governors of South-West Nigeria at a three-day stakeholders Security Summit held at Theophilus Osulesi Hall, Ibadan yesterday.
The summit was organised by a group, Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, otherwise known as DAWN Commission.
The South West Governors in their various presentations described local police as a veritable means of combating upsurge of security challenges facing people in the region.
According to them, the call for State Police was not tantamount to the scraping of Federal Police but that the state police would exist side by side with respective responsibilities.
They called for the reconfiguration of security architecture of the region to meet the current security challenges.
In his opening address, the Governor of Ondo State and Chairman, South West Governors’ Forum, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, called for collaboration among South West governors to combat a common challenge particularly insecurity.
He stated that no state in the South West Nigeria could achieve greatness in isolation, noting that the issue of socioeconomic integration must be taken seriously.
According to him, no sacrifice must be considered too much to preserve the heritage and prosperity of the Southwest, and as such called on his brother governors not to be emotive in taking decisions for the benefits of people of the region.
The governor emphasised that partisan coloration should not delimit the extent of collaboration aimed at maximum service for the people, adding that the seeming difference, considering political platforms, should not stand in the way of commitment to promote the collective well-being of the people in the region.
He recalled that South West had enjoyed some moments of respite until recently, stressing that the region must work together to eradicate the menace of armed robbery, drug abuse, cultism, kidnapping, among other criminal activities.
Other South-West governors present at the meeting were the host Governor for the summit, Mr. Seyi Makinde of Oyo state; Governor of Ekiti State, Dr John Kayode Fayemi; Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun and Governor of the State of Osun, Gboyega Oyetola. Also in attendance were heads of the security agencies, traditional rulers and other relevant stakeholders across the South West states.
Akeredolu who observed that the meeting was very exigent considering the spate of insecurity in the country, noted that the anxiety of the people was palpable and that “the growing fear among the populace makes nonsense of any plans conceived for the development of our God-given space.”
Also, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr, Jide Sawo-Olu said funding security must be the concerns of all critical stakeholders, hence the reason successive governments in Lagos State had embraced the Security Trust Fund in the state.
He promised to scale up the policy through a robust technology towards checkmating criminal elements in the region and the country.
In his goodwill message, the Governor of Ogun State, Dr Dapo Abiodun reiterated the commitment of his brother governors to keeping the region safe and secured.
He said despite being a new governor, he would ensure that an enduring policy on security was put in place.
The governor of Osun State, Mr Gboyega Oyetola noted that his state was considering the institution of Police Trust, and solicited for the cooperation of all citizens at tackling insecurity in the zone.