By Adekola Afolabi
The South-West Governors’ Forum, the traditional rulers and the heads of security agencies in the region have fashioned out a better way of curbing increasing rate of insecurity in the zone.
At the high power security meeting held at the Oyo State Governor’s Office, Agodi, Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, all the stakeholders, among other things, agreed and supported the decision of the National Economic Council (NEC) that state governments have statutory jurisdictions over forest reserves and are in position to manage their forests and prevent illegal occupiers.
Addressing journalists on behalf of his colleagues at the end of the meeting, the Chairman, South-West Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, revealed that it was equally unanimously agreed that the country’s borders have gone too porous and urgent steps must be taken to tighten it and prevent foreign herdsmen from coming into the country without any form of caution.
He explained that the meeting was at the instances of the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, with the South-West Governors, the traditional rulers and heads of security in the country.
He, however, said the Chief of Staff and heads of security in the country could not make it to the meeting due to bad weather condition which did not allow their flight to fly from Abuja to Ibadan.
But Akeredolu added that the Chief of Staff got across and apologized to the Governors and other stakeholders at the meeting.
The meeting which was to address the incessant herders and farmers clashes in the South-West region also had in attendance the host and Oyo state Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde; Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti state, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Osun state Governor, Gboyega Oyetola and Ogun state Governor, Dapo Abiodun.
Also, the traditional rulers in attendance included the Chairman, Osun state Council of Obas and Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Chairman, Oyo state Council of Obas and Alafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; the Chairman, Ondo state Council of Obas and Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Frederick Akinruntan; the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Salisu Adetunji and the representative of chairman of Ogun state Council of Obas, among others.
Heads of security agencies in the South-West region led by DIG, David Folawiyo, were also present.
Akeredolu described the meeting as productive and successful as many important decisions were taken for the peace and security of the country and the South-West in particular.
The Chairman, South-West Governors’ Forum further said governments, both federal and state must give support as much as they can to cattle breeders and animal husbandry, saying it was also resolved that issues encouraging open grazing in this modern time must be looked at.
“We believe that as we are supporting other areas of farming, the need for governments to support cattle breeding is now. One of the areas we can support cattle breeding is to change the ways and means the cattle breeders are adopting now. Commercialisation, so, you can find a designated grazing area where you can graze and feed your cattle. You do not have to trek with your cows from far”, he stressed.
The Governor added that the meeting equally deliberated on the need to stop fake news, just as he appealed to journalists to assist governments and the country by practicing responsible journalism and report news as they are.