Oyo State needs more deployment of riot policemen and a full support of the Federal Government for its joint security outfit, Governor Seyi Makinde on Wednesday told President Muhammadu Buhari.
He also said his drive “is to secure the state by going after criminals who are the real enemies of the people.”
The governor spoke yesterday after a meeting with the President at Aso Villa in Abuja.
President Buhari also met separately with Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and on Tuesday night with Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.
The meetings were held in connection with the security situation in the Southwest, especially in Oyo and Ondo states, where activities of herders have created a major challenge, following Akeredolu’s ultimatum to herders to vacate the Reserve forests in the state.
An activist, Sunday Igboho, and his men marched on Igangan in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State, sacking the Seriki Fulani from the town and torching some buildings.
Akeredolu declined to speak to reporters after the meeting.
Makinde said: “There has been a lot of fake news all around and I wanted to be sure that Mr. President clearly have first hand information from me, which I did. We also exchanged ideas on what we need to do better and some of the programmes we have put in place to ensure that this security issue is tackled.”
Denying that ethnicity was behind the matter, he said: “We have a history of living together peacefully among all the ethnic groups in Oyo State.
“For instance, what triggered all of this was that Dr. Aborede was brutally murdered. That is criminal. But on the other hand, Seriki, Alhaji Kabir, has been staying in that same place for 40 years.
“Quite frankly, the people we are after are criminals. They are the bandits, hoodlums, armed robbers, kidnappers. Those are the true enemy of the state and those are the people we will go after.
“The constitution of Nigeria guarantees that you can live in any part of Nigeria, you just have to be law abiding, obey the local laws in such areas. That is what we are pushing and will continue to push as a government.”
On the state’s security needs, the governor said: “One of the issues I discussed with Mr. President is that Oyo State land mass is quite big, Oyo State is close to 29,000 square kilometres. If you take all the states in the south east geo-political zone together, they are still not as big as Oyo State. And the state right now only has two Mobile Police Squadrons.
“So, I requested for more Mobile Police Squadrons to be deployed in Oyo State and also ask for support for the joint security outfit because, the underlying issue here also has to do with limited opportunities.
The Ooni of Ile-Ife, said: “I am here because of all the issues of security threat here and there and to get the blessing of Mr. President.”
“And to the glory of God as the co-chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers, it is our responsibility and our duty to make sure that everything is right, all and sundry is in good shape.
“So, the take home here is the President has assured that it is not going to be a political thing because we all know the problem all over the country, we have a lot of bad eggs that mix across the entire country and we are having that issue again in the Southwest.
“I am happy he has told me that I should assure other traditional rulers that we must work with them now. It is very important for us to work very closely with the government so that we can separate the good, the bad and the ugly”.
On the replacement of service chiefs, the Oba described the president’s action as positive and bring fresh ideas to the fight against insecurity. (The Nation)