The chairman of the South-West Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, on Monday, disclosed that all the Southwest governors have agreed to engage the services of local vigilante groups to tackle insecurity in the zone.
Akeredolu represented by his deputy, Agboola Ajayi at the South-West geopolitical zone security summit convened by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, said that the use of vigilantes was a fallout of the recent security summit held in Ibadan, Oyo state.
According to Akeredolu, “Ondo State with other five states of the South-West, the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria also known as the DAWN commission are trying to engage our local vigilantes and collaborate with security agencies.
“This cannot be achieved without involving our traditional rulers who are the custodians of our culture; who know everybody in their communities. We are doing all of this so that we can sleep and close our two eyes.
“With the little resources at our disposal, the Ondo State government will continue to do its best. Not only that, we have done the security summit which was organized by the State government where all the critical stakeholders were involved.
“Very soon, we will launch the Security Trust Fund that will take care of the security arrangement of the state.
“We are also providing jobs for the youths. That is a social security package. If they are engaged, they (can) be self-reliant. I am very sure nobody will think of engaging in something that will damage his own image, his family and reputation. So, the social security package is very important.
“We have a lot of packaged programs that are merely for the youths. About two thousand youths from the riverine are going to benefit from it. It’s not about paying monthly stipends like amnesty, we will train them in the vocation of their choice. Some want to be mechanics, hairdressers among others.
“Apart from that, we have youths on the ridges. We are encouraging our youths to go into mechanized farming where they don’t need to go and look for a white-collar job. We have already secured N2 billion loan from the CBN which will be available for anybody who is willing. We are doing all these to see that our environment is conducive and everybody is engaged,” Akeredolu added.
The host Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, also unveiled the security agenda of his administration, at the event, which had in attendance, the Inspector General of the Police, Mohammed Adamu; Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State and representatives of other South-West governors.
Makinde in his welcome address said the recent deterioration in the state of security in the South-West, and the country at large prompted the security summit of June 25th in Ibadan, which was coordinated by DAWN.
He said, “It was a consensus that measures be put in place to address insecurity in the geopolitical zone.
“In furtherance of this noble and lofty ideal, a holistic framework for security of the South-West is being put up by the DAWN Commission.
“In Oyo State, in the next few days, we shall unveil a security roadmap, focused on improving security infrastructure
“Awakening the security consciousness of our people and encouraging robust partnership of non-state actors, such as the traditional institutions, volunteers, and other well-meaning residents of the State.
“Application of technology in fighting crimes and criminalities; collaboration with development partners, especially in the areas of capacity building for our security personnel and others.
“Promotion of effective synergy amongst security agencies deployed to the State and ensuring effective oversight of the security agencies to curb excesses, especially in the areas of corruption and trampling on the fundamental rights of our people.
“Ensuring the judicious use of assets of the State assigned to the security agencies, and also ensuring the sustenance of the afore-mentioned measures, as well as periodic review of the measures to meet the dynamic nature of the society.”
Makinde, who stressed the obligations under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria added that “The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.
“We will do whatever is necessary to protect the lives and properties of our people in Oyo State within the ambits of the law.”