From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, have proffered steps on how to overcome banditry, kidnapping, insurgency and other security challenges in the country.

They spoke at a meeting held by Governor Makinde with traditional rulers across the 33 local government areas at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, yesterday.

The meeting was attended by a former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja; deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Rauf Olaniyan; Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin; Garrison Commander, 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Brig-Gen Adesoji Ogunsugba; Commissioner of Police in the state, Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko; Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, represented by Oba Oyetunji Ojo and other traditional rulers.

They identified defects in the operation of the constitution of Nigeria as the cause of insecurity threatening the corporate existence of the nation, and warned that without the approval of state police by the Federal Government, no progress would be made in the fight against security challenges.

According to them, the operation of the constitution of Nigeria ought to reflect a true federal nature of the country, adding that in reality, Nigeria is operating a unitary system, which has made it difficult for the country to overcome its festering security issues. They were optimistic that governors would be positioned to decisively tackle peculiar security cases in their respective states if the Federal Government approved creation of state police.

The Garrison Commander of the 2 Division of Nigerian Army and the Commissioner of Police in the state, said security agencies would continue to work to ensure security of lives and property. They, however, called on the public to give them credible information for them to work with.

Governor Makinde, in his address, described security as one of the four pillars of the Roadmap for Accelerated Development in Oyo State 2019 to 2023, adding that other pillars that his administration stands on are health, education, and expansion of economy.

“Security is one of the four pillars of the Roadmap for Accelerated Development in Oyo State 2019 to 2023. The four pillars that this administration stands on are health, education, expansion of economy and security.   So, if Oyo State is to continue to be on the path of economic growth, then the state security architecture must be maintained. So far, Oyo State is doing well economically. This is as a result of the policies that the state has put in place,” he said.

The Olubadan, who spoke through the Otun Olubadan, Senator Lekan Balogun, said Nigeria should became truly federal and not unitary, adding that true federalism would give the governors power to deal with security challenges in their states.

He noted that the northern part of the country preferred the current federal structure to the one initiated by the founding fathers of the nation. The monarch added that the responsibility of providing security rests on the shoulders of three groups – the political public office holders, the security agencies in uniform, and the traditional institution. He called on the government to recognise the three groups, and they should work together to promote security. 

Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Adeyemi, also said: “I use this medium to appreciate the governor that invited us the traditional council to discuss with us on the security of our domains. If we sit down here, there are some things that we cannot say publicly. If the meeting had been private one, there are things we would have been able to say. We the traditional rulers are stakeholders. In our community, and villages, those being killed are our wives, and children. Our daughters and women are those being raped. They are killing our people…Since 2018, we the traditional rulers have not been sleeping with our two eyes closed since they started the Jihad. They have been kidnapping kings too. When they kidnapped the Baba-Aso of Igbole, we the traditional rulers were the ones that contributed money for ransom and paid before the monarch, his wife and child were freed.”