…say security critical to socio-economic devt
…to set up joint security committee, patrol team
…we’ll end banditry, kidnapping in our boundary communities- Oyo gov
Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde has vowed to work hand in hand with his Ogun State counterpart, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to end banditry and kidnapping in boundaries shared by the two states, as the two states held an inaugural joint security meeting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The two governors, who first spoke while flagging off the joint meeting, emphasised the centrality of security to the achievement of socio-economic development.
Governor Makinde, while speaking at the meeting held at the Presidential Lodge, Ibara, Abeokuta, Ogun State, maintained that the two states decided to initiate the collaborative effort because of the growing rate of crimes such as kidnapping and banditry.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor of Oyo State, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Governor Makinde as saying that “we came here to initiate a collaborative effort between our two states because it is the right thing to do and absolutely important we do it. In recent times, we have seen cases of kidnapping. So, if it is not a big concern to the leadership of the two states, then we won’t be here also with our service commanders because we have quite a bit to do.
“My brother and I have an absolute commitment to the security of lives and property within the two states. We have experiences across the states and what this meeting will do for us is to be able to share these experiences and look at those decisions we can take jointly to improve the security situation in our states.”
The statement maintained that at the end of the meeting, the two states resolved to tackle insecurity challenges including crimes such as kidnapping, banditry, fraud and ritual killings, among others, frontally by setting up a high-level joint security committee to oversee security matters along the boundary communities in the two states.
The meeting equally agreed to set up a Joint Border Security Task Force with membership drawn from various security agencies in each state, to patrol boundary communities and ensure security of lives and property for residents and commuters.
It equally resolved that members of the task force would be trained and oriented on the rule of engagement to prevent unwholesome practices, adding that collaboration on emergencies/distress calls on the highways in the two states, intelligence-gathering and sharing on security issues, and effective engagement and collaboration with all stakeholders including the Federal Government will also come with the joint security effort.
Speaking at the meeting, Governor Makinde, who maintained that he is a believer in structural reform in the security, politics and economy of the nation, commended Abiodun for the infrastructural drive that is connecting cities with the state.
He noted, however, that the two states and the South-West zone must begin to think about how to connect major cities across all the states so that the zone could become a corridor of development.
He said: “I am a believer of structural reform not just only in the security area but in our polity and economy. When I was coming and drove on that 44km road, the interchange, I told my brother that, yes, we are connecting cities within our state but we must now think beyond that. We must start thinking of how to connect major cities within our states so that when we look at the south-west zone, we see it as a corridor for development. He agreed with me 100 per cent because we have seen it in other places.
“I saw the estate midway between the interchange and here and people have already been moving in there. So, if one can stay there and work in Lagos or Ibadan or Abeokuta, that is how we create a development corridor. And then, there is a lot of nexus between crime and criminality and economic development. That is what we need to do, because a lot of youths will…That is the only way we can see a drop in criminal activities.
“I believe in state police but we are not able to get that at this point in time because of the constitutional hurdles we have to pass through. We all aligned to get the Amotekun in all the states in South-West and I am glad that Ogun State is now operationalising it.
“I am happy that this is not about partisan politics. My brother is from the APC and I am from PDP. We are having security issues along our common borders. We have had two PDP governors in this state and I did not see anywhere where they had this kind of collaboration.
Again, two APC governors were in both states and could not achieve anything. Today, we have APC and PDP governors and we are here to collaborate, and at the end of this Technical Session, what we hope to achieve is a long-lasting solution that will benefit the good people of both states.
“We won’t be able to do it without everyone that is in this room including the traditional rulers because in Oyo State, we did involuntary policing. We involved vigilantes, traditional institutions and that has helped us. So, we are here to share those ideas and I believe that we will come up with a communiqué, give our commitments to it and the entire generality of our people should be involved in it at the end of the day.
“This is two out of the 36 states in the country. When the two states become more peaceful, the other 34 states can take a cue from us.”
Similarly, the Ogun State Governor, Abiodun, said the joint security meeting is deepened in history, common heritage and cultural affinity, noting that the realisation of the need to put a stop to the recurring challenge of herders/farmers clashes, kidnapping and other nefarious activities around boundary communities in the two states, led to the institution of the collaborative effort.
Abiodun added: “This collaboration is peculiar not just because Oyo State is our neighbour, but the largest by land mass of the six South- Western States and the political capital of the Zone. Thus, whatever happens in Oyo State could easily have ripple effects on the other five States.
“No doubt, each of our two states has its peculiar security challenges which the respective State Governments have been tackling through internal security architecture.
“We appreciate the fact that there is no way development in one of our two states will not have a spiral effect on the other state, especially through our border communities.
“We must jointly and quickly find ways to cooperate, collaborate and find solutions to the various security challenges in these communities. This is why today’s bilateral meeting is very timely.
“With this partnership, between our two states, an enduring peace and security that will promote sustainable economic development that will engender individual prosperity of both our people in Ogun and Oyo States.”
A communique issued at the end of the joint security meeting and signed by the duo of Makinde and Abiodun indicated that the joint security was at the instance of the two governors and that it was convened to discuss common issues affecting the safety of lives and properties in the neighbouring states.
The communique read in part: “Whilst noting and commending existing measures put in place by the two Governors to eradicate or at least minimise crimes and ensure peace and safety of lives and property in their respective states, the meeting, noted that the shared objective of ensuring peace and security is being undermined by the criminal activities in the communities along the common boundaries of Ogun and Oyo states.
“The meeting agreed to implement the following initiatives in the short term; threat assessment and analysis along the border corridors; deployment of CCTV on the interstate highways; harmonisation and mainstreaming of voluntary police and informal security outfits; timeous and diligent prosecution of criminals to signify the resolve of the governments of both states to clamp down on criminality.”
The meeting, which commended the duo of Governors Makinde and Abiodun for the historic initiative and commitment, lauded the Ogun State governor and the Ogun State government for successfully hosting the inaugural meeting, while it also adjourned to convene in Oyo State at a later date.
Top functionaries from the Oyo State government, who attended the joint security meeting with Governor Makinde, were the Chief of Staff, Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Chief Bayo Lawal and the Special Adviser to Governor Makinde on Security, Retired CP Fatai Owoseni, among others.
El-Rufai Raises Alarm Over Presence Of Boko Haram, ISWAP In Kaduna
The Kaduna State Government has raised an alarm about the activities of terrorist groups in the State.
Speaking during the presentation of the first quarter security report for 2022 to the state’s security council, Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said members of the Ansaru and Boko Haram terrorists groups have infiltrated some parts of Birnin Gwari and Giwa local government areas.
Aruwan said the terrorists have been luring locals with gifts with a view to recruiting them into the criminal organisations.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai expressed concern that the terrorists are moving from the North-East to the North-West with the intention of causing havoc.
He added that those who attacked the Abuja-Kaduna bound train were Boko Haram terrorists.
The Governor is also worried that the conduct of the 2023 general elections might be compromised in Kaduna state if the security challenges are not addressed.
Meanwhile, Aruwan said no fewer than 360 people have been killed by suspected terorrists in different parts of Kaduna State from January to April.
Kaduna central senatorial zone recorded the highest casualties with 214 deaths, the Commissioner said.
Aruwan further noted that 1,389 people were kidnapped by bandits in different attacks across Kaduna State during the period under review, including the 62 victims of the March 28 attack on a Abuja-Kaduna train.
Zamfara Govt Dethrones Two Emirs, District Head Accused Of Aiding Banditry
The Zamfara State government has dethroned two emirs and a district head over allegations of aiding the activities of bandits terrorising communities in the state.
Those affected by the government’s decision include the Emir of Zurmi, Abubakar Atiku, Emir of Dansadau, Hussaini Umar, as well as Sulaiman Ibrahim who used to be the District Head of Birnin Tsaba.
Mr Ibrahim Dosara, who is the Commissioner for Information in Zamfara, made the announcement on Wednesday while briefing reporters at the end of the State Executive Council meeting in Gusau, the state capital.
“The council has approved the deposition of Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and that of Dansadau, Alhaji Hussaini Umar,” he declared.
“The council also approved the immediate removal of the District Head of Birnin-Tsaba, Alhaji Sulaiman Ibrahim.”
According to the commissioner, the government has also ordered that all land titles issued by the affected traditional leaders be revoked.
“The State Executive Council has also directed the state Ministry of Justice to issue an executive order to back up the council resolution,” he added.
The deposition of the traditional leaders comes 10 months after they were suspended by the state government.
It also comes days after the submission of the reports of the committees set up by the state government to investigate the allegations against the affected traditional rulers.
“The council upheld the recommendation of a six-man white paper committee set up by the government to review the report of two separate committees earlier set up to investigate the involvement of the three traditional rulers in the activities of banditry in the state,” said a statement by Governor Bello Matawalle’s media aide, Zailani Bappa.
“The three impeached royal fathers were earlier suspended by the state government following wide allegations of serious involvement in the act of banditry in the state.
“The findings of the committees also revealed abuse of the Land Act in their domain and the government ordered the reversal to status quo involving the lands illegally allocated.”
Senate Passes Amended Terrorism Act, Criminalises Payment Of Kidnap Ransom
The Senate has prohibited the payment of ransoms to kidnappers in its bid to complement the Federal Government’s effort to tackle the disturbing spate of insecurity in the country.
Payment of kidnap ransom was criminalised by the lawmakers during Wednesday’s plenary in Abuja as they passed the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022.
The prohibition by the lawmakers followed the receipt and consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters on the bill.
Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, who chairs the committee, had moved that the lawmakers receive the report after which he presented it for consideration.
Thereafter, the lawmakers resolved into the committee of the whole to consider the report, clause by clause, and reverted to plenary to report progress.
This led to the reading of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022 for the third time and its subsequent passage.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, congratulated his colleagues on the passage of the bill which he said was very important.
“It is believed here in the Senate that this bill, by the time it is signed into Act by Mr President, will enhance the efforts of this government in the fight against terrorism, kidnapping, and other associated vices,” he said.
“This is one piece of legislation that can turn around not only the security issues of Nigeria but even the economy of the country.
I believe that the Executive will waste no time in signing this bill into law and it is our hope that this additional piece of legislation will achieve the purpose for which it has been worked upon.”
According to Lawan, the fight against insecurity is not the sole purpose of a government and the contributions and support of the citizens are essential.
He explained that this was because the security agencies need critical information to tackle terrorism, kidnapping, and other threats to the nation’s security.
The Senate President stated that the security agencies were trying their best but needed to do more and achieve better results.
“With this, once again, I want to congratulate the Senate for this very important piece of legislation,” he concluded.
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