…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.
ARMY’S DEDICATION HAS RAISED CITIZENS’ CONFIDENCE’ — SANWO-OLU TELLS CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF
•COAS in Lagos to launch new security operations
•Governor seeks military cooperation on traffic, environmental enforcements
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has hailed the Nigerian Army for committing to the rules of engagement and professionalism in its peace mission across the country.
The Governor said the Army had continued to live up to the expectations of their roles as provided by the constitution, stressing that the sacrifice paid by soldiers to keep the territorial integrity and peace of the country would not go unappreciated.
Sanwo-Olu spoke when he received the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, at Lagos House in Marina, on Monday, in a courtesy visit.
Lagbaja was in Lagos for the clearance of Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) at the 9 Brigade Military Cantonment, Ikeja.
The Army, the Governor said, has earned the citizens’ confidence and respect as a member of the nation’s armed forces, given its sense of commitment, dedication and patriotism.
Sanwo-Olu said: “We are grateful to the Army and its men for their dedication to the country at this difficult time in different parts of the country. You have continued to uphold the constitution, maintain high integrity and stick to the best rules of engagement to protect the sovereignty of our country.
The Army is well respected by the citizens, given the commitment, dedication and sense of patriotism in discharging its statutory roles.
“The 2002 Ikeja bomb explosion was a trying moment for the Army, given the magnitude of the damage. But the event never weakened the resolve of the military. The Army has continued to live up to their responsibilities provided by the constitution and the sacrifice paid by soldiers to keep the territorial integrity and peace of our country would not go unappreciated. Lagos State Government is committed to ensuring that the Army gets all the necessary support for your security operations.”
The Governor assured the Army boss that the State Government would rebuild a military primary school in Orile demolished for the construction of Lagos-Badagry Expressway. He sought for the cooperation of the military personnel in restoring sanity back to the Lagos-Badagry corridor, where the State Government has been clearing illegal shanties built along the expressway.
Sanwo-Olu also appealed for cooperation among military personnel in the ongoing enforcement across Lagos, including Okada ban enforcement. He noted that the ongoing enforcements were geared towards bringing sanity back to the State and preserving public assets.
The Governor said: “We have collective responsibility to keep Lagos safe for commercial activities. It is important to acknowledge the complementary effort of the 9 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in supporting our security architecture in Lagos, with OP Mesa operatives working with the police to ensure our safety.
That synergy among all security agencies is all that is required to maintain security.”
Lagbaja used the occasion to express his appreciation for the “tremendous support” the people and State Government accorded to the Army units and formations.
The Army boss acknowledged the infrastructure renewal programme of the Lagos Government, stressing that improved infrastructure would go a long way in helping the military respond rapidly to security situations requiring quick interventions.
He said military personnel will be major beneficiaries of the Lagos’ Blue and Red Line rail projects, as the trains would aid personnel’s commuting.
Lagbaja said his visit was to inform the Governor about the Army’s activities to be conducted in Lagos, noting that the exercises were designed to further entrench the peace and stability we have enjoyed in Lagos.
He said: “The Nigerian Army has put together a ceremony to remove unexploded ordnances at the site of the 2002 Bomb Explosion in Ikeja cantonment. The objective is to make the area safe and securely remove unexploded ordnances to a safe location in Ajilete area of Ogun State.
“We are ushering in the last three months of the year where citizens travel across the country for festivities. We need to provide safe and secure passage for the people travelling. We have put together three security exercises to prevent any form of breaches and these will be flagged off on Tuesday in Lagos.”
NAF Airstrike Kills 8 Terrorists In Borno
Airstrike undertaken by the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai has killed eight terrorists in Borno State, North-East Nigeria.
The Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Cdre Edward Gabkwet, said the aircraft was on armed reconnaissance mission on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 when it took out a guntruck with about eight terrorists at Baranga village in Marte local government area of the State.
He said the strike was carried out when two armed terrorists on a motorcycle along an active track were sighted and trailed to the location.
He said the terrorists after sighting the aircraft, took cover under a thick vegetation.
“Upon engaging the vegetation cover, a gun truck with eight terrorists suddenly appeared, speeding off to evade the attack.
“Subsequently, the gun truck was engaged and destroyed, thus eliminating the terrorists,” he said.
The statement reiterated that remnants of terrorists in the North-East have continued to seek the covers of thick forests and vegetation to evade being detected by the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) and other security agencies.
He said the strike was yet again a clear indication of the commitment of the AFN towards ensuring terrorists find it difficult to randomly roam about freely attacking law-abiding Nigerians.
Police kill 3 IPOB Members, Recover Arms In Enugu
The operatives of the Enugu State Police Command have neutralised three members of the Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network (IPOB/ESN) in their hideouts in Ezioha Mgbowo, Awgu Local Government Area of the state.
The police officers also recovered three pump-action guns, 10 machetes, and other incriminating exhibits.
The command’s spokesperson, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, who made the disclosure via a statement, said the gunmen were killed at about 2:15 a.m. on Monday, September 18, 2023.
Ndukwe stated: “A joint security team, comprising police operatives of the Enugu State Command, NPF Special Forces, and Troops of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army Enugu, acting on credible intelligence, busted the criminal hideout of IPOB/ESN subversive criminal elements.
“The criminal elements were already perfecting plans to enforce the illegal sit-at-home order in the state.
“Three of the hoodlums, who opened fire on the joint team upon sighting them, were neutralised, while several others escaped with severe degrees of gunshot wounds in the ensuing gunfight.
“There has been an intense manhunt for those on the run.”
He quoted the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Kanayo Uzuegbu, as commending the joint team, assuring the security and safety of citizens and urging them to go about their lawful businesses in the state.
The commissioner reiterated the commitment of the police and other security forces to sustain the onslaught against unrepentant violent criminals operating under any guise, urging the people of Enugu State to report individuals sighted with gunshot wounds to the nearest police station.
“The good people of Enugu State should remain law-abiding and continue to provide the police with actionable security information and intelligence,” Uzuegbu said.
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