Security challenge: South West govs meet in Ibadan

The governors of the six states in the South West on Tuesday met in Ibadan at a security summit where they pledged to find a solution to the lingering security challenges in the zone.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the summit, which focused on Western Nigeria, was organised by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria in collaboration with the six governors.

The governors are Mr Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Dr Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Mr Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State and the host governor, Mr Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.

In his address of welcome, Makinde argued that a regional approach to resolving the security challenges facing the South Western states was important.

The governor described the problem of insecurity in the zone as “A snake on the roof and we cannot ignore it and go to sleep.”

Makinde decried the rising spate of kidnappings and the growing tension between farmers and herdsmen in the zone.

He was, however, optimistic that deliberations at the summit would “Throw up tailor-made solutions that can be applied to the states of the South West.”

“As a group on this side of the Niger, we have always had more things that unite us than those that divide us.

“We have always held our doors open and been welcoming of strangers and want things to continue like this because the diversity in our states is an ingredient for economic development.

“We shall not allow the actions of miscreants and enemies of unity to make us change who we are.

“As governors, it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone in our midst, indigene or alien, is assured of the security of life and property.

In his keynote address, Akeredolu of Ondo State noted that insecurity had become a major issue in the polity.

Akeredolu, who is the chairman of the South West Governors Forum, said that the security of life and property of citizens should not be compromised.

He urged other governors in the zone to be proactive in tackling the current security issues, saying adoption of a scientific approach would bear far-reaching effects.

Akeredolu said, “We must cast aside all partisan considerations in the interest of our people.

”Our ultimate aim must be the socio-economic integration of the region which reflects our collective aspirations for a peaceful and prosperous environment,” he said.

Fayemi of Ekiti State in his remarks said that the advocacy for state police was not in opposition to federal police.

Fayemi, who is also the chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, said there was a need for state police to complement the work of the federal police.

He noted that the security challenges were not peculiar to the zone alone but a national problem.
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