The Chairman of the Western Nigeria Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu on Tuesday alerted that South West region is currently under siege of insecurity particularly kidnapping.
Arakunrin Akeredolu raised the alarm while speaking at the opening of a two-day “Stakeholders’ Security Summit tagged Focus on Western Nigeria” held at Professor Ogunlesi hall, University College Hospital. (UCH), Ibadan.
According to Governor Akeredolu, there is the urgent need for governors in the South West to rise to the insecurity situation in the region, by been proactive towards arresting the increasing spate of insecurity in and across the region.
“The South West had enjoyed some moments of respite until recently. What started as isolated cases have now become a daily occurrence. There is no denying the fact that the region which had enjoyed some relative peace, is currently under siege. Everybody is concerned about the ease with which these fiendish characters operate. Some victims have been unlucky, they paid the supreme price.Others live with bodily scars and bruised psyche. The morale of our people has never been this low. Our security agencies appear overwhelmed by the incessant and sustained attacks on our people in different parts of the country. Our roads are no longer safe.”. he said.
The governor added, ‘”Our schools operate under palpable fear. School children are now abducted for ransom. Commuters are no longer safe on our roads. This aberrant phenomenon seems blind to class, religion and ethnicity. Nobody is spared. All of us have become victims, suddenly.”
Speaking further, Governor Akeredolu maintained that the Western region governors have resolved to do away with partisan issues and form a united front in fighting the increasing spate of insecurity in and across the region.
“We must do this together, there must be cooperation among us. This meeting has become exigent considering the spate of insecurity in the country. The anxiety of our people is palpable. The growing fear among the populace makes nonsense of any plans conceived for the development of our God-given space.It is my fervent hope that this engagement will not be limited to the current challenge which threatens to wreck our collective peace,”
Governor Akeredolu stressed “I look forward to future interactions on matters as important and affective as this one which compels this assembly. There is no gainsaying the obvious; the issue of socio-economic integration in the region must be taken seriously for any aspiration towards development to be meaningful. No remarkable progress can be achieved amidst chaos. No State in the Region can achieve greatness in isolation.”
In his address, Governor Seyi Makinde stressed the need for adequate security of life and property in the South , saying ” there can be no development without a secured environment”.
“The minimum requirement for the South West Region is to be able to work, live and play in a secure environment As Governors, it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone in our midst, indigene or alien residents is assured of security of their life and property. We also known that there are barriers preventing us from carrying out this constitutional responsibility to the fullest measure”. he said.
Stressing that the governors are grateful that the Federal government “is finally giving due consideration to the creation of state Police”, he said “one of those barriers is the fact that we do not control the security apparatus in our states, Governor Makinde said” you will agree with me that the advantages of community policing far outweigh whatever fears people may be expressing against it”
The Summit was attended by all the governors of the South West, namely; Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, ,Engr Seyi Makinde of Oyo state. Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi from Ekiti, Prince Dapo Abiodun from Ogun and Mr. Gboyega Oyetola from Osun State.