*continue to enforce open rearing, grazing regulation law, deploys 200 Amotekun to Ibarapa
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde on Wednesday disclosed that the state government is set to ensure documentation of foreigners in and across the state.
Engineer Makinde who made this known in a statement he personally signed and made available to newsmen in Ibadan on strategies aimed at combating crime in Oyo state also said the state government is to continue enforcing the Oyo State Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Law, 2019.
According to the governor, the measures are parts of the moves by his government towards addressing issues of criminal trespass and damage by Hausa/Fulani pastoralists, kidnapping and banditry and other crimes in Ibarapaland and Oke-Ogun axis of the state.
“As stated in an earlier press conference, the government will be proceeding with the documentation of foreigners, especially those who are working in mines. This will ensure that only foreigners who have legitimate interests in Oyo State will remain within our territory.” he said.
The governor stated that in curbing the spate of insecurity, in the state, there is the need for the enforcement of existing laws as measures to end criminality in the state, saying, “the government will continue to enforce the Oyo State Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Law, 2019”.
“This law also regulates the activities of herdsmen in Oyo State. The authorities have directed the Amotekun Corps to continue collaborating with ‘Operation Burst’ and local vigilante groups in enforcing this law. You will recall that in the security meeting of South West governors and other stakeholders two days ago, it was agreed that open grazing be banned in the entire South West zone.”
Engineer Makinde stated that the measures will ensure peaceful coexistence among residents in parts of the state, adding that some of the steps would include the decision to deploy security apparatus, exploring dialogue, collaborating with federal agencies and enforcing existing laws to maintain order and peaceful coexistence.
He added that other measures rolled out at a meeting held with representatives of Igangan, Ibarapaland attended by security stakeholders as security strategy for the Ibarapa zone included the deployment of additional 200 operatives of the Oyo State Security Network Agency, codenamed Amotekun Corps, to man hotspots of kidnapping/banditry, especially in the Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun zones.
Stressing that “these operatives will launch missions to rid the forests of criminals. They will be presenting daily reports of the activities to the governor in the short run and periodic reports in the long run,” the governor said his administration will also adopt continuous dialogue as one of the measures aimed at ending insecurity in Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun axis”, he disclosed that “in the next few weeks, the government will hold town hall meetings and community outreaches, bringing together residents and security agencies to talk about issues of immediate concern and how they can be resolved through dialogue and more effective community policing.”
He also hinted that another measure contained in the security strategy “is the decision to further collaborate with federal security agencies operating in the state” and that Oyo state government “will continue to support the police and other federal security agencies posted to the state in the discharge of their duties.” , saying his administration “is aware of how some farmers have been killed and/or lost their livelihoods to criminal trespass and damage by pastoralists, adding that the State Executive Council is considering the possibility of compensation payments to families of victims or victims of such criminality who can prove their claims”.
The governor maintained that the state government had started the process of prosecuting all suspects arrested for criminal activities in Ibarapa and the Oke-Ogun zones of the state, especially in connection with the ongoing tensions in the area.The governor thanked residents of Oyo State who complied with the directive to remain peaceful, and called on them to stay vigilant and always contact the security agencies empowered by law to deal with security issues. He also restated the government’s resolute commitment to protect the lives and properties of residents of the state.