Insecurity: Ogun governorship hopeful advocates local vigilante groups involvement

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By; Niyi Ogungbola, Abeokuta.
2019 governorship aspirant in Ogun State under All Progressive Congress (APC), Arc Owoduni Opayemi has advocated for the  partnership of local vigilance groups by the Federal and State governments  to stem the tide of insecurity being witnessed across the country.
Opayemi made the call over the weekend in Ilaro, headquarters of Yewa South local government area during the presentation of certificates of graduation to 40 local vigilance operatives who completed their training session at the Nigerian Navy Sea School in Lagos.
According to Architect Opayemi, community policing in Nigeria societies would be guaranteed if only the federal governments would throw away the toga of pride and prioritise strengthening the local vigilance operatives to enable them compliment efforts of other security agencies.
With particularly reference to the rising menace of kidnap and Fulani herdsmen’s invasion of communities across Nigeria, Owodunni further stated that it is important for the federal government to co-opt the local vigilance operatives, train and equip them to enable them serve as better alternative for community policing that will compliment the conventional security agencies.
Citing the exploits of the Civilian JTF in the Nigerian Army’s war against the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, Owodunni maintained that operatives of the vigilante groups could be used to gather information for the conventional security agencies to enable them strengthen their intelligence gathering aside from providing physical support to the security agents.
Owodunni, who footed the bill for the training of 40 local vigilance operatives in Yewaland, further stated that security challenges such as kidnapping, pipeline vandalism as well as the menace of the Fulani herdsmen, could be curtailed by engaging local vigilante groups that are familiar with the terrains of the communities from where they were born.
He also charged the federal government through the National Assembly (NASS) to enact an enabling laws that will make the local vigilance groups function effectively, stressing that they remained an untapped assets to the communities in Nigeria.
Regarding why the 40 local vigilance operatives were trained for Yewaland first in the state, Owodunni explained that the land had in recent times, been plagued by incidences of armed robbery and kidnapping because of its nearness to the border.
He however, assured that the stakeholders in Ogun will continue to provide the needed support towards enhancing security of lives and property not only in Yewaland, but also across the state.
Earlier, the VSO Commander for Yewa South local government, Zacheus Akinyemi described the training course as very essential for the operation of members of the group.
Akinyemi, who recounted the efforts of the VSO operatives towards securing the safe release of former Minister of Education, Senator Iyabo Anisulowo from her abductors, also commended Owodunni for footing the bill of the training course, challenging other well-meaning Nigerians to emulate him.

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