Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
In the wake of the ongoing insecurity challenges, the Nigerian Army, on Tuesday, pledged to assist Osun State to continue to remain one of the safest states in the country.
General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 2 Division Nigerian Army, Major Gen. Okwudili Azinta, gave the assurance during a meeting with Governor Gboyega Oyetola in his office in Osogbo, the state capital.
Last month, the governor visited the Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, to seek assistance to combat the rising wave of insecurity in the state. He requested the army chief to allow the participation of soldiers in a combined security patrol team being raised to battle insecurity.
General Azinta said the visit followed the directive of the army chief to partner the state government to sustain the peace and stability in the state.
Azinta said: “We are here for two reasons. First is to congratulate Mr. Governor on his election and his victory at the Supreme Court.
“We are also here to meet him in line with the directive of the Chief of Army Staff that we should work with other security agencies in the state to ensure that the state is far more peaceful than it is.
“We have discussed the need to dot the ‘is’ and cross the ‘ts’. We have discussed how to make sure that the security in the state is improved so that people can sleep, wake up and carry out their businesses peacefully without being molested.
“We had a very encouraging discussion, and Mr. Governor has further demonstrated his resolve to ensure that the state is far more secured and safe, and we will do everything possible to support him in that regard.
“I have been here (as GOC 2 division) for about 18 months and for the greater part of this time, Osun has remained peaceful. Osun is one of the most peaceful states in my area of responsibility.
“Sometimes, the commander in Ede will not call me in one month because there is no issue. Sometimes, I will ask him, ‘are you still there?’ and he will say yes. So, when there is no issue, there won’t be any cause for alarm.
“Osun State is one of the safest states in Nigeria. What happened in the recent past is just a migration of criminals, when you address it here, they push to areas they consider soft for them because the state is very peaceful and there wasn’t so much of military operation on ground.
“Although there was a migration but it has not got to a stage we should be so much apprehension because the governor is proactive in dealing with insecurity that is why he is requesting us to partner other security agencies to nip insecurity in the bud as quickly as possible.
“I implore residents of the state to be law abiding and go on their normal businesses. The military is going to work with other security agencies to make sure that our people sleep and wakeup without being molested.”
Governor Oyetola said his administration was ready to partner security agencies, individuals and corporate bodies to keep the state safe and secured.
He commended the leadership of the Nigerian Army led by Gen. Buratai for being committed to the security of lives and property of citizens.
He said his administration had been working hard to put a permanent end to the pockets of insecurity challenges facing the state.
The governor described the move to partner the military and other security agencies as crucial in view of the recent wave of criminal activities.
Oyetola bemoaned illegal mining activity going on in the state and urged men and officers of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies to support the state to curb the menace.
He commended the army for fulfilling its corporate social responsibility by building the Kuta-Ede Bridge in the state and for the excellent jobs the military did to keep the peace during the election.