From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Governors Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and AbdulRahman AbdulRazak of Kwara State, traditional rulers in the border towns between the two neighbouring states and heads of security agencies in the two states held a crucial meeting in Ibadan on Tuesday towards solving emerging security threats to the two states.
The meeting was held at the Executive Chambers of the Oyo State Governor’s Office, Treasury Building, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan. Though journalists were not allowed to cover the meeting, the host governor briefed the press on the outcome the summit.
Apart from the two governors, the meeting was also attended by Secretaries to the Government of the two states, Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun (Oyo) and Prof. Mamman Saba Jibril (Kwara). The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Major General Bamidele Omozoje; Garrison Commander, 2 Division of Nigerian Army, Brig Gen Adesoji Ogunsugba; and Commander, Nigerian Air Force, Ibadan, Group Captain Mohammed Sullaiman.
The list also comprised Commissioners of Police in the two states, Ngozi Onadeko (Oyo) and Mohammed Bageega (Kwara); Chairman of Amotekun Corps in Oyo State, Gen Kunle Togun (retd), as well as Director General of the Amotekun Corps, Col Olayinka Olayanju (retd). The Directors of Department of State Security (DSS), Commandants of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Comptrollers of Immigration, and Commandants of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA) from the two states.
Special Advisers on Security Matters to the two governors of the two states and Commissioners for Special Duties from the two states were also in attendance. Chief Press Secretaries to the two governors, Taiwo Adisa (Oyo) and Rafiu Ajakaiye (Kwara), also attended the meeting. The monarchs in attendance included the Emir of Ilesha Ibaruba, Prof Halidu Abubakar; Emir of Okuta, Alhaji Idris Abubakar; and Emir of Yashikira, Alhaji Umaru Sanki.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, Governor Makinde, who admonished governors of the 36 states and other leaders in Nigeria to speak with one voice towards ending insecurity, said: “We had an intense security meeting. We acknowledged the efforts of our security agencies. We thank them for the work they are doing. We do appreciate them and we encourage them to do more. We also acknowledged the fact that non-state actors might be getting upper hands in communicating and spreading hatred within our country.
“So, we asked that our leaders must speak with one voice, especially at the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. We have to be firm and we have to be decisive in dealing with the security challenges that we are currently faced with. We have also taken notice of the fact that our intelligence gathering effort has to be deepened. Some of the situations that we have been faced with recently, where we have to react, instead of being able to act before those things actually erupted, due to some intelligence failures.
“The meeting noted that we should deepen our intelligence gathering effort. The traditional rulers on both sides of our border towns within Oyo and Kwara States, will be encouraged to come together in fostering unity and exchange of information. That way, our intelligence agencies will be able to proactively deal with the situation, rather than being reactive.
“We agreed that more detailed working team will be set up between Oyo and Kwara States. We know that the issues to be addressed will have wider national ramifications. Members of the working team will be made known soon.”
Makinde also made reference to the eviction of the Sarkin Fulani of Oyo State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Saliu, in January this year by some aggrieved youth in Igangan in Ibarapa zone of the pace setter state. The Ibarapa youth effected the eviction of Saliu and some herders in Ibarapaland based on alleged killings, armed robbery cases, kidnapping for ransom, rape cases, and destruction of farmlands, linked to herdsmen. The youth evicted them after the popular Yoruba activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, fondly called Sunday Igboho, visited Ibarapland twice in January, this year.
“Yes, they asked somebody to leave Igangan and that has created issues in Kwara State, where internally displaced persons now are spread over 13 villages and seven local government areas in Kwara State with its attendant challenges on maintenance of these individuals. But we believe that the working team to be set up should be able to dispassionately look at those challenges and come up with solutions, with myself and my brother, the governor of Kwara State, will be able to look at, and then solve.
“Also, the National Livestock Transformation Plan that is currently not being implemented in Oyo State, but Kwara State has started its implementation over a year ago. So, we believe there are natural learning from Kwara State that Oyo State may be able to take advantage of. And this should lead to further collaboration at the economic and security levels.”