President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, met with the governors of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde and his Ondo counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, over insecurity in the South West region.
The two governors’ meeting, yesterday, followed that of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II, who was hosted by the president in his official residence on Tuesday night.
Addressing State House Correspondents after his meeting with the president, Makinde said he came to give him the accurate information on the Oyo insecurity situation “as against the fake news flying about.”
He said he also used the occasion to ask for more Mobile Police Squadrons as against the only two operating in a state he described as bigger than the entire South East combined.
He said: “There has been a lot of fake news all around and I wanted to be sure that Mr. President clearly have first hand information from me, which I did. We also exchanged ideas on what we need to do better, some of the programmes we have put in place to ensure that this security issue is tackled. So, that’s basically why I came here,” he said.
On the specific issues he discussed with the president, the governor said: “Well, one of the issues I discussed with Mr. president is that Oyo state land mass is quite big; Oyo state is close to 29,000 square kilometres. If you take all the states in the south east geo-political zone of Nigeria, they are still not as big as Oyo State. And the state, right now, only has two Mobile Police Squadrons.
“So, I requested for more mobile police squadrons to be deployed to Oyo state and also asked for support for the joint security outfit because, the underlying issue here also has to do with limited opportunities.
“The tension will definitely go down if a lot of our youths are gainfully employed. So, I briefed the president on what we are doing in that regard.”
When asked about his disagreement with the activist, Sunday Igboho, on the ultimatum to the Fulani to leave Oyo state, the governor explained:
“Well, we have a history of living together, peacefully, amongst all the ethnic groups that are in Oyo state.
“For instance, what triggered all of this was that Dr. Aborede was brutally murdered, that is criminal; but on the other hand, Seriki, Alhaji Kabir has been staying in that same place for 40 years.
“So, quite frankly, the people we are after are criminals. They are the bandits, hoodlums, armed robbers, kidnappers. Those are the true enemies of the state and those are the people we will go after.
“The Constitution of Nigeria guarantees that you can live in any part of Nigeria, you just have to be law abiding, obey the local laws in such areas. That is what we are pushing and will continue to push as a government.”
Governor Akeredolu, however, declined to speak to the media on his mission to the presidential villa when approached.
Meanwhile, the Ooni of Ife has called on political parties in the country not to politicise the security situation.
Speaking on the purpose of his visit to the president, the monarch said: “Well to the glory of God. I am here, particularly, because of all the issues of security threat here and there, and to get the blessing of Mr. President. Hopefully, it won’t turn out to be very political because political parties might probably want to hijack it; and to the glory of God, as the co-chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers, it is our responsibility and our duty to make sure that everything is right, all and sundry is in good shape.”
The Ooni of Ife, hailed president Buhari for giving the assurance that the security situation will not be politicised.
He said: “The president has assured that it is not going to be a political thing because we all know the problem all over the country; we have a lot of bad eggs that mix across the entire country and we are having that issue again in the South West.
“It is very important for us to separate the corn from the chaff because, a lot of them are actually using the porous border that we have, but, to the glory of God, they are doing what is called e-border now in Nigeria and it is very efficient and we all need to work with them.”