Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday assured traditional rulers from the South West that Nigeria’s security architecture will be restructured soon.
The President further reassured the ethnarchs that arrangements are being made to deploy drones and CCTVs to boost security of lives and property in South West Nigeria.
The President says that while drones will be deployed to fast-track the monitoring of the forests in the region, CCTVs will be mounted along highways.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, who led a visiting delegation for an audience with the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, told State House Correspondents of Buhari”s assurances at the closed door meeting.
“We met with the number one citizen of the country. He has listened to every of the issues we have been having in the South West and they proffered solutions. Today, the Inspector General of Police was present; the entire security architecture will be restructured, we are very happy about that,” the Ooni said.
“We were also told about community policing; policemen will be recruited from the community, those that were born there, brought up there and they won’t be able to move them around. So, we can use that strategy to avert a lot of tension going around the South West in particular now. We were able to achieve that milestone.
“Another milestone we achieved is that Mr President will fast track very rapid monitoring of our forests by virtue using the technology of modern standard, the drones. The various security agencies will rally round the IG and see how it can be properly deployed.
“Another thing is that they will install CCTVs along our highways. The IGP said they are very aggressive about clearing our highways now.
“We believe that with all these there will be reduction in the tension in the South West because the South West is very sensitive in Nigeria. We don’t pray for crisis or war or uprisings because it will snowball into a lot of things; that is why we are all represented from the six states that make up Southwesten Nigeria. We thank God that Mr President is listening and, so far so good, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Asked if the CCTV monitoring was factored into the discussion, the ethnarch said: “Absolutely. This time around it is a fruitful interactive session. It is not the normal ‘let’s talk the talk’; we are going to walk the talk.
“Because we, as traditional rulers, we know our people, we know the good, the bad and ugly, and that is why the government is taking it to another level by involving us directly on how to implement their initiatives.
“If they want to start community policing and they give it to politicians, it is not going to work per say; that is why they are involving us. Because, we know the people that are born within our community, we know how to recommend them for this kind of employment, we know the good ones that will be willing to serve their community. So, by virtue of doing that we will have crime reduction in our communities, because each community is peculiar.
“So, what government is doing now is a different ball game entirely in Nigeria. It has never been done before. So, we should all work and cooperate with the government and see how they will implement them.
“Because the problem has been if you take police officers to the North, within six months they will shift them to another place in the South. They are not domiciled there, and so any time they get there they depend on the vigilantes, community heads, the Mogagis, the Baales, and all the districts heads; so why can’t you give the jobs to the families of the Mogagis, the Baales, and all the districts heads?
“So, it is a different rejigging and I can assure you the government is very serious now.”
On the call for the Fulanis to leave the South West, the Ooni said the call had been made because of inter ethnic tensions, but he said that will no longer necessary.
“It’s because of the tension, but this time around the traditional rulers have arrived at a resolution to ensure that will not happen. It is the bad ones that should be focused on. We all live in Nigeria, it is the bad ones that have come in from different borders that are porous, those are the ones we will focus on to separate the corn from wheat.
“We are saying the bad ones should leave, the bad ones can never stay; even Mr President is with us on that. Even the Fulani clan do not want the bad ones to spoil their name. So many people are hiding under Fulanis to do evil now; so, the bad ones must go.”