From Fred Itua, Abuja
Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has warned that the various criminal activities of kidnapping, bombing and assault on people in some parts of the country which are being referred to as banditry must be addressed as terrorism.
Akeredolu said the infiltration of the country’s borders and burning of railway were activities that must be addressed as terrorism and the perpetrators treated as such
The governor spoke, yesterday, at the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja with the theme: “Securing Our Future: The Fierce Urgency of Now.”
Akeredolu and his Kaduna state counterpart, Nasiru El-rufai, and others are among the panelists at the summit which centred on addressing the security challenges in the country.
Akeredolu contended that a nation with failed security and justice systems is set to fail.
While lamenting that the dimension of insecurity in the country recently has been surprising, the governor said he has always believed in multi-level policing as the best way of securing the nation.
“In Ondo State, we don’t have terrorism. Our problem is farmer/herder clashes and kidnap for ransom. We have drug abuse and agitation for self-determination. We have always preached the multi-level policing in Ondo State. We believe in layers of security,” he said.
The governor, who explained that although there are criminal trespasses which can be treated by the state, stressed that before the Amotekun corps was established, the police were not always ready to make arrest.
“Yes, you have criminal trespass. It should be treated by the state. All we had before Amotekun was a police that had the duty to arrest and was not prepared to make an arrest. Things are changing and have really changed in Ondo State.
“Today, if you trespass on other people’s land, the Amotekun will go after you and arrest you. They pay compensations to the farmers and when they fail, they are in court. It is the only way you can send signals to the people. When you commit a crime and the hands of law doesn’t catch up with you, another person will repeat it. I can assure you when you do not have an effective policing system, there is little or nothing a governor can do. And the criminal trial is taking too long,” Akeredolu said.