From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said security of life and property in the state is a joint task for his administration, security agencies and all residents.
Fayemi, who spoke at a Statewide Conference on Securing Ekiti State, organised by the Ekiti Council of Elders in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday, said security of life and property remains paramount to his administration.
The governor, who spoke through his Deputy, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, stressed that all Ekiti people, irrespective of their social status or religious affiliations, must unite to tackle security challenges right from their localities.
A statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, noted that the forum, which was chaired by the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, the Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye, was attended by representatives of security agencies, traditional rulers, local hunters, ethnic nationalities and non-state actors.
Describing the summit as timely and appropriate, Fayemi urged residents to always volunteer information to conventional security agencies and Amotekun operatives, to curb criminal activities like kidnapping, destruction of farmlands and trafficking of firearms.
He also charged the people in the grassroots to always give information on strange faces noticed in their localities to their traditional rulers, who will, in turn, reach out to government and security agencies for prompt action.
Responding to a question from the Catholic Bishop, Fayemi affirmed the position of the Southern Governors’ Forum that open grazing has been banned, noting that the Ikun Dairy project in the state was an example of the benefits of ranching, which he described as a panacea to clashes between farmers and herders.
“The Southern Governors’ Forum met in Asaba, last month, and resolved that open grazing has been banned; and we have shown examples of what can be achieved with ranching with what we have done in Ikun Dairy, which has become an economic gain for our people,” he said.
In his opening remarks, Most Rev. Ajakaye, expressed regrets on the recent spate of kidnapping in the state, calling for setting up of neighbourhood watch and more support for the local vigilantes to halt the trend.
The Bishop also warned politicians to de-emphasise subtle and open campaigns for the next cycle of election, saying what is paramount now is the security of the people and safety of business and investment.
While charging the Federal Government to do more on security, the cleric condemned a situation whereby Nigerians have become refugees in their own country, owing to insecurity in the land.
“What is of paramount concern now is security, not about election or campaign. It is now time to stand up and act because nowhere in our country is safe again,” Most Rev. Ajakaye said.
In his keynote address, the President of Ekiti Council of Elders, Prof. Joseph Oluwasanmi, criticised the Federal Government for allegedly hampering efforts of southwest governors to protect their people.