A traditional leader in Iwaya, Yaba, Mr Babatunde Adegbenro, says proper use of local vigilance groups is helpful in enhancing security in communities.
Adegbenro, who is the Oba-Elect of Iwaya, Yaba, said on Friday night at the Palace in Iwaya that such vigilance groups should be an integral part of the community policing system.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the effort of a vigilance group in Ijebu-Ode recently helped in locating member of a family resident in Iwaya after he had gone missing.
“Some days ago, I got a call from the Ijebu-Ode chairman about a missing boy who been discovered in his community claiming to live at No 8, Yeye St, Iwaya.
“I ordered my chief to the address and discovered that a young man had actually been missing for weeks and that was how the family was re-united,” he said.
He said that it was the interaction between the chairman and the vigilance group that led to them finding the boy in the early hours of the day on which he was located.
“Also, the synergy between the representative of the two states made it possible for the missing young man to be found.
“I thank the chairman and the vigilante for their prompt response in attending to the case.
“I call on more synergy among the western communities and the country as a whole in promptly solving dire situations regarding security,” he said.
Adegbenro called on the government and communities to make proper use of such groups because of the role they play.
Also speaking, the Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area (LGA) Chairman, Mr Olugbenga Olugbile, who was at the palace, said that such vigilance group members lived in the community and were closer to the people.
“They also have a better understanding of the topography of the area, making it easy for them to carry out successful operations when they are needed,” he said.
“Community policing is a good idea but when it has been properly endorsed, it should be an upgrade of the existing vigilance structure in place,” the chairman said.
Meanwhile, 18-year-old Nestor Agbelesesi, who had been reunited with his parents, said that he went to fetch water on a certain day and suddenly started hearing strange voices giving him directions.
He said that he ended up walking about and he later found himself at Ikorodu, and then Ijebu-Ode.
“I thank God for divinely bringing me back home through the chairman and King-elect of Iwaya Land,” he said.
Agbelesesi was grateful for their actions and appreciated the token of gift given to him and his family by Adegbenro.
Mrs Olorunkpemi Agbelesesi, the mother, said that her son had been taken for proper medical evaluation and testing which was still ongoing. (NAN)