South-West governors who met in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Tuesday, rose from their stakeholders’ security summit, with a renewed call for the creation of state police as one of the steps to stem the growing tide of insecurity in the region.
The meeting had in attendance Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State governor and his counterparts from Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti states.
The governors, according to a statement emanating from the meeting, resolved to end what they described as unholy invasion of the region by armed bandits suspected to be from other tribes in the country, thereby causing security breach and creating unnecessary tension in the relatively peaceful zone.
They unanimously agreed to the creation of state police to confront the challenge head-on, even as they listed the benefits inherent in it.
Sanwo-Olu, in his speech, suggested that advocacy be introduced while state police be considered to compliment the effort of the federal police in all states of the federation.
“State police is the way to go. This would give the Chief Security Officers in each of the states the opportunity to direct their affairs and make them accountable instead of waiting for federal directives before major actions could be taken on incidents of banditry, cultism and other heinous crimes.
“Controlling one’s police at the state level would help us achieve unhindered and accelerated response to any criminal activities recorded within our communities,” he said.
According to him, “The importance of security in human existence cannot be underestimated which means security is paramount to the existence of all human beings and no meaningful development could be recorded in the absence of security.”
Sanwo-Olu urged all states governors in the zone and stakeholders alike to put all machinery in motion to find a permanent solution to the security lapses, adding that we should all speak with one voice and remove politics so as to put a permanent stop to the incessant incursions on our land.
The governor maintained that no developmental strides could be achieved in the absence of security, just as he commended the efforts of the DAWN Commission for the laudable programme.
He said: “The issue discussed here today coincides with the deliberations of the governors during a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and at the Governors Forum held last week in Abuja.”
He suggested deep and consistent advocacy amongst our people even as he called on people from the region to live together and embrace unity as a way to sustain security and curb invasion.
Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, Chairman, South-West Governors Forum, while declaring open the summit, reiterated that protection of lives of residents and people of South-West is paramount to all the governors, hence their support for the creation of DAWN Commission.
He said the meeting was the commission’s effort at creating engagement and discourse for finding a lasting solution to the security challenges in the South West.