Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has declared that security of lives and properties in the state remains extremely important to his government.
The governor stated this while addressing chairpersons of the 68 Local Government and Local Council Development Council Areas in the state, at a meeting held inside the House of Chiefs, Secretariat Ibadan.
He stated that the Oyo State Security Network codenamed Operation Amotekun has come to stay in the state, adding that the outfit will not be under the control of the federal establishments but the state, as according to him, it is impossible to achieve any meaningful development in an atmosphere of insecurity.
“We want our people to sleep with their two eyes closed. Of course, security is one of the pillars of this administration and we must do everything possible to invest in the security of lives and property. In Okeho the other day, armed robbers went to rob and the community rose against them and apprehended them. They combed the forests and they got them.
“This is why I will continue to say it and I am saying it for the whole world to hear; Amotekun is here to stay with us. And it will not be under the control of the federal establishment. It will be under our control. Security of our people is extremely important, because nothing can take place, as far as we are concerned, in an atmosphere of insecurity,” he said.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, also indicated that the governor gave marching orders to the caretaker committee chairmen to immediately go back to their domains to set up Security Committees with a view to tackling the security challenges in their localities.
He maintained that the state government would provide all enablements for them to succeed in the task.
The governor said: “From where we are here, the biggest challenge we have seen so far is in the area of security.
“We are getting close to the ’ember’ months, a period in which some people who have not worked all year and want to have a Merry Christmas, commit all sorts of crimes. So, we expect that there will be a spike in criminal activities. I want to, as a matter of urgency, urge you that you all go back to your areas to set up your Security Committees. It must be done almost immediately. And I will be happy to release funds; to give approval for you to spend some money on security within your domains.
“Oyo State is very large; in terms of land size, we are more than all the states of South-East Nigeria put together. So, we have a lot to do to protect the state. We have international borders, so there is smuggling taking place. They killed a Customs Official in Saki a few weeks ago; those things are not acceptable to us.
“As the government that is the closest to the people, you have to take control of the challenges of insecurity in your various domains and you should please, once those committees are set up, any enabler that you need, let us know. We will work with the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, to make sure those enablers are provided.”
Governor Makinde used the occasion to commend some of the local government chairpersons, whom he noted had been doing their best despite limited resources, while urging everyone of them to sit up and link up with the party men and women as well as residents of their localities ahead of plans for local government election, which he said will be made public once the House of Assembly screens and clears the nominees for the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC).
The governor also hinted that the state government will set up an evaluation committee to vet the performances of the local government chairmen as well as the challenges they are facing, stating that his administration remains determined to give the state true democracy and to me