In his bid to find a lasting solution to the security challenges in Ibarapa Zone of Oyo State, Governor Seyi Makinde on Sunday held an overnight meeting with selected stakeholders, local government chairs and other political office holders from the zone.
A statement issued on Monday in Ibadan by Mr Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, indicated that the meeting held at Igbo-Ora.
Those who attended the meeting were community leaders, council chairpersons and political office holders from Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa East and Ibarapa North.
According to the statement, Makinde who asserted that the problems of insecurity in Ibarapa land needed to be tackled collectively, stressed that his visit to the zone would enable him to find lasting solutions to the lingering insecurity issues in the area.
The governor informed the people that the his government had approved the setting up of a Peace and Security Committee at the local government level, adding that other security measures to ensure peace in the area would also be put in place.
He also disclosed that the government had directed the immediate take-off of an identity management programme “to enable it to know who-is-who in the communities.
“For me, the take-home from the interaction is that it is a collective problem and I can see the commitment from everybody to find a solution to this. And, at least, I am quite glad that some of the initiatives that the government is trying to put in place to stem insecurity are coming to fruition. We will ensure that our identity management programme takes off as quickly as possible. We will also ensure the setting up of peace and security committee that is all-encompassing in the councils,” he said.
The governor also urged political office holders to always call the attention of the government to the happenings within their localities, saying that he decided to sleep over in Ibarapa to feel the pulse of the people.
Makinde, who declared that he felt the pains of the people of the area and that the problems of the people were his problems, said he could not sleep with his two eyes closed in Ibadan if the people of Ibarapa were unable to sleep with their two eyes closed.
The statement further indicated that Makinde commiserated with families who lost their members to the security crisis in the area.
“This is also to let people know that I feel their pain, because I have had a very close interaction with the late Dr Fatai Aborode. I commiserate with his family and many others who have lost loved ones to the situation. I feel the pain and I believe that with everybody coming together, we will be able to tackle the problem”, he said.
On the enforcement of the anti-grazing law, the governor declared that State Police would have helped if they were in existence.
He said: “Quite frankly, the governors are at the mercy of federal security agencies to implement certain laws. That was why we asked for State Police. In the first instance, it is a constitutional issue and in the absence of having that governors in the South West came together and formed Amotekun as a stop gap. Problems don’t go away completely. But you have to keep working at it, keep pushing to get to where you really want to be and that is what we will keep doing. But the law is there, though the implementation has not been smooth, we will keep working at it,” Makinde said.
On the deployment of additional Amotekun operatives, the governor said: “Two hundred Amotekun operatives have been deployed.
“They are here and we are also supporting them with logistics by giving them four additional operational vehicles,” he said.