Governor Ibikunle Amosun
Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, was Saturday in Accra, Ghana, honoured as the “Best Security Conscious State Governor in West Africa” by Security Watch Africa.
Security Watch Africa is an organisation that sets security agenda for African leaders and is at the forefront of celebrating Security and Safety Excellence in Africa.
The governor, while receiving the award at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra, described Ogun State as the “economic and business destination of Nigeria,” a statement made available to THISDAY yesterday said.
He said his government placed a high premium on security, hence its massive investment in security equipment like the state-of-the-art Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and Hilux vans fitted with modern communication gadgets, among others.
“Today in Nigeria, Ogun State is ranked among the first three most secure states,” Amosun declared. This achievement, according to the governor, has been made possible by the support of our security agencies, the cooperation of the good people of Ogun State and their determination to rid our environment of all forms of criminality. Senator Amosun, ably supported by his wife, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, added that the honour was in recognition of the successes recorded in the state.
He noted the challenge posed by the proximity of Ogun to Lagos and its land border with the Republic of Benin.
“These pose challenges to us. To make sure that our state is secure for the good people of Ogun State, investors and all Nigerians who daily throng our state to do business, we had to go on this offensive. Lagos State government has succeeded in driving criminals from the city and I believe we have a duty to make Ogun State an uncomfortable zone for them,” he said.
The governor used the opportunity of the award ceremony to invite the people of Ghana to come to Ogun State to invest their money, “because the state holds the future economic and industrial base of Nigeria.”
Speaking earlier at the event, the Chairperson, Board of Trustees, Security Watch Africa, Dr Theresa Oppory Beeko, said the awards were instituted to encourage governments across West Africa to confront headlong the challenge posed by insecurity, as businesses could only thrive in a peaceful environment.
She reminded governments in the sub-region of their constitutional responsibility to ensure security and welfare of their peoples.
She singled out Governor Amosun for deserving the prestigious “Best Security Conscious State Governor in West Africa” because of his achievements in the security sub-sector since May, 2011 when he assumed the leadership of Ogun State.
Among those that received other awards by Security Watch Africa included the governor of Abia State and three Police Commissioners from Nigeria.
It will be recalled that the administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun inherited a serious security problem which sometimes led to banks closing business because of fear of armed robbers.
During the launch of the Armoured Personnel Carriers, the very latest technology of APCs in the world and first of such in Nigeria, in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, on April 22nd, 2012, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Muhammed Abubakar, said: “I have served in all six geographical zones of this country, I have never seen the kind of equipment you are donating to security agents today. This is the first of such maximum donation I have ever seen since I have been serving as Police officer.”
The era of banks closing business because of insecurity has since ended in Ogun State and many foreign and local investors are now taking advantage of its business-friendly environment such as sticking to international best practices in the interface of the public with government officials and respect for due process and sanctity of the rule of law.