Buhari Taps Osinbajo to Lead Consultations on Insecurity

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•VP starts with South-west, meets traditional rulers
•Says confident that God helping us, working together as a nation, we shall overcome

Bayo Akinloye

President Muhammadu Buhari has assigned Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to undertake immediate consultations and dialogue with stakeholders across Nigeria as part of measures to contain the deteriorating security situation in the country. In addition, the office of the vice president hinted that the federal government was working with the state governments on how to improve security in local communities while rearranging the security architecture nationwide.

Osinbajo, who began his assignment yesterday in the South-west, held consultations with the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, and the Awujale of Ijebu Kingdom, Oba Sikiru Adetona, both in Ogun State. The discussions focused on the security challenges in the country.

Accompanied by Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun to the palace of the Akarigbo, Osinbajo hinted on what was expected to be a wide consultation with key traditional rulers in the state, and across the country, while fielding questions from journalists. He said the exercise was meant to ensure peace and security in the communities.

He stated, “As you know, there are many significant concerns all over the country and, of course, there are concerns also in the South-west. So, I’m here on the instruction of Mr. President to consult with the Kayibesi, Governor Dapo Abiodun, and other stakeholders on what to do to beef up security, and to generally improve the security architecture.

“Of course, you know that the Kabiyesi is not just the traditional ruler, but also a very important part of the government. That’s why we are here to speak with him and to agree on a few modalities for beefing up security, ensuring that we are fully conscious of all that is going on around us, and just to be sure that peace and security reigns here and across the country.

“There are some who might want to cause instability and difficulties, but we are very confident that God helping us, working together as a nation, we will be able to overcome all our problems and set our country on the path of peace and prosperity.”

The vice president said the federal government, in collaboration with the states, had taken significant steps to improve security, while undertaking further consultations with the traditional rulers. He said the governor of Ogun State was committed “to ensuring there is peace and security and that everyone, who lives in all our neighbourhoods, localities and communities lives in peace with each other and that we maintain a high level of security.”

He added, “We are consulting with many of the traditional rulers all across the country. But there are concerns in the South-west. I’ve started here in Ogun.
“We are also going to be in Osun State on Tuesday. We are also going to go round and see several other traditional rulers. Primarily, they themselves want to participate. We’ve spoken at various times and they want to participate in improving the security architecture.
“One of the things that Mr. President has spoken about is the role of traditional rulers in maintaining peace and security in their own locality. As you know, they are the closest to the grassroots, to their communities.

“And one of the critical things that we expect is that even with our community policing efforts, we expect that there would be some interventions between the traditional rulers, the community police and some of the other efforts that they are making to improve intelligence to understand what is going on. We need to know who is where and what exactly is happening all around, so that these can then be transmitted to the security agencies.

“I think for all of us, the most important thing to realise is that we are one Nigeria; we are one country; we need to work together to ensure that the country is peaceful, secure and happy for all of us.”

Osinbajo said Nigeria had the potential to give the citizens all they desired, but alleged that some people were working against the interest of the country by attempting to cause instability. Nonetheless, he was optimist that Nigeria would overcome its challenges.

From the Akarigbo’s palace, Osinbajo proceeded to Ijebu Ode, where he had a private meeting with Oba Adetona. After his meeting with the monarch, Osinbajo said the Awujale was one of the most important voices in the South-west and that their discussion was on steps that needed to be taken to improve the security general architecture. He said the monarch had given a lot of insight on what needed to be done and how to go about it, including what had been done already.

“But very important is his commitment to ensuring that there is peace and security and that everybody lives in peace with one another and that we maintain the highest level of security. We are consulting with many of the traditional rulers across the country, but there are concerns in the South-west now,” he stated at the Oba’s palace.

He added, “We are going round. I will be in Osun on Tuesday; we are going to go round to see the Alake, the Ooni and other traditional rulers and primarily, they themselves want to participate in improving the security architecture.”