By Kemi Olaitan
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has said bandits from Mali are trying to gain entry into the country through a border in Saki, a town in the state.
Makinde disclosed this during a visit to the palace of Khalid Olabisi, Okere of Saki.
His statement comes four months after Gani Adams claimed, Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, said his council had “credible intelligence” on the infiltration of “terrorists” into the south-west, particularly in Niger State and Oke-Ogun axis of Oyo State.
The army had dismissed Adam’s claim, saying the council is only “magnifying” the alert by the US that the Al-Qaeda insurgent group had started penetrating the north-western part of Nigeria.
But Makinde said Saki shares an international border through which suspected bandits are attempting to gain entrance into the country.
Makinde said: “I really want to appreciate you for the support you are giving to the current administration in Oyo State. It is your government too. If a state is progressing, it means the rulers at the helm of affairs are practically doing what they are supposed to do. And 2020 in particular has been a very challenging one.
“We can see that all of us are wearing face masks and observing other guidelines because we are faced with pandemic and economic meltdown. So, it was really tasking. Of course, in our locality here, the issue of banditry is also another issue.
“For instance, Saki shares an international border and it is more of an international issue because we have bandits all the way from Mali that are trying to cross. Once they gain entrance into anywhere they can operate, they will stay there.”
The governor thanked the traditional rulers for their support in establishing Western Nigeria Security Network, Amotekun, which he said has been instrumental in combating insecurity in the state.
“When we inaugurated Amotekun, you gave us your support. When some bandits went to the bush at Kishi, we were able to flush them out with all the efforts of all of us here,” he said.
“So, we want to use this opportunity to say thank you to you all.”