- Insists on state police
By James Sowole
Ondo State Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, yesterday said some foreign herders were responsible for many criminal activities in the state forest reserves, lamenting that they have almost remained permanent in the government reserve.
Akeredolu has also said that the protection of lives and property of the people must take priority, adding that now is the time for state police.
The governor spoke during a courtesy visit to his office by the Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘F’ of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), comprising Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti states, Mrs. Dora E Amahian
The governor, who charged the officers of the immigration service to heighten security at the land borders, said the rate foreigners are coming into the country through the land borders was alarming.
He charged the NIS to do more in securing the land borders so as to prevent unknown individuals from coming into the country without record and identity.
He said: ”We all know what this service is established to do. It’s clear to us . The number of people who come into Nigeria through the land border is becoming alarming.
“Knowing your efforts to secure our borders, we are worried about some foreigners that come in and are almost permanent in our forest reserve. I know a number of criminal activities that are being perpetrated in our reserves that are done by foreigners.
“Yes! Foreigners! They might be Fulanis but they are not Nigerians. I think there must be collaborations – collaborations with other security agencies. That way you can function well and achieve more result. Collaborate with security agency like Amotekun.
“Peace is very important to us, not only in the Southwest or Ondo state but peace in the country. All over the country we are being ravaged by foreigners.”
Earlier in her address, Amahian appreciated the governor for the cordial relationship between him and the immigration service.
She said the passion of the governor for good governance and delivery of dividends of democracy has been seen in his ability to maintain peace as evident in the peaceful co-existence of the diverse people of the state.
Meanwhile, Akeredolu has said that the protection of lives and property of the people must take priority, adding that it was a duty he was elected to perform.
The governor has also said that the time is now ripe for state police.
Akeredolu spoke yesterday when the All Progressives Congress (APC) Southwest caucus in the House of Representatives visited him to declare support for the action he had taken against criminality in the South-west.
The lawmakers commended Akeredolu for his pronouncement that there is no place for criminals in the zone.
The 72- member caucus who was led by Hon. Femi Fakeye (Osun), insisted that the cultural differences of the various ethnicities in the country must be respected.
While stressing that criminality has no ethnicity, the leader of the delegation, Fakeye who spoke on behalf of other members of the caucus, said they are in support of any legitimate step to flush out criminals in the South-west.
The lawmakers also hailed the giant strides recorded by the Governor in the state, stressing that his performance in office was responsible for his resounding victory in the October 10, 2020 poll.
Responding, Akeredolu said the protection of lives and property of the people must take priority, adding that it was a duty he was elected to perform.
The governor said it was part of the move to secure Ondo State and South-west in general that led to the creation of Amotekun Corps.
He said: “The most important thing you have said is that we have to think about our people first and in doing that, we have to make a declaration.
“We felt convinced that we cannot have a situation where a first Oba is killed, a deputy VC is killed, chief of staff’s wife kidnapped and we feel the people elected us to protect their lives and property. It’s one of the things that led us to create Amotekun.
“When we came up with Amotekun, people were scared they thought it was state police, but we stood our ground and Amotekun has come to stay.
“You have a duty to us, to our people and that has to do with the issue of state police. The time is now. This rampant security challenge is virtually everywhere. This issue of state police, we need to pursue it. if we have the state police, we may not need Amotekun. It will be a great fight for our people.
“We must stand together. I commend the Governor of Kano State who said cows should not he moved to the south again for grazing”.