● Security issues culminating in creation of Amotekun inevitable prevalence in other regions, he says
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, has lamented that poverty, inequitable allocation of resources, which pits one region against the other, as well as injustice, which makes offended parties resort to self-help and consequently take up arms against the state are fuelling insecurity in the country.
He added that the alarming rate of insecurity that made the creation of Amotekun corps in the South-west inevitable is prevalent in other regions of the country.
The governor stated this Wednesday in Abuja at the 2nd Annual Colloquium of the Sultan Maccido Institute for Peace, Leadership and Development Studies, University of Abuja, with the theme, ‘Insecurity, Governance and Sustainable Development in Nigeria’.
The governor identified the sources of insecurity as “poverty which creates a gulf between the rich and the poor; inequitable allocation of resources which pits one region against the other; injustice which makes offended parties resort to self-help and consequently take up arms against state; illiteracy which makes innocent citizens willing tools at the hands of unscrupulous elite and elements; youth unemployment which makes able-bodied and educated youths susceptible to crime, among others”.
While acknowledging the efforts of the federal government in establishing community police, Oyetola noted that the intervention is inadequate as it is still being controlled from the centre.
He stressed that the best way to confront insecurity challenges facing the country is to decentralise Nigeria’s current centralised policing system to meet the nation’s current realities.
The governor explained that the nation’s security agencies as presently constituted are too centralised and too far from the grassroots to adequately provide the required security for the nation.
“Worse still, they are unfamiliar with the terrains where crimes take place. It is our belief that our people understand the topography of their communities more and can govern them better,” he added.
Oyetola added that the police once confirmed the sorry state of its manpower when it said the Force needed 155,000 additional hands to effectively police the nation.
The governor pointed out the constitutional provision that assigns the role of chief security officer to governors ought to have provided corresponding empowerment and control of the security agencies to the same governors to enable them perform their responsibilities as chief security officer effectively.
He stressed that the nation’s conventional security agencies are overstretched and sorely underfunded.
The governor said: “Our recent experience where the attempt to confront armed banditry headlong in the north resulted in their incursion into the South-west and other regions that were erroneously perceived to be immune from the insecurity challenge is proof that each region has to be adequately policed for the region to know peace.
“The nation’s expansive forests have unfortunately become the hideouts of bandits, kidnappers and other criminals. With the establishment of Amotekun, the forests of the South-west are now better policed.
“The issues that make Amotekun inevitable in the South-west are the same in other regions of the nation. Other regions may wish to emulate the South-west to put structures in place to rid their regions of crime.”