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FG may empower South West rulers in fresh move against insecurity

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President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (both in the middle) when the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi (eight left) led South West traditional rulers to Aso Rock, Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: PHILLIP OJISUA

• Ooni visits Aso Rock, reveals strategy on community policing
• Says govt to recruit locals, mount CCTV on nation’s highways

President Muhammadu Buhari met with southwest traditional rulers yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja amid ongoing moves to contain insecurity in the country. The royal fathers were led by Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi. Also in attendance was Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu.

The Ooni told reporters after the meeting: “We met with the Number One citizen of the country. He has listened to every of the issues we have been having and proffered solutions. Today, the inspector general of police was present and the entire security architecture will be restructured. We are very happy about that.”

He explained the outcome further, saying: “We were also told about community policing. Policemen will be recruited from the community; those that were born there and brought up there. They won’t be able to move them around. We can use that strategy to avert a lot of tension going around the southwest particularly now. We were able to achieve that milestone.

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“Another milestone is that Mr. President will fast-track very rapid monitoring of our forests by using technology of modern standard, drones. The various security agencies will rally round the IGP and see how it can be properly deployed. Another thing is that they will install CCTV along our highways. The IGP said they are very aggressive about clearing our highways now.

“We believe that with all these, there will be reduction in the tension in the southwest because the southwest is very sensitive in Nigeria. We don’t pray for crisis or war or uprising because it will snowball into a lot of things.

“That is why we are all represented from the six states that make up southwest Nigeria. We thank God that Mr. President is listening. So far so good, we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Asked if the monitoring of the CCTV was factored into the discussion, the monarch replied: “Absolutely! This time around, it is a fruitful interactive session. It is not the normal ‘let’s talk the talk.’ We are ‘talking the walk’ and we are going to ‘walk the talk.’

“This is because we, as traditional rulers, know our people. We know the good, the bad, and the ugly. That is why the government is taking it to another level by involving us directly on how to implement their initiatives.

“If they want to start community policing and they give it to politicians, it is not going to work, per se. That is why they are involving us because we know the people that are born within our communities. We know how to recommend them for this kind of employment. We know the good ones that will be willing to serve their community. By so doing, we will have crime reduction in our communities, because each community is peculiar.

“What government is doing now is a different ball game entirely in Nigeria. It’s never been done before. So, we should all work, cooperate with the government, and see how they will implement them.

“The problem has been if you take police officers to the north, within six months they will shift them to another place in the south. They are not domiciled there, and so any time they get there, they depend on the vigilantes, community heads, the Mogagis, the Baales, and all the districts heads. So, why can’t you give the jobs to the families of the Mogagis, the Baales, and all the districts heads? It is a different rejigging. I can assure you the government is very serious now.”

On calls for the Fulani to leave southwest, the Ooni said: “It was because of the tension but this time around, the traditional rulers have arrived at a resolution to ensure that will not happen. It is the bad ones that should be focused on. We all live in Nigeria. It is the bad ones that have come in from different borders that are porous. Those are the ones we will focus on, to separate the corn from the wheat.

“We are saying the bad ones should leave. The bad ones can never stay. Even Mr. President is with us on that. Even the Fulani clan does not want the bad ones to spoil their name. So many people are hiding under Fulani to do evil, so the bad ones must go.”

The meeting was ongoing as at press time.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sarah Jubril, a former aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, has urged the Federal Government to adopt preventive measures in the fight against insecurity in the country.

“The best way to fight insecurity is to prevent it,” she said, also urging the African Union to establish an ethics and values committee to curb the problem especially in West Africa.

Jubril stated this yesterday at the Pre-Glisa Canada 2019 press conference in Abuja, where she regretted that a lack of ethics and values in Nigeria was robbing the nation of peace and a vibrant economy.

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