In an attempt to ensure peaceful coexistence among residents in the state, the Oyo state governor, Seyi Makinde has deployed 200 operatives of the Oyo State Security Network Agency, codenamed Amotekun Corps, to man hotspots of kidnapping/banditry, especially in the Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun zones.
The operatives will launch missions to rid the forests of criminals and present daily reports of activities to the governor in the short run and periodic reports in the long run.
There have been unrest in some part of the state recently after which a youth leader, Sunday Adeyemo, known as Sunday Igboho, led residents to evict members of a Fulani community in Igangan over allegations that they harbour criminals.
To further cool off this tension, Governor Makinde who in a statement after a meeting held with representatives of Igangan, Ibarapaland, which was attended by security stakeholders including the recently appointed Commissioner of Police, Oyo State, Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko disclosed that other measures taken to ensure peaceful coexistence among residents in parts of the state includes exploring dialogue, collaborating with federal agencies and enforcing existing laws to maintain order and peaceful coexistence.
He said: “In the next few weeks, the government will hold town hall meetings and community outreaches, bringing together residents and security agencies to talk about issues of immediate concern and how they can be resolved through dialogue and more effective community policing.”
Makinde also indicated that his government will ensure the documentation of foreigners as one of the strategies aimed at combating crime.
He said: “As stated earlier, the government will be proceeding with the documentation of foreigners, especially those who are working in mines.
“This will ensure that only foreigners who have legitimate interests in Oyo State will remain within our territory.”
Besides, the governor also listed the enforcement of existing laws as one of the measures to end criminality in the state.
He stated: “The government will continue to enforce the Oyo State Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Law, 2019.
“This law also regulates the activities of herdsmen in Oyo State. The authorities have directed the Amotekun Corps to continue collaborating with ‘Operation Burst’ and local vigilante groups in enforcing this law.
“You will recall that in the security meeting of South West governors and other stakeholders two days ago, it was agreed that open grazing be banned in the entire South West zone.”
He said that the Oyo State Government “will continue to support the police and other federal security agencies posted to the state in the discharge of their duties.”
Governor Makinde also indicated that his administration is aware of how some farmers have been killed and/or lost their livelihoods to criminal trespass and damage by pastoralists, adding that the State Executive Council is considering the possibility of compensation payments to families of victims or victims of such criminality who can prove their claims.
He also declared that the state government had started the process of prosecuting all suspects arrested for criminal activities in Ibarapa and the Oke-Ogun zones of the state, especially in connection with the ongoing tensions in the area.
The governor thanked residents of Oyo State who complied with the directive to remain peaceful, and called on them to stay vigilant and always contact the security agencies empowered by law to deal with security issues.
He also restated the government’s resolute commitment to protect the lives and properties of residents of the state.