Governor of Ondo State and Chairman, South-West Governors Forum Rotimi Akeredolu, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to address Nigerians on the worsening insecurity in the country.
Akeredolu, made the call last night while featuring on Channels Television’s Politics Today, monitored by our reporters.
According to him, though it is a known fact that the president would not support criminals, it is important for him “to come out and say that those with illegal arms should be arrested and before it gets out of hand, the security agencies should be awake, without rest, to ensure that open grazing s banned.
“From there, laws should follow banning the practice.”
Akeredolu cautioned against profiling ethnic groups as criminals saying that “the important thing is that we should appreciate that we are fighting criminals and not have to call them by any ethnic names.”
He also said the rising insecurity in the land called for a firm decision on state police.
He said the security architectures needed to be rejig for policing to be effective across the nation.
He said: “We need to discuss how effective our security apparatus is now, how can we continue in this security architecture in this country in which you have a command in Abuja for the policing? It will not work and is not working.
“A lot of governors have spoken on this and the time is now for a decision to be taken. I thought there is a bill in the National Assembly about having state police, the time is now because the level of insecurity has given rise to state security. This is when we can hit the name when it is hot.”
Akeredolu also asked the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore to stop defending foreign herders and join hands with government and police authorities to treat as criminals, kidnappers, bandits and other perpetrators of crimes.
He said it was expedient for the police and other security agencies to identify criminal foreign herders, go into investigation fully and prosecute culpable ones.
He said: “Whether we like it or not, let us agree with ourselves that this is a common language they’ve been speaking across length and breadth, particularly in West Africa and part of North Africa.
“So, if they come, how did they come here? But one of our major problems is that, when we have an evil of this nature, and we have a group like the Miyetti Allah, they do not have to hold themselves out to defend these people.
“If they are not your members, and you do not agree with what they are doing, there is no need for you to defend them. Let us treat them strictly as what they are – criminals and get them out, and leave yourself to support us in getting them out.”
The governor also lampooned Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed over his recent comment on herdsmen’s AK-47 riffle.
He said Mohammed should have called for calm and sue for peace instead of escalating already heightened tension with his comment.
Akeredolu also disclosed that the governors in the Southwest would meet with the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno and the newly appointed service chiefs on Wednesday over the security challenges in the zone.