Efforts to make the southwest region of Nigeria safe for Nigerians received a big boost yesterday in Lagos, when prominent security groups in the South West met to brainstorm on better and easy way to curb the spate of insecurity.
The group, under the auspices of Southwest Security Stakeholders’ Group (SSSG), said they would partner with the Police, Southwest governors and the traditional rulers to provide better security for the people.
Aare Onakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, who is also the convener of the meeting, said the aim of the organisers was to bring all the local security groups across the southwest together under one umbrella for them to find lasting solution to the various security challenges in the region.
He said the movement would work round the clock to protect lives and property, and to complement the efforts of all the security agencies towards community policing in Nigeria.
The group consists of Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) Southwest, Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), South West Hunters Association of Nigeria (SWHAN), Southwest Agbekoya Group (SAG), Agbekoya Farmers Society Group, and Yoruba Youth Council (YYC).
At the end of the summit, the group issued a communique, which reads in parts: “That the group shall be used as a veritable medium to foster peace, love, understanding and unity among paramilitary and security stakeholders in the Southwest.”
The group agreed also to continually bring all the stakeholders together towards achieving a common goal of protecting Southwest territory.
” We admonish all the leaders of these groups to sensitise their followers not to betray the cause of Yoruba interest. We advise the Police and all other security agencies not to see this partnership as a threat to their establishment, so as to arrive at common goals and objectives”
Meanwhile, Deputy National Commandant, Vigilante Group of Nigeria Southwest, Chief Jimoh Aliu, said the group is ready to unite in its drive and commitment to ensure that the region is secured.
“Aare Gani Adams should be commended for rising to the occasion, particularly, at this moment when the southwest is being overwhelmed with the spate of insecurity.
General Secretary of the OPC, and the representative of the group, Babajide Tanimowo, said the recommendation of the Police to partner with the OPC is a strong signal that the group will do justice to the project, saying the best modalities is for all the stakeholders to be proactive and prepared to ensure that the new security arrangement is structured towards achieving the best objectives for the group.
While speaking, Lagos State Commandant of VGN, Mr. James Udoma said the security agencies could not tackle the spate of insecurity bedevilling the country alone. He maintained that the agencies need vital information from people at the grassroots across all the communities in order for them to become more proactive in securing the South West.
He commended Aare Gani Adams for championing the cause of the Yoruba people in all facets of life, expressing the belief that profiling all the security groups was one of the best ways of making the collaboration a huge success.
Leader of Southwest Agbekoya Group, Chief Olasukanmi Ahmed, in his remark, spoke on the need to intensify efforts to build a formidable synergy that would break the jinx of disunity in Yoruba land. He urged all the stakeholders to see the gathering as opportunity to heal the wounds of the past in the interest of the Yoruba race.
“Today, there is a big opportunity for us to get our hearts together on the issue of insecurity in the southwest. Until now, there is no gathering that has offered this great opportunity, therefore, there is need for us to strategise and strengthen the new group for us to achieve our aims and objectives.
Other speakers that spoke at the meeting include, Comrade Eric Oluwole, from the Yoruba Youth Council, (YYC) Prophet Oluyemi Rufus, from Southwest Hunters Association of Nigeria and Chief Adewale Jimoh from Agbekoya Farmers Group among others.
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