Oyo governor Seyi Makinde has vowed to clamp down on kidnappers in the state.
The move follows Yoruba activist Sunday Igboho’s illegal crusade against Fulani herdsmen who are accused of murder, rape, kidnapping and vandalism. Igboho and his supporters say they are able to act because the government failed to secure the state.
Makinde has now promised to tackle the surge in criminal activities. The governor promised to work with police commissioner Ngozi Onadeko.
“We have resolved to redeploy 200 members of the Oyo State Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Amotekun to kidnapping/banditry hotspots in the state, especially in the Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun zones,” Makinde said.
“These operatives will launch missions to rid the forests of criminals. They will be presenting daily reports of the activities to me in the short run and periodic reports in the long run.
“In the next few weeks, we will hold town hall meetings and community outreaches, bringing together residents and security agencies to talk about any issues of immediate concern and how they can be resolved through dialogue and more effective community policing.
“As stated in an earlier press conference, we 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.
“We 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. We 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.
“Collaboration with federal security agencies
Our administration will continue to support the police and other federal security agencies posted to the state in the discharge of their duties.
“We are aware that some farmers have been killed and/or lost their livelihoods to criminal trespass and damage by pastoralists. And so, the State Executive Council is considering the possibility of compensation payments to families of victims or victims of this criminality who can prove their claims.
“We have started the process of prosecuting all suspects arrested for criminal activities in Ibarapa and the Oke-Ogun zones of the state in connection with the ongoing tensions in the area.
“Let me thank residents of Oyo State who complied with the directive to remain peaceful, and call on all residents to stay vigilant and always contact the security agencies empowered by law to deal with security issues.
“We remain resolute in our commitment to protect the lives and properties of residents of our dear state,” he said.