By Oladapo Udom and Lucy Osuizigbo
Lagos – Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Wednesday called for collective vigilance to boost security at the grassroots and the use of various security platforms to address insecurity in the state.
Ambode made the call at a security Round table event organised by the Yoruba Koya Movement in Lagos.
The programme has the theme: “Protecting Yoruba Land: Migrant Incursion and Threat to Peace and Security of Lagos State”.
The Governor was represented by his Special Adviser on Security and Intelligence, Mr Kunle Ajanaku,.
He said that the state government would work with Law enforcement agencies, traditional institutions and religious bodies to police the neighbourhood closely.
“The state government has taken certain classified actions to insulate residents from any unforeseen situation, “ he said.
Ambode said the actions include sustained liaison with the immigration service and other security agencies to monitor and profile the various cluster of settlers across the state.
“The immigration service at the moment has embarked on massive sensitisation for those with genuine documents to come forward for documentation.
“As a government, we shall enhance collective vigilance at the grassroots, using our security platforms, law enforcement agencies in conjunction with traditional institutions and religious bodies to police our neighbourhood closely. “
He said the state government would continue to strengthen the police and other law enforcement agencies by developing their capacity to enable them respond adequately to emergencies.
“Our security team in Lagos State is also working with the security team of the south-west, established by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, to ensure security is at its top notch.”
Also speaking, Aare Gani Adams, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba Land, identified state policing, restructuring and running true federalism as some of the solutions to insecurity in the country.
Adam was represented by Mr Yinka Oguntimeyin, National Secretary, Oodua People’s Congress (OPC).
Adams said that the group would continue to work with state governments and security agencies to ensure safety of lives and property.
“As an organisation, we have always provided state policing in the south-west.
“There is hardly any street in Yoruba Land where you will not see our OPC members who believe strongly in the entrenchment of democracy and the propagation of Yoruba culture and values.
“With the proper synergy within the various groups we have in the south-west, movements like Yoruba Koya and others can ascertain the safety of lives and property in the south-west.
“By the time we work with the traditional rulers of our land and the people who inhabit these lands, our lands will be secured,” he said.
In his address, Second Republic Senator, Prof. Banji Akintoye, said that the only way to address incursion of migrants was to restructure the country.
“We have reached a point in many villages in the south-west where people find it difficult to live their normal lives out of fear of being attacked by herdsmen.
“The painful thing is that, most of these herdsmen are not Nigerians but come from other neighbouring countries.
Akintoye said that the Yoruba people were not against other people coming to their lands but that as a people and a race, will resist people coming into their lands to destroy lives and property.
The professor lauded KOYA for the initiative, noting that it was young men of vision who liberated the society.
Meanwhile, Mr Deji Osibogun, the Convener of the Movement, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to start the dialogue of restructuring as a way to address the many challenges facing the country.
Osibogun also urged Gov. Ambode to re-evalute the strength of the vigilante forces in the state to see that it remained reliable and not driven by self interest.