By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
The Nigerian Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday met with the traditional rulers in Osun state for consultations over security challenges in the state, and South West region in general.
Speaking with journalists shortly after the closed door meeting, Osinbajo said community policing remains one of the method of policing the government have adopted.
The Vice President said in order to tackle the menance of insecurity in the country, the local community through Community Policing arrangement must be involved.
He described traditional rulers as important component of security architecture in all the communities in Nigeria, adding that there was ongoing consultations among critical stakeholders.
His words: “We are meeting purposely to understand the security architecture of the region; you know we have already had consultations with state governors from the South West.
“These consultations continued, and we are meeting with traditional rulers because they are important component of our security architecture, particularly because we are working on community policing.
“Community policing remains one of the method of policing we have adopted, and I am sure you heard the Inspector General of Police talking about recruiting police locally from their local governments, those who understand the environment, the language and the culture of the people they are policing.
“We are confident that this method will work, with these men and women on ground in all the our communities”, Osinbajo said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the state governor, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola said that the security challenges the state is facing at present was as a result of a conspiracy of factors among which was the movement of some criminal elements to mining sites in the state.
The governor who was represented by the deputy governor, Mr. Benedict Alabi said that the state peaceful status has changed this year due to the raging security situation in some parts of the country, which spilled over to the state.
According to him, “Osun has a very long stretch of the Federal highway from the boundary with Oyo State in Asejire to Owena, the boundary with Ondo State.
“Besides, our State shares border with five States – Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti, Kwara and Ogun – thereby making it susceptible to trans-border crimes.”
While highlighting the steps taken by his administration, Oyetola said “We have adopted a preemptive approach in our resolve to tame the monster of insecurity. We held security meeting with all stakeholders in the State in Osogbo and followed it up with another meeting in Ife-Ilesa zone, the mining-rich area, so as to address the influx of criminals into the communities.
“Governors in the South West have held a security summit whose decision to work jointly is a panacea for the menace.
“We have collaborated with the neigbouring States, mobilized vigilance groups and local hunters to police the flash points and other parts of the State.
“I have visited mining sites to assess the security situation there and the extent of environmental degradation.
“I have visited the Chief of Army Staff, the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the State Security Service, to solicit support for our security plans.
“The General Officer Commanding 2 Division of the Nigerian Army has visited us in Osogbo on the directive of the Chief of Army Staff to pledge support for our security plans, including the joint patrol by security agents.
“Government has increased logistics support for security agencies in the State.”
Oyetola commended President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government for being proactive and for showing interest in the security of the people of the state and the South West.
The governor who said that state believes in the pragmatic approach of the Federal Government to take the nation to the Next Level in the face of the raging economic downturn assured the Vice President that the state will continue to render support to ensure that, collectively, the nation is rescue from the present hard times.