By Okunade Adekunle, Lagos
The Conference of Speakers of South-West Legislatures in Nigeria on Friday, canvassed for the establishment of Special Security Offices (SSO) as a strategy to solve the security challenges facing the region.
The Speakers made this known at the meeting of the Conference of Speakers of Southwest Legislatures held at Lagos State House of Assembly Complex, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, to proffer lasting solution to security threat confronting the region.
In his welcome address, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly and Chairman of Conference of Speakers of Nigeria, Rt Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, highlighted issues bothering on the peace of the region.
“We are here today to deliberate on Southwest economic and socio-political integration for progress, we know the problems confronting us as a region which includes; kidnapping, theft, arson and herdsmen attack on our people.”
Obasa added, “It has reached an alarming height and we need to beef up our internal security,all stakeholders in Southwest should collaborate to find lasting solutions to the hydra-headed security problems confronting us.”
Obasa noted that the idea to establish Special Security offices across South-West is also in the offing, urging Federal Government to be proactive in securing Nigerian Nationals in South Africa against xenophobic attacks.
“I urge the Local Government, State and Federal Government to work assiduously to stem the threat to peace.
“There should be speedy action to halt this sad development,we condemn xenophobic attacks in its entirety and we urge our citizens to give peace a chance and not to result to vandalization of their investments in Nigeria in retaliation to South Africa xenophobia”.
Speaking with journalists after the end of the parley, the Chairman Conference of Speakers of South-West State Legislatures and Ondo State Speaker, Rt Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun cited the need for integration among the political stakeholders in the southwest for development.
According to him, we deliberated on a lot of issues bothering on unity, security threats, killings in South Africa and we condemn it in its totality.
“We want peace and unity in South-Western states and that is why we had robust debate on what can move our zone forward.”
Commenting on the models of tackling insecurity in the region, Oleyelogun said “each of the respective Speakers have to go back to his own domain and have discussions with their Governors and meet with stakeholders to fine tune the way forward.
On how to fund the proposed Special security offices to be established across southwest, he noted that the Governors are ready to support security matter.
“You can not quantify it with money as it involves lives,”Oleyelogun said.
Speaker of Ogun State Assembly, Rt Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, Oyo State Speaker, Rt Hon Adebo Ogundoyin, Ekiti State Speaker, Rt Hon. Funminiyi Afuye, Rt Hon. Timothy Owoeye of Osun, and some of the principal officers of the respective state assemblies and their Clerks were present at the meeting.