Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has disclosed the details of his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Makinde, in company of Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, met with the President in Abuja over the security challenges being experienced in the South West.
The two governors’ meeting with Buhari on Wednesday followed that of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, who was hosted by Buhari at his official residence on Tuesday night.
Speaking with State House correspondents after the meeting, Makinde said he came to brief the President to ensure that he has accurate information on the security situation in Oyo State, given the amount of fake reports flying around.
He said: “There has been a lot of fake news all around and I wanted to be sure that the President clearly has first-hand information from me, which I did. We also exchanged ideas on what we need to do better, some of the programmes we have put in place to ensure that this security issue is tackled. So, that’s basically why I came here.”
On the specific issues he discussed with the President, the governor said: “Well, one of the issues I discussed with him is that Oyo State landmass is quite big, Oyo State is close to 29,000 square kilometres. If you take all the states in the South East geopolitical zone of Nigeria, they are still not as big as Oyo State. And the state right now only has two Mobile Police Squadrons.
“So, I requested for more Mobile Police Squadrons to be deployed to Oyo State and also ask for support for the joint security outfit because the underlying issue here also has to do with limited opportunities.
“The tension will definitely go down if a lot of our youths are gainfully employed. So, I briefed the president on what we are doing in that regard.”
Speaking on his disagreement with Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho, ovr the ultimatum he issued to Fulanis to leave Oyo State, Makinde said: “Well, we have a history of living together peacefully among all the ethnic groups that are present in Oyo State.
“For instance, what triggered all of this was that Dr Aborode was murdered, that is criminal, but on the other hand, Seriki, Alhaji Kabir has been staying in that same place for 40 years.
“So, quite frankly, the people we are after are criminals. They are the bandits, hoodlums, armed robbers, kidnappers. Those are the true enemy of the state and those are the people we will go after.
“The Constitution of Nigeria guarantees that you can live in any part of Nigeria, you just have to be law-abiding, obey the local laws in such areas. That is what we are pushing and will continue to push as a government.”
Earlier, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi told State House correspondents that he came to see the President in order to stress the need not to allow the issue of insecurity in the country to be politicised.
He admonished that politics should be separated from insecurity so as not to jeopardize the lives of citizens.
“I am here particularly because of all the issues of security threat here and there and to get the blessing of the president, it won’t turn out to be very political because political parties might probably want to hijack it.
“And to the glory of God, as the co-chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers, it is our responsibility and our fiduciary duty to make sure that everything is right, all and sundry is in good shape.
“So, the take-home here is the President has assured that it is not going to be a political thing because we all know the problem all over the country; we have a lot of bad eggs that mix across the entire country and we are having that issue again in the South West,” Oba Ogunwusi added.
“So, I am here as the co-chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers to get the assurance of the president that either of the parties won’t turn it to be a political funfair for us to just risk the lives of our people, our innocent citizens not only in the South West but the entire country.
“I am happy he has told me that I should assure other traditional rulers that we must work with them now. It is very important for us to work very closely with the government so that we can separate the good, the bad and the ugly.”