Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State says the sustainable peace and security enjoyed by residents of the state in the last eight years were resultant effects of the several initiatives evolved by his administration.
He made the disclosure on Thursday during a Public lecture and Fellowship Investiture organised by the Society for Peace Studies and Practice at the Subomi Balogun Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the governor delivered a lecture entitled: ‘Peace and Security Architecture for Sustainable Development in Oyo State’.
NAN also reports that the governor was honoured as a distinguished fellow of the society at the lecture.
Ajimobi said that his administration on assumption of office in 2011 took the restoration of peace and security as a priority, adding that the state was before then known as a `garrison’.
He said: “As part of efforts to restore peace and security, we tamed NURTW perennial crisis, established Joint Security Task Force known as `Operation Burst’ and the first Security Trust Fund in the state.
“We established State Inter-Religious/Ethnic Committee, Oyo State Multi-Door Court House and Negotiation/Democratisation of security through Community Relations Department.
“We also set up Oyo State Safe City Project which allowed installation of surveillance camera.’’
The governor also said his administration tamed the perennial crisis of NURTW leadership in the state, expressing satisfaction that his administration would be handing over a peaceful state.
He counseled his successor to take the issue of peace and security seriously, urging him not allow the state return to the era of brigandage.
He said: “When I came in 2011 and the leadership of NURTW visited me, they told me they were for me and I said no! I am for peace. I warned them not to foment any trouble or they would be arrested and jailed.
“They conformed to the directive and peace was back. To make an omelette, you must break eggs. For you to make sustainable changes possible, you must step on toes.
“They grudgingnly agreed that the reign of terror had to stop and today we are talking about the prevalence of peace in the state.
“I make bold to say that if peace is the only achievement people will remember this administration for, I am happy for it.”
Prof. Idowu Olayinka, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, said that none among other governors was more qualified for the honour than Ajimobi.
He hinged his judgment on the giant strides recorded by the governor in the area of peace and security which also led to immense growth in business.
“I know as of today that you cannot get any other person worthy of this honour than the governor.
“The point has been made that he occupied the Agodi Government House twice.
“When Ajimobi assumed office as the governor, there were only two universities in Ibadan. Today, there are many universities as well as many businesses which are indicative of presence of peace and tranquility which lead to the growth of commerce.”
Earlier, Dr Nathaniel Danjubo, SPSP president, said the honour bestowed on the governor was based on the qualities he had demonstrated in governance.
He said that his administration had succeeded in taming the hitherto NURTW skirmishes, bank robberies and other notorious crimes in the state.
Danjubo said: “We look out for individuals that have contributed to promotion of peace in the society. The society does not run after luxury and material things but credibility and human struggle to work and maintain peace.’’
Among Nigerians that had been honoured by SPSP as fellows of the society were a former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Niger, Aliyu Babangida and Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti.