Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Saturday, maintained that the government has been working round the clock to solve the security challenges in the state, assuring that challenges will not, at any point, overwhelm the state.
Adisa, who stated that though the issue of insecurity is a national problem from which the state could not be isolated, Governor Makinde has put in place different measures to surmount the challenge and ensure that the state is secure, so as to boost its increasing allure to investors and businesses.
The governor’s media aide, who stated these while speaking on a radio programme ‘The Podium’, aired on 32 FM 94.9, explained that members of the opposition party, who jump at every opportunity to criticize the administration of Governor Makinde on insecurity, are only playing politics with a sensitive matter.
Adisa noted that those always criticising Makinde and comparing his government with the previous administration were unfair, noting that if faced with the same situation of breakdown in the security architecture of the country and growing tensions, the opposition would have been helpless.
The governor’s aide stated that Governor Makinde’s position in Ibarapa that his government will prevent a recurrence of the Igangan attack is quite instructive, calling on the people of the state to trust the governor to keep his word on securing the state and to join hands with him to achieve that end.
He said: “The security problem is a national problem and here in Oyo State, we are also experiencing it. We have infiltrators from outside the state causing the type of crisis we had in Igangan.
”So, the state is not in isolation in terms of insecurity in the country. When such happens, the government will want to respond. And what did the governor do? He went to Igangan to assure the people that the government will put in place local vigilantes to respond to such issues.
“The security hurdles are not being witnessed by Oyo State alone. It is only people who want to apportion blames and dance on the grave of the dead that will say the governor is not doing this and that to fight insecurity. What can they do if they are faced with the same problems?
“This is a national issue and we have to face our president and tell him not to abdicate his roles. He should not be telling us that governors have powers and, in reality, the constitution does not give governors such powers. Yes, on paper, there is Operation Burst but we can see that they are soldiers and Civil Defence Corps, who are also under the Commander-in-Chief.
“So, there is a limit to which Operation Burst can get involved in certain things because we have to clear some other hurdles. But we are not giving excuses, the Operation Burst was a creation of Oyo State and we are using it.
“Amotekun is a creation of Oyo state and we are using them but there are also limitations to what Amotekun can do based on the issue of inter-agency rivalry that we faced initially. We are surmounting that challenge too and they are getting to do their job.”
Adisa said that as part of the efforts of the Makinde administration to tackle the security challenge, it introduced what is known as voluntary policing, which brings together state actors and non-state actors in efforts to secure the state.
He added that the institution of a Security War Room by the government has also been yielding positive results.
“You would have seen the effort made by the government to complement the security system by making sure we have local vigilantes involved in the security of the state. When anything is going to happen and the vigilantes are on ground, they will be the first point of contact and they will quickly raise the alarm.
“The Police, Army, Amotekun will act upon the information given to them by the vigilantes and make sure that there is peace. So, that is what the governor is saying when he said he will ensure that such mayhem does not occur again because we are going to put in place some structures that will make sure that before anything happens, the intelligence network would have got wind of it and act accordingly to terminate such occurrence.
“So, I can assure the people of Igangan and other places that there won’t be a crisis that will overwhelm Oyo State. As to the hoodlums’ clashes in Ibadan, yes, the Amotekun and other agencies have been engaging the Mogajis and other stakeholders. Like I said initially, some youths who grew up hearing of crises within the streets of Ibadan, think they should continue to manifest those crises. But then, the crisis points have been identified and they will be dealt with.”
Speaking on the recent violence in Iwo Road, which led to the death of a man named Rahmon Azeez and a video suggesting that the chairman of the Park Management System, PMS, Alh. Lamidi Mukaila, aka Auxiliary, allegedly led his boys in the clash with phone sellers, the governor’s aide reiterated that Governor Makinde’s position remains that the matter will be thoroughly investigated.
Adisa, who mourned the death of Rahmon and assured that the family will get justice after the conclusion of the ongoing investigation by the Police and the government, called on those in possession of facts regarding the violence to submit the same to the appropriate authorities.
He said: “The video you saw was not made by an authority somewhere but by somebody. Who is the person? You don’t know. The person who made the video should go and submit it to the Police or investigating authorities so that when they analyse the video, they will be able to apportion blame.
“We cannot trivialize this issue and that was why the governor had to rush there the following morning. We should not conclude until it is analysed by those who are investigating.
“Life has been lost and we have to handle the matter carefully to be able to get justice for the family by ensuring that those who perpetrated the crime are brought to book. And this cannot be done on the basis of circumstantial evidence but based on facts.
“Whoever has made the video should submit to the authorities. They can even go and submit to the Police right now. The Police will analyse what happened. There must be timelines to the event. I was not there when the video was taken.
“So, I cannot tell you what happened at a particular minute. There are forensic people who will say what happened before and after; they will give us a minute-by-minute report. “It is when we get to that point that we will be able to know who was at fault. Nobody should apportion blame at this point,” Adisa concluded.