GOVERNORS of the six states in the southwest geo-political zone have agreed to engage the services of local vigilante groups to tackle growing insecurity in a bid to arrest the ongoing scourge of Fulani cattle herdsmen running riot across the region.
Of late, southwest Nigeria has become a haven for kidnappers and hoodlums as armed Fulani herdsmen have taken over many of the highways in the zone, setting up illegal roadblocks and ambushing vehicles. They have also established forest camps where they take their victims and hold them until ransoms are paid or kill them if their relatives refuse to oblige.
Amid rising tension, the governors of the six states met and decided to launch a regional security outfit to address the problem. Ondo State’s Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, the current chairman of the South West Governors Forum, disclosed that all the governors have agreed to engage the services of local vigilante groups to tackle insecurity in the zone.
Governor Akeredolu represented by his deputy, Agboola Ajayi at the regional security summit convened by the inspector-general of police, Mohammed Adamu, said: “Ondo State with other five states of the southwest, the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (Dawn), are trying to engage our local vigilantes and collaborate with security agencies. This cannot be achieved without involving our traditional rulers who are the custodians of our culture, who know everybody in their communities.
“With the little resources at our disposal, the Ondo State government will continue to do its best. Very soon, we will launch the Security Trust Fund that will take care of the security arrangement of the state.
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, also unveiled the security agenda of his administration, at the event, saying the recent deterioration in the state of security across the southwest and the country at large prompted the Dawn security summit. He said there was a consensus on measures to be put in place to address insecurity across the geo-political zone.