Following complaints raised by residents of Oke-Ogun axis Oyo over insecurity, the State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has ordered the deployment of 200 personnel of Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Amotekun to Ibarapa and other towns axis to restore normalcy within the zone.
Makinde added that the personnel mission in the zone would be flush out criminals that have converted the forest to hide out where residents were held after kidnapping and where the criminals engaged often in other unlawful acts.
The governor, in a statement released on Wednesday, disclosed that he would personally monitor their activities and ensure that reports on progress made on their operations are submitted to him.
Also, he said: “We have started the process of prosecuting all suspects arrested for criminal activities in Ibarapa and the Oke-Ogun zones of the state in connection with the ongoing tensions in the area”.
Makinde added that plans have been initiated to compensate farmers, families, and victims of the attacks in order to ensure normalcy is restored within the zone and other parts of the state where bandits and kidnappers have raided, destroying businesses as well as inflicted injuries on residents.
According to him, the State Executive Council is considering the possibility of compensation payments to families of victims or victims of this criminality who can prove their claims.
Aside from these, the governor disclosed that a town hall meeting would be held in a few weeks to afford residents and security agencies to discuss any issues of immediate concern and the best strategy that can be adopted to resolve them through dialogue and a more effective community policing.
Makinde emphasised that the actions taken by the government would not affect the ongoing documentation of foreigners into the state, saying, we will be proceeding with the documentation of foreigners, especially those who are working in mines. This will ensure that only foreigners who have legitimate interests in Oyo State will remain within our territory.
He added that efforts would be intensified on the enforcement of Oyo State Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Law, 2019, earlier designed to prevent face-off between farmers and herders in the state, noting, this law also regulates the activities of herdsmen in Oyo State.
“We have directed the Amotekun Corps to continue collaborating with ‘Operation Burst’ and local vigilante groups in enforcing this law. You will recall that in the security meeting of southwest governors and other stakeholders two days ago, it was agreed that open grazing should be banned in the entire southwest zone”.
While assuring that his administration would continue to support the Nigerian Police and other federal security agencies posted to Oyo state in the discharge of their duties, Makinde commended the residents for their compliance with the directive to remain peaceful.
He added: “But you all should stay vigilant and always contact the security agencies empowered by law to deal with security issues. We remain resolute in our commitment to protect the lives and properties of residents of our dear state”.