The governors of the six South-west states have vowed to put their political affiliations aside to confront the security challenges facing their region.
Five of the governors were elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while Seyi Makinde of Oyo State is of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The five APC governors include Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, and Gboyega Oyetola of Osun.
They made this pledge in separate remarks at a security summit, titled: “Stakeholders’ Security Summit: Focus on Western Nigeria” held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Tuesday.
The summit was organised by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, which is an organ of the six states established to pursue their aspiration of socio-economic integration.
The event was attended by the six governors, security chiefs, traditional rulers, leaders of thought and prominent groups in the region.
Mr Akeredolu, who is the Chairman of the Western Nigeria Governors Forum, declared the summit open. He said that no sacrifice is too much for the governors to make to protect their people.
He said the governors had decided to cast their party affiliations aside to tackle the security challenges facing the region.
“This meeting has become exigent considering the spate of insecurity in the country. The anxiety of our people is palpable. The growing fear among the populace makes nonsense of any plans conceived for the development of our God-given space.
“It is my fervent hope that this engagement will not be limited to the current challenge which threatens to wreck our collective peace. I look forward to future interactions on matters as important and affective as this one which compels this assembly.
“There is no gainsaying the obvious; the issue of socio-economic integration in the region must be taken seriously for any aspiration towards development to be meaningful. No remarkable progress can be achieved amidst chaos. No State in the Region can achieve greatness in isolation.
“Partisan coloration should not delimit the extent of collaboration aimed at maximum service for our people. With shared yearnings for the development of the region, there should be no difficulty in agreeing to provide the best services possible in the interest of our people.
“There should be no disagreement in aspiration for service, if altruism is the focus. Our seeming difference, considering political platforms, should not stand in the way of commitment to promote the collective well-being of our people.
“Convinced of our shared heritage, propelled by the desire to proceed on the enviable tradition of excellence for which our ancestors are reputed, we cannot harbour any extraneous preferences to this inherited and established course of development,” the Ondo governor said.
Mr Akeredolu also made recommendations for the security of the region.
These include proper coordination of the activities of all formal and informal security groups, free flow of information regarding crime from members of the public, establishment of a toll-free line for crime reporting in the states across the region and joint border patrols with neighbouring states.
In his welcome address, the host governor, Mr Makinde of Oyo, said the governors’ primary role is to ensure that everyone living in the region is safe.
“As governors, it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone in our midst, indigene or alien residents is assured of security of their life and property. We also known that there are barriers preventing us from carrying out this constitutional responsibility to the fullest measure.”
Mr Fayemi on his part said drones had been deployed to tackle some of the security challenges facing the region.
Messrs Sanwo-Olu, Abiodun, and Oyetola in their addresses said security issue was the topic of discussion of the governors in the region.
They said the governors had decided to cooperate in tackling security challenges in the region.