The Oyo State government is set to deploy 200 additional operatives of Amotekun Corps to Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun areas to curb kidnapping and banditry there.
Governor Seyi Makinde announced this in Ibadan on Wednesday at the end of a meeting held with representatives of the communities and security stakeholders.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Ngozi Onadeko, was also present at the meeting.
“The Amotekun operatives will launch missions to rid forests in the areas of criminals.
“The operatives will be presenting daily reports of their activities to the governor in the short run and periodic reports in the long run.
“The government will continue to enforce the Oyo State Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Law, 2019, as the law also regulates the activities of herdsmen in Oyo State.
“The authorities have directed the Amotekun Corps to continue collaborating with other security operatives and local vigilance 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 be banned in the entire southwest zone,’’ the governor said.
The state government’s move came amidst the increased insecurity in the Oke-Ogun and Ibarapa communities in the state.
Last week, some of the communities resorted to self-help, with a self-titled Yoruba warrior, Sunday Adeyemo (popularly known as Sunday Igboho), leading the charge to expel herdsmen from their domain.
At a meeting between the six south-west governors and Miyetti Allah cattle breeders on Monday, the groups agreed to take measures aimed at tackling the insecurity in the region.
On Wednesday, Mr Makinde stated that his administration would adopt continuous dialogue, “as one of the measures aimed at ending insecurity in Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun axis.
“In the next few weeks, the government will hold town hall meetings and community outreaches so as to bring together residents and security agencies to talk about security issues of immediate concerns.
“The meetings will also examine how those security issues of immediate concerns can be resolved through dialogue and more effective community policing,’’ he stated.
The governor added that the state government would ensure the documentation of foreigners resident in the state as one of the strategies to combat crime.
He said the documentation would ensure that only foreigners who had legitimate interests in Oyo State remained in the state.
Another measure contained in the security strategy was the decision to further collaborate with federal security agencies operating in the state.
Gov Makinde stated that his administration was aware of how some farmers had been killed while others lost their means of livelihoods to criminal trespass and damage by pastoralists.
He said the state government was considering the possibility of paying compensation to families of victims or victims of such criminality who could prove their claims.
He declared that the state government had started the process of prosecuting all suspects arrested over criminal activities in Ibarapa and the Oke-Ogun, especially in connection with the ongoing tensions in the area.
Mr Makinde thanked residents of Oyo State who complied with the directive to remain peaceful and called on them to stay vigilant and always contact security agencies empowered by law to deal with security issues.
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