South West security outfit takes off Jan 9, says Fayemi

Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Kayode Fayemi, briefing State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA


Urges community leaders, groups to be agents of peace

Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has disclosed that the joint security outfit, ‘Amotekun’, initiated by the six governors in the South West would commence operations on January 9, 2020. Fayemi, who disclosed this in his New Year message to the people of the state, said the outfit would complement the efforts of the regular security agencies.

“On January 9, 2020, the Western Nigeria Security Network known as ‘Amotekun’ shall commence operations in all the six states in our zone. Ekiti is very active in this initiative, which will go a long way in securing the people and protecting the state.”He urged community leaders and groups not to allow themselves to be used to cause unnecessary tension that could trigger tribal crisis in the state, but be agents of peace.

Probably alluding to the fears in some towns that Fulani herders were allegedly planning to annex their lands for occupation, Fayemi said the primary assignment of every responsible government was the security of lives and property, promising to discharge that duty well.

The leaders of Orin Ekiti community in Ido/Osi council had last year raised the alarm that some herders had destroyed crops worth over N50 million and hoisted their flag with intention to forcefully take over 2,500 acres of land at a section of the town for grazing.

Fayemi said, “I have personally kept a close watch on the security situation within and around Ekiti State, and I can assure you that, as a government, we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure safety of lives and property in our dear state. Ekiti remains one of the safest places to live, work and conduct business in Nigeria.

“The fact remains, however, that criminality cannot be totally eradicated, even as we are working meticulously at reducing it to the barest minimum in Ekiti State, and the evidence is there for all to see and acknowledge that we are making steady progress. We are also working with neighbouring states to strengthen our security architecture.”He urged community leaders and groups not to spread fake or unsubstantiated news that might set the residents against themselves or destabilise the state.

“We must encourage our people to report any strange signal or incident, but we must resist the temptation of resorting to self-help at any time,” he added.

According to the governor, this year’s budget of deliverables bears eloquent testimonies to his deliberate and honest quest at providing good road network and improving the enabling environment for business concerns in the state.

Disclosing that his government was working with Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) on the improvement of supply and distribution of electricity in the state, fayemi said he had been working on a more permanent solution with the support of African Development Bank (AfDB) towards the improvement of transmission and generation of independent power in the state via renewable vehicles.

He said the government was taking steps to rejig the agriculture sector by making use of the grossly under-utilised arable land for the promotion and sustenance of agribusiness and would make the solid mineral sector the mainstay of the economy.

“We have also restructured and expanded our rice and cassava programmes through partnership with key private sector players like Dangote Farms, Jumlar Rice Limited and Stallion Rice who are all setting up rice mills in the state in 2020 and a number of cassava mills are also coming up.”

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AFDBKayode Fayemi
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