Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State has charged Nigerians particularly the stakeholders and security agencies to partner the traditional rulers in the fight against the scourge.
Governor Oyetola gave the charge on Wednesday while addressing the people at the National Summit on Security and Insecurity in Nigeria,the role of traditional rulers held at Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, Osogbo.
This is also as the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, the Chairman and Co-Chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria respectively, tasked the government and the citizens to remain committed to the peace and unity of the country.
The duo, in their separate remarks, also pledged the readiness of the traditional rulers to partner with government in combating the scourge of insecurity in Nigeria.
Governor Oyetola said for the country to overcome the menace, security agencies must collaborate with the traditional rulers, sensitise and encourage their subjects to provide intelligence and expose the criminals in their domains.
He lauded the organisers of the Summit for the initiative, advising that the programme should be held regularly both at state and national levels as a way of enhancing security in the country.
”The state of Osun holds traditional rulers in high esteem as the embodiments and custodians of our culture, tradition and our Omoluabi ethos which make us tick,” Governor Oyetola added.
Earlier, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, expressed the readiness of the traditional rulers to partner the government in strengthening security in the country, just as he reiterated the commitment of the monarchs to ensuring a united Nigeria.
He called for good leadership and committed following as panacea for ensuring a sustainable peace in the country.
Oba Ogunwusi emphatically said, “Amotekun has come to stay” in a veil reference to the South West Nigeria security architecture to complement national security agencies while he allayed the fears of other sections of the country by restating the commitment of the region to a unoted indivisoble Nigeria.
He thus asserted that security of lives and property is fundamental to existence just as he advocated the need for government to return security matters to traditional rulers for effective and efficient policing at the grassroots.
Also, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, called on Nigerian leaders to do the needful in maintaining peace and stability in the country.
He canvassed peaceful coexistence among Nigerians just as he expressed readiness to continue to partner government to enhance the security in the country.
The Sultan, who canvassed a return to renaissance past of rich cultural ethos, norms and values also advocated good governance and justice as panacea for national security. He said, “there cant be good governance without and there cant be justice without good governance.”
He charged the citizens to rise to the occasion and speak up with one voice in all honesty and fear of God to ensure permanent peace in Nigeria.
He also called for proper upbringing of the young ones, saying the gesture would go a long way to prevent vices in the society.
He maintained that the time had come for all to follow the path that would continue to promote peace, unity, and tranquillity, particularly in the wake of dire security situation in the country.
The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi who was represented by the State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Rasaq Bakare stressed the importance of family unit in the societal configuration as the foundation of peace and security building.
He enjoined the traditional monarchs to go back to the cultural past when festivals and songs were used to correct the ills in the community.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding and a former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola expressed conviction that it is not too late to pull Nigeria back from the brink and save the country from Boko Haram, banditry and the myriads of other security problems that are threatening its corporate existence.
In his remark at the conference on “Security and Insecurity: Role of the Traditional Institution,” organised by the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU), Oyinlola lamented the present precarious security situation in the country, saying the country had almost become the modern version of the Hobbesian state “where life is nasty, brutish and short.”
He, however, expressed confidence in the ability of traditional rulers to inspire the restoration of the country to the path of peace, growth and development, given their history and reputation as effective intelligence and security officers in their respective domains.
He explained that the focus of the conference on security vis-a-vis the role of traditional rulers was informed by “the time-tested truth that at all times when things threaten to fall apart for our nation, the lot always fall on our fathers to do the pull-back from the brink.”
The CBCIU, he said, “feels that this is the time to harness the intelligence-gathering and conflict-resolution abilities of our monarchs for the safety of Nigerians and the stability of Nigeria.”
According to him, “While the government has continued to adopt an uneven carrot and stick approach to addressing security issues in the country, it is noted that very scant attention is being paid to the huge difference which the involvement of our traditional institutions would make in calming the furious oceans of terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes that currently threaten to overrun everyone and sink the ship of Nigeria.
“This conference seeks to bridge that operational gap and come up with ideas that will further tighten the noose round the neck of the enemy.”
Oyinlola commended the armed forces, the police and other security agencies for the sacrifices they have continued to make daily so that Nigerians could be safe.
He also lauded governors for being alive to their responsibilities despite what he called the constitutional and legal absurdities that had made them chief security officers of their states without any power over all security organs operating in their states.
“We note the huge resources the governors of the North East, North West and North Central states daily pump into Federal Government-owned security forces to combat terrorism, banditry and other allied crimes.
“We note, with pride, the sterling initiative recently taken by the governors of the South West states to tackle and tame violent crimes, particularly kidnapping and attack on farmers and to prevent, from coming here, banditry which has almost turned other places to ungovernable territories.
“I refer, specifically, to the Amotekun Initiative which appears to have suddenly woken up the Federal Government to the urgency of increasing its efforts at securing the lives and properties of Nigerians,” the retired military top brass added.
The Director- General of the Centre, Professor Siyan Oyeweso in his welcome address did an historical chronicle of series of events culminating into security breach and insecurity in Nigeria changing the face and narratives of a once harmonious peaceful coexistence of different nationalities subsumed into the Nigerian project.Since it was tje traditional rulers that were ruling their territories peacefully before the advent of colonialism and indirect rule system of administration, it would be expedient to call them to interrogate the glorious past in order to solve the current malaise.
Traditional rulers at the conference included the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ojaja 11; the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ajero of Ijero Ekiti, Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Aderenle Kiladejo, the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin; the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, who was represented by the Agba-Akin Olubadan, Chief Lekan Alabi; the Timi of Ede, Oba Adesola Lawal; the Owa of Obokun, Oba Dr. Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran; the Olokuku of Okuku and the Akinrun of Ikirun, Oba Rauf Olawale; Obasaaju of Oweland, Kabba.
Others are the Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye; members of the Osun State Executive Council, Director- General, Developmental Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Seye Oyeleye; security operatives; members of the civil society organisations; hunters, vigilantes, top government officials; and political leaders.