To ensure the security of lives and property in the South-West and also improve the economic base of the region, eminent Yoruba leaders yesterday said the zone will converge on Ibadan, the Oyo State capital for a non-partisan South-West Security Stakeholders Group meeting on March 17.
The leaders, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, and Pa Reuben Fasoranti, among others, who were represented at a press conference in Lagos by the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams; spokesperson of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, and Alhaji Sola Lawal, said the stakeholders meeting will proffer next line of action for Yoruba in terms of security and the economy. According to Adams, there are different layers by which insecurity can be addressed, hence, the need to coalesce the efforts of both state and non-state actors, adding that a congenial relationship exists between security and buoyant economy. He said: “We are here to represent our leaders and proclaim this campaign.
Yes, we have asked people to return to farm, and the next question is how safe are the farms from the onslaught of herdsmen? We are trying to create different layers to address the insecuritythe government layer and the non-governmental layer. “The government has started mapping out its strategies by creating an Amotekun corps.
But we feel that if the strength of the Amotekun cannot complement the effort of the regular security agencies, we should also support them too. “This meeting is to address the germane issues besetting the Yoruba nation at the moment. We are bringing together all the relevant security groups to back government and its agencies through the South-West Security Stakeholders Group. “This will bring the Vigilantes, Hunters, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Agbekoya and other groups together.
We will showcase all the leaders of these groups when we have the Pan -Yoruba conference on March a17 Mapo Hall, Ibadan.” On the recent protest of the Amalgamated Food Sellers in the northern part of the country with the blockade of foods supply from the area to the South-West, Adams said the development is unwarranted, just as he said it was a clarion call to the South-West especially its leaders to prioritise agriculture. He called on the six governors of southwest states to inject at least 15 per cent of their annual budget into agriculture, just as he suggested that they employ expertise with the Rwanda model for the agricultural sector.
On his part, Odumakin said the South-West will not be subservient to any other group or people, adding that the stakeholders’ meeting will provide a practical roadmap for the region. Also speaking, Lawal said it was only under this kind of umbrella – stakeholders’ group – can the challenge of insecurity affecting the region be effectively streamlined and addressed, adding that interested individuals and groups cannot be left to do things on their own without coordination.
“The Yoruba nation is not ready to go to war with anyone or any group, but the Yoruba nation is ever ready to defend itself and its property. What we have on the ground is a development that came about as a necessity compelled by the moment.”