Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the major opposition party in Oyo State have been very vocal in the past two weeks. They have focused and highlighted the cases of insecurity in Oyo State. The recurring refrain is “Osla” because of the alleged involvement of Alhaji Lamidi Mukaila’s (Aka Auxiliary) boys in the thuggery that led to the death of one in Iwo Road. Their song? Seyi Makinde has taken us back to days of thuggery in Ibadan.
The days of thuggery in their estimation are the days pre-Senator Abiola Ajimobi’s tenure as governor of Oyo State. The days of the Adedibu/Ladoja fracas, which saw “an armed melee on the floor of the state legislature.” The days when traders hastily closed shop when they heard that “Adedibu’s boys” are in the area.
They want to gaslight students of history into forgetting the years between 2016 and 2019 when one million boys and other gangs reigned supreme and took to destroying houses, properties and stores whenever they clashed with rival cults. They want us to forget how the Cathedral Church of Saint David which is just a stone’s throw away from the family house of Adelabu Adegoke ‘Penkelemesi’, at Kudeti was turned into a “theatre of violence”.
However, there are real and present security challenges in Oyo State. These challenges are a threat to Governor Seyi Makinde’s Road Map to Accelerated Development in Oyo State 2019-2023. The governor himself has acknowledged this, and says he is doing everything to protect the people of Oyo State. In fact, he recently threw a challenge that should put paid to all speculations regarding his ability to solve the security issues in Oyo State by listening to suggestions proffered by people who claim to know better.
While inaugurating the board of the Oyo State Security Network (Amotekun Corps), he challenged the opposition to a debate, saying those who think they have a solution to the security challenges in Oyo State should come forward and say what they would have done that he hasn’t.
Therefore, Oyo Affairs has taken the time to catalogue the actions of the present administration for the past two years in a quest to answer the question: What should Seyi Makinde be doing differently. Because in reality, you must first know what is being done, before you pinpoint what needs to be done differently.
The security related actions of Governor Seyi Makinde are for the records:
- September 30, 2019 615 Emergency Contact number was launched
- October 31, 2019 The Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Bill, 2019 was signed into law.
- November 19, 2020 Distributed 100 security patrol vehicles equipped with modern gadgets to the Oyo State police
- January 9, 2020 Led the charge as southwest governors launched the Amotekun corps in Ibadan
- March 10, 2020 Signed State Security Network Agency (Àmọ̀tẹ́kùn) Bill, 2020 into law
- June 18, 2020 Upgraded and expanded the Security Control Room and City Watch facilities at the Oyo State Security Trust Fund Headquarters, Onireke, Jericho, Ibadan
- July 24, 2020 Inaugurated the Oyo State Community Policing Advisory Committee
- August 26, 2020 Met with the caretaker chairmen of local government areas to discuss security at the grassroot level
- November 18, 2020 Operationalised the Amotekun Corps with 1,500 members
- December 11, 2020 Distributed 25 additional operational vehicles to the Swift Response Squad (SRS) and ‘Operation Burst.’
- December 15, 2020 Distributed additional 33 operational vehicles and 396 motorcycles to Amotekun Corps
- January 25, 2021 Attended the Southwest Security Stakeholders’ meeting where open grazing was collectively banned by the governors
- January 27, 2021 Redeployed 200 members of Amotekun Corps to Ibarapa zone
- February 1, 2021 Handed over additional vehicles to the Amotekun Corps in Ibarapa zone
- March 15, 2021 Inaugurated an 11-man State Security Task Force. The task force holds weekly security meetings
- March 31, 2021 Held security meeting with the Traditional Council of Chiefs and heads of security agencies
- April 26, 2021 Inspected the Joint Security Base located at Mamu Village on the Oyo/Ogun border. The base has CCTV cameras connected to the State Security Control Room at Onireke, Jericho
- April 26, 2021 Donated 9 operational vehicles to the police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)
- June 21, 2021 Inaugurated the Governing Board of the Amotekun corps.
- June 22, 2021 Charged the local government chairpersons to establish security councils at their respective LGAs
So, what should Seyi Makinde be doing differently?
It is a matter of fact that Governor Seyi Makinde is the most responsive state governor in the entire southwest. He turns up for his people, despite the loss of national political capital. He was there for the youths during the End SARS protests. He asked the police to take the back seat, a suggestion that was misconstrued by the police and cost him several months of no-policing. Even now, the police are still reluctant to work with him.
He was there again for the June 12 protests, assuring the people of the protection of their constitutional rights. Even in the heat of the Iwo Road mayhem when some papers claimed he hid from the protesting youths, he was out there talking to them, enduring their boos until they calmed and spoke with him. He was at Igangan, taking responsibility for the failings of a federal structure.
What more can Seyi Makinde do?
It is our hope at Oyo Affairs that those who feel he is doing nothing will take up the challenge and proffer solutions not just for Oyo State’s security challenges but for Nigeria as a whole.