Replicate Working Security Strategy, Promote Emergency Number ‘615’ in Your Communities — Makinde Charges LG Chairman

Engr. ‘Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo State, has asked the newly elected Local Government Chairmen, Vice-Chairmen, and Heads of Local Government Administrations (HLAs) in the state’s 33 Local Government Councils to promote the security control room number 615 in their respective communities.

Governor Makinde said this as he wrapped up a two-day retreat at the Ilaji Hotel and Sports Complex in Akanran, Ibadan. He added that his government has been working hard to find a long-term solution to the sector’s difficulties.

When the ongoing efforts to rebuild the security system are done, he stated that the federal government will follow the state’s lead.

He said: “The number of the security control room is 615. Call it. When there was an issue at Igangan, I didn’t get the report that anyone called the number. It started at about 11:30 p.m. Call 615 to address any distressing issue. You need to promote the number at the local government level as elected officials. Take it upon yourselves now to ensure that every household is conversant with the 615 number and call it when they are in trouble. Also, encourage your people to say something to you when they see something so you can take the information to appropriate quarters.”

The governor also praised Forsterfield Consulting for putting together a well-organized retreat in collaboration with the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and the Special Adviser on Strategy and Political Matters.

Governor Makinde admonished the chairmen to step up their game on the subject of security and take responsibility for the security of their domains, stating that while security is everyone’s duty, those in government will be held accountable.

He also urged the chairmen to consider adopting the state government’s Security Task Force strategy, hold regular security meetings, and collaborate with the Amotekun, federal security agencies, and the state government’s voluntary policing project.
He also requested that the heads of the councils increase the scope of information gathering in their respective sectors.

He said: “There is a state Security Task Force, you can replicate that at the local government level. Meet once a week and review. I can bet that by the time we are done grinding our security architecture, they will copy it at the national level in this country. So, you should step up to the table and ensure that, at each of your local government areas, you take responsibility.

“Yes, it is a collective responsibility. The government alone cannot handle it but somebody will have to hold the rod of accountability and because you are the elected representatives of the people, you have to take responsibility even sometimes for things that are well beyond your control.

“The Amotekun people are there. There are challenges to get them as an agency to work with federal institutions because there is a rivalry. You guys should see it as the time to put all of them together and we have to thrive. Also, we have voluntary policing. You know some of the youths within your localities, get them into the scheme.

“When I went to Igangan, I said we would start funding the hunters and local vigilantes and we made the arrangement. Today, I am glad that the HLAs are here. We are passing through a very challenging period. So, everybody must come together to support that initiative. If we get it right, monthly, we will ensure that we make provision for them because they are quite important.

“From the report I have on Ibarapa, both open and confidential, it would have been a lot worse if not for local hunters and vigilantes. So, we need to strengthen that network.

“Most important is the issue of intelligence. The failure we got at Igangan was that people saw the bandits converging during the day but nobody reported the case. So, you also need to strengthen intelligence gathering in each of your local government areas.”

Governor Makinde, who also charged the local government officials to operate with the fear of God and put the interest of the people first in all their activities at the local councils, maintained that the people of the state expect good governance and dividends of democracy from the councils.

While urging local council officials to consider adopting the state government’s four service point agenda or pillars or working on their own based on the councils’ unique circumstances, he stated that the state government would continue to support the councils in achieving their mandate of providing quality service to the people at the grassroots.

He said: “I am glad that we can organize this retreat. We tried having it when some of you were interim chairmen and chairpersons but the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t give us the opportunity. But today, we thank God that in Oyo State, COVID-19 is taking a back seat. At least, from the reports given to me, there is nobody in the Infectious Disease Centre, which is our isolation center at Olodo.

“I want to say that the people of Oyo State voted for you and are expecting from you dividends of democracy at the local level. For the state election, most of you joined me to campaign together. So, you have all contributed to putting the government at the state in there.

“This is a good time for us to interact and for me to share one or two things with you. I am sure a lot of you are familiar with our Roadmap for Accelerated Development (2019-2023). We brought out the document before the election and I am happy to tell you that the author of the document, Professor Musbau Babatunde, is also here today. We spent several days and weeks together, knocking the document and it has served us as the blueprint for this administration. We are not going anywhere to seek knowledge on how to govern the state. Take the document anywhere in the world, it is a standard document.

“And for this past two years, it has assisted us. So, at the local government level, my wish is for you to adopt those four pillars. I understand that there could be peculiarities in the local government of some of you. You can add two or more to your pillars and make it six depending on the peculiarities of your local government area.”

The governor noted that his government’s objective of expanding the state’s economy through agribusiness and infrastructure development had yielded favorable results, with numerous offers of assistance coming to the state.

He said: “We think we are getting stability in the areas of agribusiness and infrastructure. We are continuing but we can add more, and now, we are saying we should add solid minerals development and Tourism.

“So, for those local governments that are positioned to do things in the tourism and solid minerals sectors, the state will be available to support and partner with you.”

He counseled the new chairmen and vice-chairmen not to be discouraged by challenges, noting that if they handle the current assignments, it could become stepping stones to something higher.

“But you have to work and it is not something that I am just thinking in my head. I have seen it happen. The governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, started as local government chairman in 1999. From there, he rose to the position of Chief of Staff to the Governor and then a federal minister, and today he is a governor. He can even become the President of this country if he wishes. So, starting from the local government level is an advantage and an opportunity to showcase the leadership qualities you have.

“Some of the policies that we have, which are working at the state level, replicate them at the local government level. And where you need direction and support, don’t be shy about it because if we get it right at the local government level, it will assist our overall position as a state,” Makinde said.

He assured me that the state government will always be available to support the council chairmen, saying: “You know we are here to support you. If you are faced with challenges beyond your control, come to us and we will solve it together.”

He also admonished the civil servants at the local government levels to support the council chairmen to achieve success, noting that the government will always be ready to listen to them and give necessary support to do their jobs effectively.

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