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Security in Oyo State: What the Statistics Say

In fact, even the perception of a resurgence in crime can be enough to paralyse business momentum and destroy the sense of security that a vibrant and progressive city requires – Alan Autry, American Politician

This year, Governor Seyi Makinde has delivered two statewide broadcasts on security. The first was after non-state actors attempted to oust Fulanis in Ibarapa, and the second was following the Sasa Market crisis. Since then, Governor Makinde has had cause to speak to the people of Oyo State on measures that he has put in place to ensure that they, as he often says, “sleep with both eyes closed.”

Public commenters have maintained that Governor Seyi Makinde has been the most security-conscious governor Oyo State has ever heard. In his two years in office documentary, his Executive Assistant on Security, CP Sunday Odukoya (Rtd), made the bold claim that no other governor in Oyo State history has spent as much as Governor Makinde on security.

Still, if you asked a sampling of people in Oyo State where they would want Governor Makinde to perform better, they would most likely say security. In fact, some would go as far as saying he has performed woefully in security.

But what do the statistics say?

In January 2021,  police reports indicated that in 2020 armed robbery declined by about 45/50% compared to 2019. Oyo Affairs can report that although the general perception is that the security situation in the state is deteriorating, crime rates are, in fact, dropping.

In separate documents obtained exclusively by Oyo Affairs, the records show a marginal drop in reported crime month on month. Also, when you compare the average reported crime in the first quarter of 2021 and crime reported in June 2021, there is a noticeable drop in total crime reported, as shown.

So, why has the perception of insecurity persisted in Oyo State?

CP Sunday Odukoya (Rtd) maintains that insecurity in Oyo State is a sponsored perception. “Most of the reports that you read on social media are false. So many times, we get reports and deploy our men to go and check only to discover it is a false alarm.”

A high ranking member of the Nigerian Police Force who spoke to us on conditions of anonymity corroborated Odukoya’s assertions. He claimed that there are efforts to make Governor Makinde’s administration look bad on security despite all he is doing to secure Oyo State.

In the same vein, supporters of Governor Seyi Makinde on Social Media insist that reports of crime in Oyo State are often blown up to create a general perception of insecurity. They referred to sponsored posts such as this one on Instagram (later circulated on WhatsApp) as evidence that the opposition is politicising insecurity in the state.  As one supporter wrote. “insecurity is everywhere, but when it happens in Oyo State, insecurity vuvuzelas find their voice.”

In fact, despite the talks of insecurity, calls for Governor Seyi Makinde to run for a second term in office have intensified. As this tweep wrote, “Seyi Makinde does not even need to campaign for second term. The people will just vote him again.”

However, the authorities have highlighted that one of the challenges faced in security is that citizens do not call emergency numbers when they see suspicious activities. Governor Makinde stated after the last attack at Ibarapa that residents saw unusual activity before the attack by Unknown Gunmen, but no call was placed to the emergency call centre regarding this threat. This has led to the emphasis on the mantra, “if you see something, say something and let the authorities do something.”

Another challenge that the governor has pointed out has to do with the federal authorities. After a meeting of Southern Governors recently, an appeal was made to the Federal Government’s security agencies to always inform the state of their activities before they carry out operations. But in complete rejection of that call, the Nigeria Customs Service dressed in plainclothes and unmarked vehicles stormed the border town of Igangan and left in their trail at least two dead, including a civilian and the Commander of the Amotekun Corps in Igbo-Ora area.

Despite these challenges, the Seyi Makinde administration has continued to work on security. The 615 emergency contact number, operationalised in 2019 and the emergency contact numbers of Amotekun Commanders in the various Local Government Areas in Oyo State, remain available to the public.

Also, Peace and Security Committees have been set up. Additionally, a Security Taskforce was inaugurated. Traditional Rulers and non-state actors have been incorporated into the state’s security architecture which includes voluntary policing.

In fact, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji alluded to this fact in a recent statement whilst distancing himself from the so-called meeting of Ibadan Obas that purportedly faulted Governor Makinde’s efforts on insecurity. He said, “we have consistently held security meetings and briefed appropriate law enforcement agencies as and when due.”

The citizens of Oyo State hope that Governor Makinde will continue on the trajectory of taking the people of Oyo State from poverty to prosperity. As this tweep summarised it, “This is the first time in my adult life that I will be proud to be from Oyo state. When you have a goal-oriented governor like Seyi Makinde, good governance is achievable.”

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OyoAffairs

Oyo Affairs is an independent news media with the main focus on Oyo state news, politics, current events, trending happenings within and around Oyo state, Nigeria

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