Speaking at the 4th South West Conference of Directors of Security meeting held in Abeokuta on Thursday, the governor emphasized that intelligence is one of the needed tools that would assist security agencies to perform their duties optimally
He noted that criminals have adopted new methods in carrying out their nefarious activities, hence the need for the security agencies, particularly those in the Southwest region, to up their game and share intelligence to nip crimes in the bud.
He said: “It is important that as a region, we share intelligence and see how to better secure our region because there can never be any meaningful socio-economic development in an outmostphere of insecurity.
“Nobody will come and invest in your state no matter the amount of road you build, no matter the amount of infrastructure you provided. As long as there is an air or a feeling of insecurity, all that will amount to nothing
“It is important we understand that the socio-economic development that we all desire in our various states and zones can only be achieved when we have peace and security.”
Prince Abiodun said the issue of securing the region and bridging the gap in community policing led to the emergence of Amotekun, even as he expressed delight that the idea has led to the formation of similar outfits in other regions across the country.
“As a region, we still have a lot of things in common. We have the challenges of migration across the border from the north to the south. We have a student population, particularly in Ogun State, with a lot of tertiary institutions.
“Being close to Lagos State, which is the financial capital of Nigeria, we have a spillover of activities from there. Anything that happens in Lagos, within a few minutes, you will begin to feel the impact.
“We see ourselves as providing services that has to do with buying of land, setting up industry, people that want to live close to Lagos as possible and of course, people that are traveling from Lagos to the rest of the country all pass through Ogun, Oyo and at times, Osun, before going to the rest of the country,” he added.
Abiodun also called on the meeting to deliberate and look into the root causes of cultism in the region.
He noted that it was worrisome that cultism has now become prevalent, wondering what has suddenly gone wrong with primary school children, vulcanizers, welders, artisans, undergraduates, and graduates all getting involved in cultism.
“In the last few weeks, some of the things that we’ve experienced in Ogun State, which I am not sure you have experienced in your various states, are the issues of cultism.
“Why are they killing each other, is their something they are earning, is there some kind of reward? What is the incentive? I think these are posers and questions for you to look into.
“We cannot be focused on the symptom. Let’s try and drill down to find out what exactly is the root cause. Perhaps, if we do that, we can nip it in the bud. Then, we can begin to see a reduction in this incidences,” he said.
The governor acknowledged the opportunities the State enjoys as a result of its location, but was quick to also point out some challenges caused by its geographical location, expressing optimism that those in charge of securing the State would do the needful to keep the peace.
The governor said the meeting was a veritable avenue to cross fertilize ideas, which can be useful acros the region.
“How can you help us in sharing experiences with us in Ogun State. Where are the gaps? What are these criminals taking advantage of? Is it our borders or any particular area where there is a vaccum?
“I believe with this kind of shared intelligence, shared understanding and inter-state cooperation, it will strengthen law enforcement and intelligence across borderlines because at the end of the day, we are one and the same people with the same language and culture,” he said.
Abiodun informed that he and his Lagos State counterpart are working towards providing street lights and installing cameras along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to enable security agencies to react to emergencies and distress situations in the axis.
He called on the security chiefs to brainstorm and come up with effective ways of dealing with security challenges to serve as a model to other regions.
In a goodwill message, the Chairman, South West Directors of Security, Mr. Bolade Olori said the meeting was to review the general security situation in the region with the aim of tackling it.
He assured the governor that topical issues would diligently be dealt with and solutions shared.
Welcoming participants, the Ogun State Director of State Services, Mrs. Folasade Adekaiyaoja said the meeting was to promote inter-agency cooperation that would allow for synergy in intelligence sharing, appreciating the state government for its support, and assured of renewed efforts to combat crimes in the state.
The meeting had Directors of Security from Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, and Ekiti states in attendance.