*By Khodijah Awojoodu, Ibadan.
Governor Makinde has pledged continuous collaboration with security agencies.
9Janewshub.com.ng reports that the Oyo State Governor, ’Seyi Makinde, on Thursday, restated the commitment of his administration to keep Oyo State safe and secured.
The governor, while receiving the Association of Retired Officers of the Department of State Services of Nigeria (Oyo State Chapter), led by its Chairman, Alhaji Lateef Akinola, said that he will continue to strengthen the security architecture in the State.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the current administration would involve the retired officers of the Department of State Service, (DSS) with a view to improving the state security apparatus.
He said: “I will like to say that I am not surprised when the chairman was making his speech and he said this association actually started from Oyo State. It is for that same reason Oyo State is known as a pacesetter state. It is not just the association, even Federal Road Safety Corps started from here, and that is why we don’t shy away from taking the bull by the horns.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, I was at the States’ Economic Council meeting where they said everybody should mandatorily lock down their states.
But we know that for us in Oyo State, a lot of our people will eat from the profit of what they are able to sell today. We backed it up with science, logic, and data and could not lock down the state. Later, they moved from mandatory to voluntary lockdown. “Eventually, the Federal Government copied our idea.
“It is good for me to see all of you like this. “When I came in, I was looking for retired officers with experience in the security of the state and I brought in two Commissioners of Police – Owoseni and Odukoya because we don’t normally see DSS people. So, we weren’t sure of how to go about it.
But now that I have you, I can give you the assurance that through the association, we will request for a retired officer from your rank that can join the state security apparatus. And we will do it within a matter of days.
The governor, while appreciating the serving officers and men of the Department of State Services for their cooperation, added that his government would not relent in its efforts at providing adequate support for its smooth operation in the state.
“Let me use this opportunity to thank the serving officers and men of the Department of the State Services. They have cooperated with us and it is a good example of how a federal establishment has been professional in its operation.
“Being in support of the state government has nothing to do with political party affiliation.
“The FG is APC while Oyo State is PDP but our people all belong to us. “Also, among their officers and men, we have individuals from the entire country, committed to their responsibilities in terms of keeping the state safe and secure.
“So, I really thank you for the good work you are doing for us.”
The governor explained that the Western Nigerian Security Network, code-named Amotekun, has been acting professionally and protecting everybody in the State, adding that the Amotekun will continue to go against criminals in the state.
“When we formed Amotekun, a lot of people thought it was an ethnic agenda. They have been in operation for over a year. “They have been acting professionally and protecting everybody in Oyo State. The people we are after are the criminals and we will continue to go after and deal with them.
“We will also continue to strengthen the security architecture in Oyo State. And for me, this is a good opportunity to have another sort of security operatives and another side of thinking on how we do things in Oyo State. You should be assured of our support.
“I have listened to your request. I will talk to the Commissioner for Lands and we will provide a suitable place for your association to operate. This is just the beginning of a relationship between us and in the spirit of Easter, I will make a donation to your association. “We will ensure that we occupy you so that the energy you have can be deployed to serve the state and the country,” Makinde stated.
Earlier, the Chairman, of the Association, Alhaji Lateef Akinola, commended the governor for his unique approach to the issue of security and taking care of their welfare, adding that the association is ready to support and cooperate with his administration.
He said: ‘We appreciate your unique approach to the issue of security and the special interest of your government in the operational and welfare needs of security and intelligence agencies in the State, and we pledge our unalloyed support and cooperation in this respect.
‘We acknowledge that we also benefit from your laudable projects/programmes in Oyo State just like every other person in the State. These include prompt payment of salary. pension and other emoluments, as well as robust infrastructural development across the State.
“The feat your administration has achieved in educational advancement in the State is also glaring for everyone to see. We also acknowledge the prevailing harsh economy in the country. “