Ibadan-Lagos Expressway: Oyo engages vigilante groups, monarchs



In its bid to put an end to incessant kidnappings along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Oyo State Government has resolved to involve traditional leaders and local vigilantes.
The vigilantes and other non-state actors will work with regular security agencies in order to arrest perpetrators of heinous crimes along the expressway.
Special Adviser on Security Matters to Governor ‘Seyi Makinde, CP Fatai Owoseni (rtd) made this known while briefing newsmen on the outcome of a stakeholders’ security meeting held at the Oyo State Security Trust Fund Office, Onireke, Ibadan.
Owoseni, who explained that the collaborations of the Oyo and Ogun state governments are already yielding positive results, noted that the governments of the two states have strengthened the security architecture on the Ibadan-Lagos expressway.
He said: “Sadly, we have had three incidents in one week cutting across, that made it to look as if the security agents are sleeping on their obligations but I must correct that impression. Before then, it was not as if measures and strategies were not put in place to curb any incident.
“The perception and the interpretation that has been given is that your community is insecure but it is not possible to have a totally crime-free society.
“Concerning the incidents we recorded about two weeks ago, a whole lot has been put in place by the government to ensure that we give safety to commuters, not just on the Express road but the road that leads to Lagos and Abeokuta and some other parts of Oyo State.
“And that also was the reason why the governors of Ogun and Oyo States met to form Joint Security Committee. So, in essence, with what has happened, the interpretation of security will be that there must have been a gap.
“The criminal elements who are on the other side believe it is their profession and would probably must have noticed a gap that they can capitalise on, which would translate to what I can call ‘opportunistic crime.’
“Having said that, we have looked back to see where we got it wrong and looked at the lesson. And that also explains why, for the past one week, jointly with Ogun State security team, we have formed a Technical Working Group. We have been sitting together to see what we can do to remain proactive.
“For now, we have strengthened visibility and also found out some certain things. We have taken a lesson from that to say that whatever that is put in place now will be something that is workable, practical, sustainable and that is where we are now.
“Is it that with the non-state actors that we are using, we have not been able to tidy up the framework with which we work for them? We have looked at that as well to improve the collaboration with the locals that know the nooks and crannies of the community.
“We have also looked at how we can optimise the use of the traditional institutions, the Baales in our areas including those that do business in the communities. “How much of relationship do they have with the traditional rulers in the said areas. ‘Are they doing the necessary Corporate Social Responsibilities CSR? All these things matter.
“Yesterday, we had an interaction with the corporate Ibadan factories around that area to have a serious dialogue with them to say that what is it that we are doing, which can make people sell out in that area? And how can we also incorporate you properly into the state’s security architecture? This is because investigations into the case pointed to the fact that some of the staffers are sell-outs.
“So, we have to close all the gaps and that is what we have been doing.”
Owoseni added that the governments of both states are working together to secure the axis, saying: “Ogun and Oyo states are working together strongly and fortunately for us, the governors of the two states recognise the need that whatever come out from the interactions we see doing, their own support is necessary.
“Security is expensive and funding is key to whatever we want to do. If you want to bring in the non-state actors, local hunters, if we are bringing them in, how much of motivation are we giving them? So, a these areas have been identified.
“We have reinvigorated our visibility on the road, deny the criminal elements the space to operate freely. We are going after the ones that have operated and bring them to justice. Philosophy in security is ‘don’t let it happen’. If it happens, let the people that do it know that you can get them and make them face the law’. So, we are approaching both ways.
“All the security agencies and commanders are working together and we have also used this to strengthen the synergy that all the agencies have. Anyone plying the road now will see static and mobile deployments.
“All the agencies are there; you have the Air Force, Army, Amotekun, Police, Civil Defence and elements of the covert operation on ground as well and they have the resources they can use in terms of logistics.
“So, we have just carried on from the interactions that the Technical Teams of the both states had last week and strengthening it. And in order to get the input of the locals, we met with the business entity and, today, we have also met with the traditional institutions and explored the areas where technology will be deployed.
“The eyes of the people are stronger than the CCTV and the drones because the technology may show you this is the place but will it also show you how you will navigate to the place; the topography, terrain? Those things are very important. Apart from the technology, we are also trying to leverage on what we have on ground and we hope that everyone recognises the fact that they must support the efforts of government on this.”
In his contribution, the chairman, Oluyole Local Government, Hon. Settle Olaide, said that the government has actually put a lot of security strategies in place to make sure Oluyole LG and its environs, is policed effectively..
Speaking on behalf of the traditional leaders in Oluyole Local Government, Baale Omi Aboderin Village, Baale Olukunmi Egbelade, said that the meeting was organised to discuss how the security will be tightened in Oluyole Local Government.
“We are here to discuss how security can be tightened in Oluyole Local Government. This baffles our mind. With this meeting, we expect that there will be progress very soon.
“We are also happy about the recent development, bringing together the two states involved – Oyo and Ogun. We cannot do this in isolation because we are very close to each other.”

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