In a bid to put an end to the rising cases of insecurity in Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun zones of Oyo State, Southwest Nigeria, about 200 additional operatives of the South West Security Network codenamed Amotekun have been deployed to the hotspots in the two zones.
The decision to deploy additional security personnel was part of a new strategy by the Oyo State Government to tackle the spate of insecurity in these communities.
The two zones have over the last few months been home to multiple cases of killings and kidnappings. In the two zones, many residents had alleged that the masterminds of the crimes were members of the Fulani community.
This led to the eviction of Fulanis in Igangan town of the state last week Friday following the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum issued by Sunday Igboho, a non-state actor and self-acclaimed activist.
While announcing the launch of the new strategy, Seyi Makinde, Governor of Oyo State explained that multiple missions would be embarked on to get rid of criminal elements in the forests in the affected communities.
“In the next few weeks, we will hold town hall meetings and community outreaches, bringing together residents and security agencies to talk about any issues of immediate concern and how they can be resolved through dialogue and more effective community policing,” Makinde said.
Speaking further, the governor explained that only foreigners who have legitimate interests in the state will be allowed within its territory as the documentation of foreigners, especially those who are working in mines, would commence soon.
He also maintained that the Oyo State Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Law, 2019, which regulates the activities of herdsmen in the state, would be fully enforced.
“We have directed the Amotekun Corps to continue collaborating with ‘Operation Burst’ and local vigilante groups in enforcing this law. You will recall that in the security meeting of Southwest governors and other stakeholders two days ago, it was agreed that open grazing be banned in the entire Southwest zone,” the governor noted.
“We are aware that some farmers have been killed and/or lost their livelihoods to criminal trespass and damage by pastoralists. And so, the State Executive Council is considering the possibility of compensation payments to families of victims or victims of this criminality who can prove their claims,” he added.
“We have started the process of prosecuting all suspects arrested for criminal activities in Ibarapa and the Oke-Ogun zones of the state in connection with the ongoing tensions in the area.”
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