Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde and his Ogun State counterpart, Dapo Abiodun on Wednesday held an inaugural joint security meeting and established a security committee and patrol team.
The governors also established a Joint Border Security Task Force with membership drawn from various security agencies in each state, to patrol boundary communities and ensure the security of lives and property for residents and commuters.
Governor Makinde in his speech at the security meeting held in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital said the establishment of the joint task force was necessary to end banditry and kidnapping in boundaries shared by the two states.
“We came here to initiate a collaborative effort between our two states because it is the right thing to do and absolutely important, we do it. In recent times, we have seen cases of kidnapping. So, if it is not a big concern to the leadership of the two states, then we won’t be here also with our service commanders because we have quite a bit to do.
“I am happy that this is not about partisan politics. My brother is from the APC and I am from PDP. We are having security issues along our common borders. Today, we have APC and PDP governors and we are here to collaborate, what we hope to achieve is a long-lasting solution that will benefit the good people of both states,” Makinde said.
The governors resolved that the members of the joint task force would be trained and oriented on the rule of engagement to prevent unwholesome practices, adding that collaboration on emergencies/distress calls on the highways in the two states, intelligence-gathering and sharing on security issues, and effective engagement and collaboration with all stakeholders including the Federal Government will also come with the joint security effort.
The Ogun State Governor, Abiodun, said the joint security meeting is deepened in history, common heritage, and cultural affinity, noting that the realisation of the need to put a stop to the recurring challenge of herders/farmers clashes, kidnapping, and other nefarious activities around boundary communities in the two states, led to the institution of the collaborative effort.
“This collaboration is peculiar not just because Oyo State is our neighbour, but the largest by the landmass of the six South-Western States and the political capital of the Zone. Thus, whatever happens in Oyo State could easily have ripple effects on the other five States.
“No doubt, each of our two states has its peculiar security challenges which the respective State Governments have been tackling through internal security architecture.
“We appreciate the fact that there is no way development in one of our two states will not have a spiral effect on the other state, especially through our border communities.
“With this partnership, between our two states, an enduring peace and security that will promote sustainable economic development that will engender individual prosperity of both our people in Ogun and Oyo States,” Abiodun said.
A communique issued at the end of the joint security meeting and signed by the duo of Makinde and Abiodun indicated that the joint security was at the instance of the two governors and that it was convened to discuss common issues affecting the safety of lives and properties in the neighbouring states.
The communique read in part: “Whilst noting and commending existing measures put in place by the two Governors to eradicate or at least minimise crimes and ensure peace and safety of lives and property in their respective states, the meeting, noted that the shared objective of ensuring peace and security is being undermined by the criminal activities in the communities along the common boundaries of Ogun and Oyo states.
“The meeting agreed to implement the following initiatives in the short term; threat assessment and analysis along the border corridors; deployment of CCTV on the interstate highways; harmonisation and mainstreaming of voluntary police and informal security outfits; timeous and diligent prosecution of criminals to signify the resolve of the governments of both states to clamp down on criminality.”