Ondo State Government has ordered men of Amotekun Corps to escort 42 men apprehended in Okitipupa, the headquarters of Okitipupa Local Government Area out of the state.
The men, who were of northern extraction: from Kano and Jigawa States were said to have arrived in the town on Thursday evening.
The arrival of the men created suspense and apprehension among the residents of the town who quickly alerted the security agencies.
When interrogated, the men said they were brought into the state by a non-profit organisation to undergo training as security agents at the Nigerian Army barracks in the town. However, the authorities of the barracks did not give them access because there was no signal to that effect from their headquarters.
Addressing journalists on the development, Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo disclosed that if not for the timely intervention of officials of government, particularly Amotekun Commander and the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Security Matters, the situation would have degenerated to the extent of lynching and jungle justice.
According to him, the 42 men have been escorted by Amotekun Corps to the boundary with a neighboring state, from where they will find their way back to their destinations.
Ojogo advised the people of the state, especially government officials to be careful of their utterances in a security-related situation like this.
“I have the instructions and the directive of Mr Governor to use this medium inform everybody, particularly, government officials, that any security situation we found ourselves, the first point of contact must be security agencies,” he said.
The Public Relations Officer of the Akure-based 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigeria Army, Captain Ayorinde Omojokun disclosed that the men were not allowed into the premises of the barracks as they were handed over to the police.
He added that the Army did not have any signal to conduct any form of training in Okitipupa barracks.
Also speaking, the Public Relations Officer, Ondo State Police Command, DSP Tee-Leo Ikoro revealed that following the tip of by residents, the men were rounded up by the police and handed over to the Amotekun Corps.
The Ondo State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Akure is set to deliver judgement in the case between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Eyitayo Jegede and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
This comes as the Tribunal rescheduled judgement in the October 10, 2020 governorship election which saw the re-election of Governor Akeredolu for a second term in office.
Jegede had filed a case challenging the victory of Governor Akeredolu.
The Ondo State Election Petition Tribunal has fixed April 21 to deliver judgement on the petition seeking to upturn the victory of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in the October 10, 2020 governorship election.
The three-man panel of judges, led by Justice Umar Abubakar announced this through a notice to all parties in the case. The parties had on 25 February this year adopted their written addresses before the Tribunal.
Eyitayo Jegede, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had filed a petition before the tribunal challenging the electoral victory of Governor Akeredolu, of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Jegede who faulted Akeredolu’s participation at the poll alleged that he and his deputy, Lucky Ayedatiwa of the APC were not validly nominated.
Meanwhile, the defence counsels had pleaded with the court to dismiss Jegede’s petition on several grounds.
According to the counsel to Akeredolu and Aiyedatiwa, Akin Olujimi and that of the APC, Lateef Fagbemi, the petitioner had admitted in paragraph 12 of its petition the sponsorship of third and first respondents but failed to prove that they were not validly nominated.
Hence, the tribunal reserved judgement to a date that will be communicated to the parties in the case in April 2021, which it finally fixed on Wednesday, 21st April.
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has asked the Federal Government to tackle the deteriorating insecurity in the country.
Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday, Akeredolu warned that the 2023 general elections might be threatened if the insecurity situation worsens.
He also condemned Saturday’s attack on his colleague from Benue State, Samuel Ortom, wondering why governors would be the target of attack.
While describing the attack as unfortunate, Akeredolu who is also the Chairman of South-West Governors Forum, thanked God for the life of Governor Ortom.
Following the attack on Benue governor, Ortom visited President Buhari today in Abuja, warning that elections might be disrupted in 2023 if nothing is done to nip insecurity in the bud.
Governor Akeredolu also backed Ortom’s remarks, noting that Nigerians should be worried if banditry activities reach its full-scale.
“I think he is right, definitely we cannot conduct election under an insecure environment. So if insecurity is not nipped in the bud, it will escalate and if it escalates, all of us should be worried that as at the time we are getting to 2023, we might have a full-scale banditry and other insecurity in the country,” he said.
“With that, there is nobody that can carry out any election under that atmosphere. What is clear is that he has made a good point that the Federal Government must sit up.
“Something just has to be done now to ensure that this issue of insecurity that is escalating by the day is now nipped in the bud and deescalated as soon as possible.”
Time For State Police
Regarding the myriads of security challenges ranging from banditry to terrorism, kidnapping for ransom to cultism, militancy and agitations to secede among several others, Governor Akeredolu renewed his earlier call for the creation of state police.
He believes that the setting up of the policy structure at regional levels would complement the efforts of the Nigeria Police Force.
The governor being a senior lawyer and ex-President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) however admitted that the outfit is not something that can come to force immediately.
He added, “There must be a swift response to all this level of insecurity. For now, since there is nothing else to do, those of us who believe that there should be multi-level policing and the time has come for us to have state police, it is not something you can force down.
“It is something that will have to go through the National Assembly. It takes some time but that is the goal. But before then, I believe that we can have meetings, set up committees on insecurity. Let it be addressed wholesomely without any bias.”
Nigeria has been experiencing a series of security threats ranging from terrorism, banditry, militancy, cultism among others in several parts of the country.
The country has been battling terrorism for more than a decade which has killed 36,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands in the northeast.
The Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) split from the jihadist group Boko Haram in 2016 and has since become a dominant threat in Nigeria, attacking troops and bases while killing and kidnapping passengers at bogus checkpoints.
On March 1, jihadist fighters burnt down a United Nations humanitarian compound in the town of Dikwa after dislodging troops, killing six civilians.
Nigeria’s jihadist violence has spread to neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.
The Ondo State Government has suspended the operations of the National Union of Road transport workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in all the 18 local government areas of the state, with immediate effect.
The Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr Doyin Odebowale disclosed this on Monday while addressing Government House correspondents in Akure, the state capital.
Dr Odebowale said the suspension of the transport unions was as a result of the recent leadership crisis within the unions.
The SSA directed leadership of both NURTW and RTEAN to vacate motor parks across the eighteen local government areas of the state, and also stop collecting money from taxi drivers and other motorists.
He also directed taxi drivers to revert to the old fare of fifty naira from the one hundred naira per drop being charged.
According to the governor’s aide, new tickets would be purchased directly from the state government.
Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Wednesday during his inauguration ceremony for his second term in office promised to set the state on the path of growth.
He also listed his achievements during his first term in office and promised not to depart from the ‘redemptive and restorative path.’
“We are committed, irrevocably, to setting the State on the path of real growth and development.
“We are confident that posterity will read about this era and feel proud of our achievements. Our victory at the last election confirmed the love and trust we enjoy from the people. We cannot afford to depart from the redemptive and restorative path. We shall proceed, with keener enthusiasm, to justify the renewal of our mandate to serve the people,” the governor said.
Akeredolu also appreciated President Muhammdu Buhari and other national leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for their support.
“I thank the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for the unflinching support and the confidence reposed in us since the commencement of this administration.
“I thank our National Leaders, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Baba Bisi Akande, Chief Odigie Oyegun, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and other eminent personalities for the sustained interest in our programmes of development
“All of you have been great, the depth of your interest and support cannot be discarded,” the governor said.
The deputy governor, Mr Lucky Ayedatiwa was also sworn-in at the event which was held at the International Culture and Events Centre, Akure, the state capital.
SEE BELOW THE GOVERNOR’S FULL SPEECH…
BEING THE ADDRESS OF THE GOVERNOR OF ONDO STATE, ARAKUNRIN OLUWAROTIMI ODUNAYO AKEREDOLU, SAN AT THE INAUGURATION/SWEARING-IN CEREMONY FOR THE SECOND TERM IN OFFICE ON WEDNESDAY, 24TH FEBRUARY, 2021 AT THE INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR CULTURE AND EVENTS (THE DOME) IGBATORO ROAD , AKURE
ON THE PATH TO REDEMPTION
“I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvellous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you. Sing praises to the Lord who reigns in Jerusalem. Tell the world about His unforgettable deeds.” “Courage brother! Do not stumble.” “Though thy path be dark as night, there is a path to guide the humble. Trust in the Lord and do the right.”
Exactly four years ago, this journey began. It commenced on the strength of our unshakable and collective faith in God Almighty, as we committed our desires, aspirations, and indeed, our vision for a New Ondo State. I recall with nostalgia, the bold walk into the cloud of uncertainty, with you, the good people of the Sunshine State, as my beacon. I recall with joy still, as I cast my mind back to those words of hope, the pronouncements of confidence, and the incurable moments of zeal. With the spirit of patriotism at high steam, I did say, “we can rise out of this dust and build a new Ondo State where honesty, prosperity, and confidence can, once again, be our self-identity. We can pull ourselves by the bootstraps and shake off our current frustrations and disappointments. We must recognise the need for a cohesive platform, indispensable to effective and efficient implementation of policies and programmes of both government and party respectively.
I thank God Almighty for the opportunity to see this day. I remain eternally grateful for being here in good health and very ready to continue the redemptive mission, for which the good people of Ondo State renewed our mandate, with a resounding victory. I am not unmindful of the axiom that the reward for hard work is another round of hard work. Our hands remain on the plough. We are committed, irrevocably, to setting the State on the path of real growth and development.
IN THE BEGINNING
The ship of our administration set sail on Friday, 24th February 2017 with a firm and resolute pledge to steer the affairs of the Sunshine State on the Journey to Redemption. I stand here today to proclaim before the Almighty God and the good people of Ondo State that we have been steadfast and focused despite daunting challenges. We have taken the welfare of the people as central to all activities of governance. We believe that the happiness of the citizens should be the ultimate aim of all public engagements undertaken on their behalf.
This Administration inherited a lot of challenges on the assumption of office. We took our time to take stock before embarking on the Journey of Redemption. We proceeded, with rigorous fiscal discipline and dedication, to identify and complete all projects within the available resources.
The paucity of funds has been a major challenge militating against the quest to actualise the lofty objectives which our administration, under our leadership, conceived to ameliorate the deplorable conditions under which our people live. Our activities have been impactful and protective of the people regardless of the status. We stand before you with pride, good people of Ondo State, to present our scorecard. We acknowledge the huge infrastructural deficit still, among other challenges. There is a lot of areas yearning for attention. We may not have met all realistic expectations on improved living conditions.
Despite this, we are confident that posterity will read about this era and feel proud of our achievements. Our victory at the last election confirmed the love and trust we enjoy from the people. We cannot afford to depart from the redemptive and restorative path. We shall proceed, with keener enthusiasm, to justify the renewal of our mandate to serve the people.
We promised to insulate the civil service from politics as much as practicable. We made a solemn pledge that no worker would be victimized under our watch and that workers’ welfare would be treated as top priority. We inherited salary arrears of seven months from the immediate past administration. We have been able to offset six months. Politics no longer determines the progression of diligent public officials. We are up-to-date in the promotion of workers which has been based on merit. We paid salaries and allowances until COVID-19 disrupted all plans. We had ambitious projects conceived for the benefit of the people. The pandemic disrupted all projections, including revenue generation.
Our administration has been able to complete the following road projects in the last four years:
In the North Senatorial District, we have embarked on the flattening of the hill and reconstruction of the Oke-Alabojuto Road in Ikare-Akoko as a dual carriageway. The Oke Iwaro Oka and Oke Oka roads were fixed to save lives. The reconstruction of Emure to Owo Road as a dual carriageway, the construction of roads in Owo/Ose axis, Owo G.R.A, Iyere, Ipele, Ifon and Emure-Ile, among others convinced the people of our seriousness. The people of Akoko have continued to express their gratitude for the spate of development despite paucity of funds. We pledge, solemnly, to complete all projects meant to ameliorate the living conditions of the people in that Senatorial District as the precarious financial situation improves.
The Central Senatorial District accommodates the seat of government. It is almost certain that all attempts to abridge the huge infrastructural deficits will be skewed heavily in favour of the State Capital and adjoining towns and villages. Our administration, starting from Ifedore, embarked on massive rehabilitation and construction of an internal road network from Ibuji to Igbara-oke, Isarun and Ijare, a fact which commended us to those who came out, boldly, in our support during the last election. It is our belief that Akure, the State Capital, should bear appearances befitting her status. Consequently, we have been committed towards giving the ancient city more than a cosmetic facelift. Our interventions have been phenomenal in several respects. The ‘A’ Division – Oba Osupa Road, Hospital Road – Ijoka Road, testifies to the determination of our administration to bequeath abiding legacies to posterity. The Gaga, Abusoro, and Oke-Ogba projects are evidence of our resolve to take governance to the people.
It was not surprising that the people of Idanre showed appreciation through the ballot in the last gubernatorial election for the renewal of our mandate. We recognise the importance of this great town, a former economic and commercial hub of the defunct Western Region. We promised to create an alternative route, the 15km road to link Idanre through Ijoka in Akure. This road is completed. The re-construction of the road from Shoprite to Oda town as a dual carriageway has commenced. The adjoining roads in Alagbaka and the Bishop’s Court to CBN Road have been completed.
We allayed the fears of the good people of Ondo Kingdom on sustaining the obnoxious practice which usually saw a succeeding administration abandoning projects meant to bring succour to the downtrodden. We have not only continued to give the University of Medical Sciences the deserved attention though massive investment in infrastructure, but the government has also ensured that all hitherto unaccredited courses, which threatened the continued existence of the institution as a citadel of training for medical personnel, have been accredited by the appropriate bodies.
We also remain committed to ensuring that the institution has a befitting Teaching Hospital with structures in Ondo and Akure. Our government is building a 500-bed complex in each of these two towns, with seven functional theatres: four in Akure and three in Ondo. We met the sector grasping for breath on the assumption of office. We have not only paid six out of seven months’ salary arrears; we have also recruited over 200 medical doctors and other health workers to replace those that left the system. It is our hope that, with improvement in the precarious financial situation, all outstanding salaries and allowances will be paid.
The South Senatorial District has never had it this good. This Administration has changed the landscape of this region forever. We consider Ore as a confluence of a sort. Ore is essentially Nigeria in outlook and character. We romanced several ideas until we settled for the Interchange, christened Redemption Bridge. With this bold step, we have reduced considerably the carnage in that axis. Motorists can now ply that route assured of safe and timeous return to their destinations. That bridge is a major landmark in the signpost of achievements under our leadership.
The Ondo-Linyil Industrial Hub, Ore is becoming established as a product of ingenuity, dedication and resilience. Industries are springing up with the attendant positive additives. Young men and women are getting engaged, full of hope for a better tomorrow. The afforestation project in partnership with Wewood from China is very much on course. We note, with palpable pride, that the last time any project of such futuristic potential to protect the State against the negative impact of climate change was conceived and executed was during the late Pa Adekunle Ajasin administration in the Second Republic.
All the adjoining roads at Ore have either been reconstructed or repaired. The wonderful people of Odigbo have always expressed their belief in our aspiration to lead right from the time we ventured into partisan politics. We thank them and we will not let them down.
The Okitipupa Bypass was a forest transformed into an important road which serves the whole region. From Irele, Ayeka, Sabomi, Igbekebo, Igbobini, Aboto to Atijere, among other areas in the South, this Administration kept its promise to reach every nook and cranny of the State. The Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, formerly Ondo State University of Science and Technology, has received considerable attention which makes the indigenes of the place proud that they have reclaimed their space as citizens of this State. This university was abandoned for eight years before we assumed the mantle of leadership in the State. The story is different now. The township roads suffered from acute neglect until we came in.
Bitumen exploration is at an advanced stage at Irele. The Deep-Sea Port project is going on at an appreciable level. The Araromi-Lekki Road will become a reality soon. The projects commenced to ameliorate the parlous state of the economy will contribute, exponentially, to the development of the region. We hope to play a significant role in the success story.
Sectors such as education, health and agriculture received appreciable boost from our administration. This administration has renovated, rebuilt or constructed almost 800 primary schools through the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB). Our goal is to make all public schools as attractive as possible. We have given approval for the recruitment of teachers in primary schools in the State. As soon as the economy begins to look up the secondary schools will have their fair share.
Our administration has impacted remarkably on the agricultural sector. Our decision is to steer the affairs in this sector towards agribusiness. We gave out top quality tractors at 30% subsidy. We cleared 1,500 hectares of land across the State for the benefit of farmers and the youths who are ready to utilise it. We have constructed 100,000 capacity poultry pens. We are currently in partnership with a German company, the Big Dutchman, constructing a 50,000 capacity pig village.
The planting of Cocoa has resumed at a frenetic space. This cash crop has been our identity for a long time. It is deplorable that this money spinner was relegated for handouts. We have revitalized the industry. The Idanre Chocolate factory is now operating. We are also developing the largest single Cocoa Estate in Nigeria. Our Igba Otun broiler scheme has been a tremendous success. We have empowered our Beekeepers and the Sunshine Honey factory has received a boost.
The primary responsibility of any government is the security of lives and property of its citizens. Our administration is determined to make our State safe for the residents and visitors alike. We have had our share of security challenges since assumption of office. We have been able to confront these problems headlong. This problem has been one of the main issues militating against development in the country. Apart from the COVID-19 pandemic, the other debilitating issue is security.
We are of the firm belief that it is high time the Police central command became devolved to the federating units for effective monitoring. We have been relentless in advocating for the establishment of State Police. There can be no other way if we are indeed serious about securing lives and property. It is this incongruity which propelled the South West Governors to form a Regional Security Network code-named Amotekun. The ultimate is to convince others to understand that devolution of authority is inexorable. Every State must be allowed to secure its space.
Amotekun has done very well in their short time of existence. It has been able to work within the law establishing it. Its operations and successes recorded justify its establishment. We have instructed the Commander to recruit more capable hands.
We want to reassure visitors, residents and citizens of the readiness of our government to protect lives and property in the State. We are not paying mere lip service to this avowal. It is a priority. There cannot be prosperity in an insecure environment.
KEEPING EYES ON THE GOAL
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, we were convinced, from the outset, that the task of social re-engineering would not be easy. We came on the stage with the resolve to confront all challenges without let. We knew that some governmental policies might be misconstrued and intentions twisted. We remained focused all through the first four years. Though we are yet to reach the set goal, we are confident that this administration is on the right path.
We will not depart from the trodden path which has earned us affection and deep reverence from the citizenry. We shall continue, with more vigour, to justify the trust earned by our administration. The second term, for us, is not a time for relaxation. We are not under any illusion that it will be easy. We are, however, ready to proceed on the journey with renewed enthusiasm and vigour.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a deleterious effect on global economy. Things may get worse. Loss of jobs has been on a frightening scale. Production of goods and services has plummeted. Our national economy is in recession. Ingenuity, resourcefulness, courage and hard work will be the needed virtues for survival in the days ahead.
Our administration intends to focus on agriculture and youth empowerment through entrepreneurship. This has led us to establishment of the Ondo State Entrepreneurship Agency (ONDEA). We intend to revolutionise agriculture taking it beyond theory and anchoring all expectations on practicals. I must also reiterate that the economic fortunes of this State are in the belly of the South Senatorial District. We have tried in the last four years to identify, harness and reorganise the potential of the region.
As a way of rejiging our administration, we have painstakingly reviewed the following programmes which guided us in our first term:
J – Job creation through Agriculture, Entrepreneurship
M – Massive Infrastructural Development and Maintenance
P – Promotion of Functional Education and Technological
P – Provision of Accessible and Qualitative Health Care
And Social Service Delivery
R – Rural Development and Community Extension Services
A lot of dynamics have come into play since we took over the reins of governance in 2017. You will all agree with me that the challenge of security has become more encompassing than it used to be.
The need to place more emphasis on availability of energy for our industrial development has also become greater. This new focus has necessitated the need for us to review our JMPPR to cater for these areas necessary for our development.
I wish to state that we have been reviewing these programmes since our victory at the last election with a view to achieving more improvement in service delivery. Thus in the next four years, we will be pursuing a totally repackaged programmes christened REDEEMED.
R – Rural and Agricultural Development
E – Educational Advancement and Human Capital
D – Development through Massive Infrastructure
E – Efficient Service Delivery, Development and Policy
E – Effective Healthcare and Social Welfare Services
M – Maintenance of Law and Order for Adequate Security
E – Energy, Mining and Sustainable Industries
D – Digital Revolution and Entrepreneurship
I thank the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for the unflinching support and the confidence reposed in us since the commencement of this administration. I thank our National Leaders, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Baba Bisi Akande, Chief Odigie Oyegun, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and other eminent personalities for the sustained interest in our programmes of development. My brother Governors in APC have been no less supportive. The depth of their interest and support cannot be discounted. I thank members of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, especially South West Governors’ Forum for the continued understanding and cooperation throughout the first term. I shall be seeking the same level of engagement as we move into the second half of the mandate given to us by the good people of Ondo State. I thank the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, the principal officers and members of the House of Assembly for being the true representatives of the people. Their support is not taken for granted.
I thank the members of the judiciary for being steadfast. Our administration will continue to support the third arm of government to the best of its ability.
I thank all leaders of the party, both past and present, at all levels, for building this political platform to the enviable state which has made it possible for functionaries to take the driver’s seat at the centre and in several states of the federation. I acknowledge their support towards the actualization of our dream to steer the ship of affairs in our dear State.
I thank our State Chairman and the current Interim Chairman of our great party, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, for his doggedness and loyalty. He deserves a special mention for praise. He stood solidly behind us in our quest to continue to render patriotic service to the people of the State. He spurned all treacherous attempts by the enemies of the State to create disaffection. He is a hero of the success achieved in the first four years. I express my profound gratitude to all other members of the State Working Committee of the party for their support in the past four years.
Let me seize this moment to thank all those who chose to serve the people with us in the last four years. We have been particularly fortunate to have the calibre of men and women in the State Executive Council and general administration. The modest achievements recorded would have been very difficult, if not impossible, without the cooperation of these dedicated appointees. I congratulate them for being part of history.
May I be permitted to congratulate all the contestants in the APC primaries conducted in Ondo State before the gubernatorial election last year for their gallantry and commitment to democratic principles. I thank them, profusely, for putting the interest of the State above personal considerations for which they are entitled. I thank them for taking the exercise as a contestation among brothers keenly desirous of availing their beloved State the best. All of us participated but the people are the real winners.
I salute their sense of patriotism for joining a common cause for the benefit of our people. It is our fervent hope that this engagement will continue for optimum service delivery to our people. The fierce contestations witnessed before the conduct of the primaries were meant to deepen our choice of deliberative governance. The system is better for it. All those who participated emerged victorious. Brothers contested to give our people the best. We must come together to ensure that their interests are best served.
I congratulate the Deputy Governor, Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, for being considered worthy to complete this journey with us.
I thank all party leaders, patriotic citizens, elder statesmen present to witness this historic moment.
Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you all for your patience.
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu has been sworn in for a second term in office.
Akeredolu took the oath of office on Wednesday during the inauguration ceremony held at the International Culture and Events Centre, Akure, the state capital.
The deputy governor, Mr Lucky Ayedatiwa was also sworn-in at the event.
The swearing-in ceremony was performed by the state Chief Judge, Justice Olanrewaju Akeredolu.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun; Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi were in attendance at the inauguration ceremony.
Other dignitaries at the event include Former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani; APC Chieftain Bisi Akande; Former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Iyiola Omisore; Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ajayi Boroffice among others.
Akeredolu was on Saturday, October 10 re-elected as Governor of Ondo State on the back of a campaign in which he promised to provide composed and focused leadership marked by economic growth and improved security for people in the state.
The incumbent governor, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, swept to victory by winning 15 of the 18 local governments.
Governor Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) got 292,830 votes, while Mr Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr Agboola Ajayi of the Zenith Labour Party came second and third in the election with 195,791 and 69,127 votes, respectively.
Southwest Governors on Saturday adopted the decision by the National Economic Council on forest ownership and management across the country.
Rising from a security meeting in the Oyo State Government House in Ibadan, the Chairman of the South-West Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, told journalists that in line with NEC position, all the states should be in charge of their forests.
They also agreed that stronger measures must be taken to tighten security around border areas to stop the incursion of foreign herdsmen.
The meeting also deliberated on the need for government to support cattle breeding and other agricultural production, and resolved that government must help with enablers to discourage open grazing across the country.
“We believe that all the states should be in a position to manage their forests,” Akeredolu said. “And that will give enough room to determine who and who are there, what purpose are they serving, and where you have people there illegally, the state should be able to take some steps, so that we can preserve our forests.”
Buhari’s Aide Absent From Meeting
The meeting had been scheduled at the instance of the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
But Prof Gambari was absent, as he could not fly out of Abuja due to bad weather.
Also, absent for the same reason were the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi.
The meeting had in attendance five governors including the host, Governor Makinde; Governors Akeredolu of Ondo, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun, and Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State.
The meeting equally had in attendance the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of South-West, David Folawiyo, and security chiefs serving in Oyo State.
Others included the chairmen of Council of Traditional Rulers in each of the South-West states and some first-class monarchs.
According to Akeredolu, the meeting was held to find lasting solutions to the lingering security issues in the zone.
Some of the traditional rulers who took part in the meeting include the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III; Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi; Akarigbo of Remo, Oba Babatunde Ajayi; Olugbo of Ugbo kingdom, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan; Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunnjso 1; and Olugbon of Orile Igbon, Oba Francis Olusola Alao.
Also in attendance were the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko, and other heads of security agencies in Oyo State.
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu has condemned the statement credited to his counterpart from Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed that herdsmen have no option but to carry AK-47 for self-defence.
Mohammed had on February 12 defended the herdsmen who bear arms, claiming they are being attacked and killed by cattle rustlers.
He also condemned South West, South-East Governors, and also Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State over the manner in which they are handling farmer-herder clashes.
But speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, Akeredolu questioned the Bauchi State Governor for defending herdsmen who carry arms and kill innocent Nigerians.
“How will a governor in this country today come out and say people should be allowed to carry arms when it is illegal? And not just arms he says they should carry double barrel and co. So people are not licenced to carry guns, Bala Mohammed is suggesting to us that they should be able to carry it?” he said.
“For what purpose? Bala Mohammed has even poured more petrol into the fire because his speech is unexpected of him. It will become very serious and nobody will be spared. So statements like that must be condemned and I condemn it.
“Bala Mohammed has not spoken like a statesman. He probably lost everything out, he lost out as to what his reaction should be,” he added.
The governor commended President Muhammadu Buhari for directing the Nigeria Police to arrest some herdsmen who bear arms and other criminal elements.
Akeredolu explained that as Ondo governor, he is worried by the deteriorating level of insecurity in the country, especially the recent killing of three prominent Ondo indigenes by herdsmen.
He said that the insecurity issue is not an ethnic war, calling for collaboration to ensure that the challenges are tackled head-on.
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu has asked Ibadan residents not to take laws into their hands, following the violence that erupted in Shasha area of Oyo State.
Akeredolu in a statement he personally signed Saturday night said the south-west governors “note with deep concern, the most unfortunate and avoidable orgy of violence in Shasha, Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital.”
The governor said he is compelled to address all residents of the area, especially the Yoruba speaking people, in his capacity as the Chairman, South-West Governors’ Forum over the recent happenings bordering on security.
“Without doubt, the situation we have found ourselves as a people is most despicable and contends violently against, and abhorrently at variance with the values and hospitality for which our people are known.
“We have been known for thoroughness. We have identified with legality over the centuries; and our ethos as a civilised breed of people is such that we do not identify with lawlessness, not even illegality,” Governor Akeredolu added.
He also asked residents to be law-abiding, saying he understands “the height of provocation in the light of recent happenings as regards Shasha, Ibadan, I, alongside my other brother governors in the region are against the willful appropriation of Laws into one’s hands.
“We do not support violence and in particular, brigandage, jungle justice and unnecessary self-help. We note with delight, the efforts of our brother Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde of Oyo State who has taken very bold steps to stave off the further escalation of the violence by imposing curfew in the affected areas.
“He deserves every support in his avowed commitment towards peace and security in Oyo State. We shall all survive these times and live peacefully, once again in our lands.”
Ikoro, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), stated that the police have commenced an investigation into the crime.
He, however, noted that they have yet to establish the real killers of the farmer.
According to sources, the assailants engaged Ibiye in a serious fight on his farm during which they strangled him to death.
Although it has yet to be ascertained if the assailants were herdsmen, chains of related crime in the state have been blamed on herders in recent times.
Disturbed by the trend, Governor Akeredolu had issued a seven-day ultimatum to herdsmen to vacate all forest reserves in the state.
In the directive issued on January 18, the governor also banned night-grazing, saying most farm destructions were carried out at night.
He prohibited the movement of cattle within cities and highways in the state, as well as outlawed under-aged grazing of cattle.
While the governor’s action was greeted with criticism, especially from the northern part of the country, he explained that it was aimed at ensuring the safety of lives and property of residents of the state.