Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has held closed-door meetings with two paramount rulers in Ogun State over the challenges of insecurity in the South-West.
Osinbajo, joined by the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, held closed-door meetings with the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, and the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, separately at their respective palaces.
Our correspondent gathered that Osinbajo, whose chopper landed at the Dipo Dina International Stadium, Ijebu Ode, few minutes after noon later left for the country home of Adetona in GRA, Ijebu Ode.
He was later said to have left for Akarigbo’s palace in Sagamu where he held a similar meeting with the monarch behind closed doors.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Osinbajo, Laolu Akande, said the meeting was at the instance of the President.
Akande, on his verified Twitter handle – @akandeoj, said the Vice President visited the Awujale and Akarigbo on Saturday to discuss community security.
He said, “On behalf of the President, VP Osinbajo is meeting a number of traditional rulers on how government can significantly improve security in our local communities. The VP today is meeting the Akarigbo of Remoland and the Awujale of Ijebuland. This administration will ensure peace and security.”
It was further learnt that the President had delegated Osinbajo to embark on nationwide consultations with traditional rulers and communities as part of efforts to find solutions to worsening insecurity in the country, particularly banditry, kidnapping and herders/farmers’ conflicts.
Osinbajo’s visits to the South-West monarchs were the first leg of the consultations.
The consultations started barely 48 hours after the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, met with Buhari in Abuja and warned about the “drums of war beating” in the South-West over escalating killings by herdsmen in the area.
But, the Ooni had also clarified that the people of the geopolitical zone were not prepared to go to war with anybody, though they desired the protection of lives and property by the government.
Osinbajo told reporters after meeting with both rulers that the Federal Government would put to use the information generated from the local communities.
“As you know, there are many significant concerns all over the country; and of course there are concerns also in the South-West.
“So, I’m here on the instruction of Mr President to consult with the Kayibesi, Governor Dapo Abiodun and other stakeholders on what to do to beef up security, and to generally improve the security architecture,” his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Akande, quoted the VP as saying on Saturday.
He added that the government was making conscious efforts to ensure that peace was not disrupted in the South-West.
On the meeting with the Awujale, Osinbajo stated further, “Of course, you know that the Kabiyesi is not just the traditional ruler, but also a very important part of the government.
“That is why we are here to speak with him and to agree on a few modalities for beefing up security, ensuring that we are fully conscious of all that is going on around us, and just to be sure that peace and security reign here and across the country.’’
He added that though the government was concerned about insecurity in the whole country and would carry out extensive consultations with rulers in other parts of the country, it was giving particular attention to the South-West because of the recent upsurge in attacks there.