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Oyebanji to LG bosses: monthly security council meetings now mandatory

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji has mandated Chairmen of Local Government and Local Council Development areas in the state to start holding security council meetings as part of efforts to tackle insecurity headlong in their various areas.

Governor Oyebanji who gave the directive on Wednesday during a security meeting with all council chairmen and heads of security agencies in the state.

The Governor who said he had reports that previous set of council chairmen did not pay attention to the statutory security council meetings, said going forward the meetings must hold at least once monthly , adding that all critical stakeholders in the security architecture in their respective council areas must be in attendance.

Governor Oyebanji said any council chairman that fails to hold the security meeting would forfeit the security vote for the month. This is to show the importance the administration attach to security at the local level, which is always in focus at the local government security council meetings.

The security meeting, according to the Governor, should also include representatives of the state government, adding that reports of the meetings should be submitted regularly to his office for effective scrutiny and necessary action.

The Governor charged the council chairmen to work with relevant security agencies and the traditional institution in ensuring security of lives and properties of the people in their areas.

Stressing that it is cheaper to maintain peace than to arrest crisis, Governor Oyebanji urged the chairmen to be strategic in managing security fund accrued to the councils, while maintaining cordial relationships with relevant stakeholders, restating the commitment of the government to make more provision for security vote.

He said all efforts must be made to ensure that no part of the state experience any security breach, like it happened recently.

“As you are all aware, our administration is based on consultation and we are not unmindful of what has happened in the state in the last few weeks and the efforts that government is taking to ensure that we don’t have a repeat of that very unfortunate development.

“I have decided to call this meeting so that we can share with you our own strategies and ask for inputs from you to finally agree on how to craft an enduring and sustainable solute to this. So, I am going to allow us to share intelligence as it concerns our local governments.

“I will brief you on what we have discovered, then you give us a feedback from your respective local governments, this will help the security chiefs to develop strategies that all of us will agree on and how we are going to implement.

“One thing that we have discovered is lack of collaboration among local government chairmen that shared boundaries on security. If there are three or four local governments that share boundaries, there is need for you to jointly meet and share intelligence among yourselves and allocate responsibilities.
Once you do that, you will not be duplicating your efforts.

“We also discovered that in most local governments, they don’t hold Security Council meeting, they collect the money, they share among themselves, I have met with the Obas, they told me that most of the past local government chairmen don’t invite them to Security Council meetings. Going forward, we have decided that we will look at the security votes and see where we can scale up for you because of the challenges.

“Security council meeting monthly is now a must and this is going to be the procedure, every statutory member that should be in that meeting including the chairmen of Council of traditional rulers or their representatives, all security chiefs in the local government and now, a representative of the state government will be there and the resolution will be signed by everybody and sent to my office. Any local government that does not send a report as appropriate will have its security vote withheld. So, the condition to access security vote will be contingent on regular hosting of Security Council meeting.” He said.

The Governor used the opportunity to stress the need for effective information gathering and dissemination as well as intelligence and strategies sharing for effective tackling of insecurity.

He hinted that his administration would soon liaise with the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) to generate and introduce a strategic security toll free line where information could easily got to the security agencies for prompt action.

The Governor also urged the council chairmen, especially those who share border, to cooperate among themselves by sharing intelligence and possibly have joint patrol.
He also urged them to ensure that information that could assist the security apparatus in their respective local government areas are promptly released to the security agencies for prompt action adding that most of the criminals, their agents and accomplices live in the communities providing food and other materials for the bandits.

“I have told the Special Adviser on Security to give us a toll free line that people can send information to on any intelligence you have gathered in your local government, but make sure the information is genuine.

Also at the meeting were the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman in the state, Barr. Paul Omotoso, Commissioner for Local Government, Chief Olabode, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Gen. Ebenezer Ogundana (rtd.), Special Adviser to the Governor on Political and Inter-party Affairs, Chief Jide Awe; Special Adviser on Media, Yinka Oyebode; Director General Homeland Intelligence Agency, Dotun Adetuberu, Director General Community Communications, Mrs Mary Oso Omotoso: and all heads of security agencies in the state.

Posted in Ekiti State News Bulletin
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