Agitated over rising insecurity in the land, regional leaders are meeting on how to fight criminal elements in their zones.
In Osogbo, the Osun State capital, Afenifere leaders met on Thursday, urging Southwest governors to collaborate in securing lives and property.
The Organised Private Sector (OPS), in collaboration with Southeast governors, has scheduled a meeting for today on cooperation with the police and other stakeholders on the security situation.
These developments came on the heels of a presidential order to security agencies to end violence in Taraba State.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who condemned the attacks on Kona, Taraba State, ordered security agencies to immediately and decisivelyend the violence.
His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, reported him as warning that attacks on innocent people would not be tolerated.
The statement said: No group of people has the right to surround innocent people and unleash murderous violence on them.
He said resorting to self-help was an invitation to anarchy, which in turn will make everyone unsafe, noting that in a cycle of violence characterised by revenge and counter-revenge, there are no winners.
According to him, in a state of permanent hostilities, people undermine not only law and order, but also their own ability to conduct their everyday businesses in peace.
He said: I always wonder how people can conduct their businesses in the absence of peace and tranquillity because violence ruins everything and leaves the people worse off.
It is difficult to build a virile nation where hate and intolerance dominate the peoples minds. Its easier to destroy than to build. People should count the economic costs of this violence to their own lives.
The President warned that a situation where community leaders abandon their responsibilities and allow thugs to set the agenda was dangerous for peace and security.
He criticised leaders who publicly preach peace, but privately promote hate and intolerance which ultimately culminate in violent destruction of life and property.
Southwest leaders, under the aupices of Afenifere Egbe Ilosiwaju Yoruba, discussed security challenges in the region at the residence of a Second Republic senator and leader of the group, Chief Ayo Fasanmi.
The group urged the Southwest governors to urgently find solution to kidnapping and banditry, which it said had become a regular occurrence in many parts of the zone.
In a communique, signed by Pa Fasanmi, Senator Biyi Durojaye and Prince Taju Olusi, the group advised the governors to collaborate and form a regional security council to tackle the insecurity.
The group concluded that it would visit the governors to know the steps they plan to take to curtail kidnapping and banditry.
The group commended the immediate past governors for their outstanding performance.
They hailed the All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National Chairman Adams Oshiomole and other party leaders for a successful and rancour-free elections of National Assembly leaders.
The Afenifere Egbe Ilosiwaju Yoruba also congratulated Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila on their election as Senate President and Speaker of the House Representatives.
The group thanked Osun State Governor Gboyega Oyetola for sending a delegation, led by his Chief of Staff Dr. Charles Diji Akintola, to attend its meeting.
Also, the group expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for the honour on the late M.K.O. Abiola, winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, and for naming a nafional monument after him as well as recognising June 12 as Democracy Day.
Appreciating national leaders of the APC for repositioning the Southwest from its pitiable position between 2011 and 2015, they urged all aggrieved Yoruba leaders to unite and work in the interest of the Yoruba, urging them to reconsider their stand to work against the overall interest of the geo-politocal zone in 2023.
At the meeting were former deputy governors of Osun and Oyo states, Sooko Adeleke Olawoyin and Chief Iyiola Oladokun, Bayo Aina, Chief Akin Fasae and Mutiu Are, Chief S.M. Akindele, among others.
Todays summit in the east will discuss areas of mutual support and cooperation amongst stakeholders to enhance the ease of doing business within the region.
It is expected to boost security facilities, community policing, economic prosperity and job creation.
Dr. Nkemka Jombo- Ofo, the Commissioner representing the Organised Private Sector and South East in the Police Service Commission, will set the agenda for the summit with a paper on the objective of the event.
Another Commissioner in the PSC, Rommy Mom, representing human rights organisations, will deliver the key note address.
Governors of the region, top security chiefs, including PSC Chairman, Inspector-General, Commissioners of Police and captains of Industry are billed to attend.
In Yola, the police parade 58 terror-gang members, including robbery and kidnap suspects.
Fifty-eight suspects (Yan Shilla), otherwise called Shilla Boys and seven major receivers of stolen goods (mostly phones), were paraded by the Adamawa Police Command.
Commissioner of Police Audu Madaki said that the suspects, who are usually armed with cutlasses, knives and other weapons, using Keke NAPEP (tricycle) for transportation, specialise in robbing victims of money and hand phones, especially within Adamawas two cosmopolitan local government areas – Yola North (Jimeta) and Yola South (Yola town).
Madaki said the seven suspected stolen items receivers specialise in taking the phones the Yan Shilla steal and erasing the memories to make it impossible for the police to track and recover the phones.
He said the seven were among eight major receivers that investigations had indicated and that the police would continue to hunt for the eighth, who is at large.
Among the paraded suspects were those arrested in last two weeks for attacking a commercial tricycle operator immediately after Governor Umaru Fintiri visited their hideout on June 12.
Recovered from them are 10 cutlasses, 18 knives, 17 pairs of scissors, 95 hand phones and accessories, nine computer laptops and accessories, 80 wraps of Indian hemp, and seven bottles of exzol/passion/diazeppam drugs.
Author: Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja, Chris Oji, Enugu, Onimisi Alao, Yola and Soji Adeniyi, Osogbo