South West leaders meet in Ibadan
South West governors after the meeting in Ibadan

By Sesan Laoye

Governors and the traditional rulers of Southwest geopolitical zone met in Ibadan, Oyo State capital at the weekend, with a demand that the country’s borders be properly secured against foreign bandits parading as herders.

The meeting was held in the light of rising tension in the zone as a result of criminal activities of those identified as Fulani herdsmen.

Tension had further escalated following a crisis between Hausa and Yoruba at Shasha area of Akinyele Local government, Ibadan, a development that had continued to generate attention with the federal government opting to intervene at the weekend.

At the meeting, traditional the leaders expressed worries over the spate of banditry perpetrated by the herders in the zone and some towns and villages along Benin Republic.

The meeting was attended by the Governor of Ogun State Dapo Abiodun, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State and the host Governor Engineer Seyi Makinde.

Although, it was said that the meeting was at the instance of the Presidency, those who were expected from President Muhammadu Buhari’s side, his Chief of Staff Professor Ibrahim Gambari; the Inpector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and the DSS boss, Magaji Bichi were not present due to bad weather which did not allw them to fly from Abuja to Ibadan where the meeting was held.

The close door meeting also had top traditional rulers in Yoruba Land in attendance, including the Alaafin of Oyo Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111; the Ooni of Ife Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Ojaja 11; the Olibadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji Aje Ogungunniso; the Akarigbo of Remo, Oba Babatunde Ajayi and Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan while the Olugbon of Orile Igbon, Oba Francis Olusola Alaowas in attendance

In all, traditional rulers in all the six states of the South West either attended or were represented.

The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of South-West, David Folawiyo, and security chiefs serving in Oyo State, including the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, who spoke at the end of the meeting held with heavy security at the Executive Chambers of the Governors ofgice secretariat Ibadan, read a three-point communique approved at the meeting.

According to him “That the meeting supported the decision of the National Economic Council (NEC) on forest management; that the nation’s borders need to be fully secured and protected; that open grazing must be checked and looked at and that media practitioners must assist the country to end fake news.”

Govermor Akeredolu explained that the meeting was held to find lasting solutions to the lingering security issues in the zone