Kwara State and Strides in Security

Ipso facto, provision of security for life and properties is amongst the primary duties of any responsible government at any level. It has since become herculean task that consumes/employs strategies, PR tools, media framework in their entirety.

With concentration on Kwara, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazak is one of the most uncommon governors this country has ever been blessed in visions, missions and follow-up of initiatives after their inaugurals.

It is a surprise that within 23 months of spear-heading the state affairs as the 7th Executive Governor of Kwara State from May 29, 2019, “Governor AA” – as he is fondly called – has made a clear cut and been impactful in provision of security in all spheres.

Not only did Governor AA organize Kwara State Security Summit last year [2020], he bought and handed over fire-fighting equipment and patrol vehicles to deserved operatives.

It would be remembered that from the inception of this administration, Governor Abdulrahman Abdurazak has been promised utmost cooperation from the security quarters. In his statement on the 30 of May, 2019, the state Commissioner of Police, Kayode Egbetokun reinforced the Force commitment and continued support for the Governor.

”All of us are going to continue doing what we have been doing here. We have been maintaining 24-hours security in this state and that we are going to continue to do. The service commanders took their turns to brief His Excellency and the Coucil on the present security situation in the state, all the issues raised were discussed and decisions were made,” the Commissioner said inter-alias.
The Governor has since been taking giant strides in this cause.

In February 2020, the administration held a multi-stakeholder security dialogue on strengthening the existing security architecture in the state and exploring community initiatives. Recommendations from the dialogue have shaped approaches to security issues and this birthed Community Policing Advisory Committee (CPAC) six month later, precisely 25th of August, 2020.

In the inaugural ceremony of CPAC in August 2020, Governor Abdulrahman restated his commitment to making the inhabitable for criminal elements: “I believe that community policing is an idea that is long due as our country tackles varying security challenges. It focuses more on using intelligence and constant interactions with the community folks to prevent crimes.

However, what this means is that the success of this idea lies in everybody seeing security as our collective business.”

The State Advisory Committee which majorly comprises Head of the State Traditional Council (Chairman); the police commissioner (Co-chairman); heads of the various security agencies in the states; heads of Police Community Relations Committee; representatives of each senatorial district; and a representative each of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is charged with the responsibilities of providing solutions to criminal activities in the state.
In the same month, Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq named Saliu Tunde Bello, retired Brigadier-General, one-time Colonel General Staff for the Nigerian contingent in the Liberian war and former military governor, as his Special Adviser on Security and Mr. Aliyu Muyideen, an intelligence and counterterrorism expert, as Senior Special Assistant on Security. These two appointments were obviously apt as Governor AA put the round peg in the round hole. Yes. Insightful persons would agree that the assemblage of a crack security team came as the governor wanted to push harder for more investments in security of Kwara State.

While Brigadier-General Bello was military Governor of Kebbi State between 1993 and 1996 and a colonel general staff for the Nigerian contingent in Liberia, and Chief Instructor at Military School in Zaria between 1988 and 1992, among other roles, Aliyu Muyideen retired as principal staff officer operations (DSS) and has a master’s degree in Peace and Strategic Studies from the University of Ilorin where he had earlier bagged a Bachelor of Arts in History.

Hence, it was no surprise in January 2021 as the state government swept into drastic measures to quell pent-up grievances between the operatives and members of the transport union in Ilesha-Baruba community in the Baruten Local Government Area. The clash occurred a week earlier during a misunderstanding over “bookings’’ between the operatives mounting roadblocks on the Ilesha-Baruba/Chikanda highway and commercial drivers plying the route.

Deservingly, the Emir of Ilesha-Baruba, Halidu Abubakar, commended the prompt response of the police in containing the spread of the crisis and the Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, and the Speaker of the Kwara House of Assembly for their support during and after the crisis

Also, on Tuesday, 2nd of March, 2021 Kwara state government led a delegation of state officials, traditional rulers, and security commanders to Ibadan for a joint security meeting with his Oyo State counterpart [Governor Seyi Makinde] and top officials of the southwestern state.

This development was consequent upon the quit order given some Fulani herdsmen in Oyo state which has created issues in Kwara State with internally displaced persons now spread across Kwara State. They were said to be in 13 villages across seven local government areas of Kwara State with its attendant challenges of maintaining those individuals.

According to the press statement issued by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, the Kwara-Oyo meeting was called at the instance of Governor AbdulRazaq, focused on the recent security breaches involving herders and local communities in both states.

The meeting also discussed,” the influx of displaced herders into Kwara State and the attendant socio-economic and security issues, a need for political leaders to act fast to drown the voices of non-actors who spread hate messages, and a need for the two states and traditional rulers across border communities to share intelligence while security agencies do joint patrols to curb criminal activities.

The initiative was part of the efforts of the Governor Abdulrahman-led administration to douse tension over the recent influx of herders into the state, is meant to further protect lives and properties.

Reading the resolution at end of the closed doors meeting, the host governor Engr Seyi Makinde said: “We held a joint Security Council meeting and we acknowledged the efforts of our security agencies and thanked them for the work they are doing for the country. We do appreciate them and we encourage them to do more. Our traditional rulers in border towns of Oyo and Kwara states are encouraged to come together in fostering unity and exchange of information. With that, our security agencies will be able to proactively deal with the situation instead of being reactive. Asking some people to leave Oyo State has created issues in Kwara State with internally displaced persons now spread across Kwara State. They are in 13 villages across seven local government areas of Kwara State with its attendant challenges of maintaining those individuals. So, a working group is to be set up to dispassionately address those challenges and come up with solutions and the governor of Kwara State and I will be able to resolve those issues.”

The Kwara team comprised House of Assembly member Ahmed Saidu Baba; Secretary to the State Government Professor Mamman Saba Jubril; former Special Adviser on Special Duties Yinka Aluko; and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security Muyideen Aliyu. Others are the state’s commissioner of Police; Brigade Commander, Nigeria Army, Sobi; Director, Department of State Service; Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; the Director National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency; and the Comptroller, Nigeria Immigration Service in Kwara State.

Also, the Emirs of border communities Okuta, Ilesha Baruba, Yashikra, and representatives of the Emir of Gwanara were also in attendance.

As maybe noted, Kwara is one of the most tribe-diverse states in the country as it contains Yoruba, Nupe, Bariba, Fulani etc, land/boundary disputes such between Share and Tsaragi, Ajashe-Ippo and Igbaja and Offa and Erin-Ile readily come to mind as they have fast become inherent. These tussles for land/boundary has resulted in losses of lives and properties over the years and they seem impregnable and would turn to a political furor if dabble into by any administration.

In recent times actually, Offa and Erin-Ile boundary issues resurfaced and Governor AA has put a lot in place in resolving it. First he called for calm, dialogue and appealed to both communities. He afterwards called the traditional heads of the two communities to Ilorin, the state capital for a close-door meeting barely 24-hour after he imposed curfew. In attendance were the Emir of Ilorin and Secretary to the state government, Professor Mamman Saba Jibril.
Governor subsequently visited the monarchs separately in their palaces in Offa and Erin-Ile respectively.


(c) Jimoh Taofik Adekunle
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Oluwashina Odebode

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