Abdbulrasheed Akanbi, oluwo of Iwoland in Osun state, has called on the federal government to make provision for security votes for the traditional institution to help fight insecurity in the country.
Akanbi, who spoke to journalists in Osogbo, the state capital on Monday, said the traditional rulers are closer to the grassroots and are privy to the intelligence needed to curb crimes in communities.
According to him, the police cannot effectively perform their duty of securing the people because the force is “underfunded and understaffed”, hence the need to collaborate with traditional rulers.
“Traditional rulers should be empowered to domesticate security at the grassroots which constitutes higher percent of the hideouts for kidnappers. Co-opting monarchs will unavoidably decimate security threat,” Akanbi said.
“But traditional institution should be given security vote to engage local hunters, vigilante, the Agbekoyas, trusted local Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), among others. In my own capacity, I am trying my utmost best in my domain but the institution I represent deserves security funding to act more.
“I have personally arrested a criminal in my domain and handed him over to the police. I know the nooks and crannies of my city. No criminal can survive with illegality here. I have instilled the fear in them and this has decimated atrocities in Iwo. I am ready to do more if empowered by engaging trusted local security details.
“The police saddled with this primary responsibility is underfunded and under staffed. Nigeria of over 200 million population is parading about 300,000 policemen. The police should be equipped with modern tools and should be paid good salaries and as well be assured of job security to motivate them for maximal performance.
“Government should provide surveillance helicopters to aid technical detective assignments by the police, most especially when searching kidnappers’ hideouts.”
Akanbi linked the high rate of crimes and banditry in the country to unemployment, saying the availability of jobs will cause a drastic reduction in social vices in the society.
“…The ultimate panacea is the implementation of robust youth based programs and empowerment for the Nigerian youth,” he said.
“The root of every security threat is unemployment. Addressing this will halt the menace of criminality and clean our country of social vices.
“Strict punishment should be enacted and uphold by agencies of government. The fear of legal reprisal can equally disabuse some perpetrators.”