The Ekiti State Government has beckoned on the traditional rulers and chiefs in the state to support the government in tackling the problem of kidnapping and other violent crimes.
The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, made the call on Tuesday while receiving in audience
members of the Association of Ekiti Traditional Chieftaincy Title Holders in his office in Ado-Ekiti.
Egbeyemi in a statement signed by his Special Assistant (Media), Odunayo Ogunmola, said government was taking some steps to ensure security of lives and property in the state.
The traditional chiefs who were led by their spokesman, the Odofinyin of Iyin-Ekiti, High Chief Ayodeji Esan, had listed a ten-point demand which include official recognition by government and their involvement in the maintenance of peace and security in each community.
They also advised the government to involve local hunters and vigilance groups as part of measures to ward off the incursion of armed herdsmen and kidnappers.
The deputy governor disclosed that a special security council meeting has been scheduled for today (Wednesday) where far reaching decisions would be taken on the security situation of the state.
Egbeyemi who added that the Fayemi administration was collaborating with obas and chiefs to tighten security stressed that government would frown at a situation in which their domains serve as operational bases for kidnappers and other criminals.
He said: “We would frown against any oba or chief in whose domains people are kidnapped, we would frown against any place where people are kidnapped or used by kidnappers to operate.
“Henceforth, obas and chiefs must now be on alert and you must know people in your vicinity. Be on alert especially for strange persons in your neighbourhoods and farms who may want to use those places as hideouts.
“Those coming in and those going out of your domains, you must know them. Government is ready to assist you to ensure that there is security of lives and property.
“Obas and chiefs in communities between Igede and Efon, Ikere and Emure, Ado and Ikere, between Iworoko and Ifaki and Ifaki and Omuo, the obas there should be up and doing.”
“You will recall that during the first tenure of Governor Fayemi, he committed a lot of resources to security by equipping the police and purchasing over 35 vehicles for them.
“But after four years, the vehicles are damaged and there are no replacements for them.”
The traditional chiefs, however, pledged their loyalty to the Fayemi administration which they acknowledged invested in the development of grassroots.
They also promised to mobilize people in the grassroots for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming general elections to ensure victory for the party’s candidates.