… As Security expert proffers solutions to armed banditry, general insecurity***
Operatives of the Oyo State Security Network Agency, also known as Amotekun, have arrested 11 suspected bandits terrorising residents of the state.
Amotekum Commandant in the state, retired Col. Olayinka Olayanju, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Ibadan.
Olayanju said that the suspects were arrested during joint routine patrol with members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) and other vigilance groups in the early hours of Thursday.
Olayanju said that the suspects were arrested at two illegal checkpoints in different locations.
The commandant said that while five of them were arrested in Saki East Local Government Area, six others were arrested at Kajola council area of the state.
The commandant said that the suspects had been handed over to the police.
“The bandits whose modus operandi is to pretend as herdsmen in the day and violently rob innocent passengers on the highways at night were caught with 183 cows, weapons and a total sum of N268, 470.00.
“They have been handed over to the police along with the 183 herds, weapons and money found in their possession for further investigation.
“Those with necessary information that could help the law enforcement agencies in their investigation are enjoined to report to the nearest police authority,’’ he said.
In a related development, A security expert, Dr Chukwuemeka Eze, has listed five major areas to focus on in order to solve the growing armed banditry and general insecurity challenges in Nigeria.
Eze, the Executive Director, African Network for Peace Building, Accra, Ghana, spoke on Thursday at the “Big Idea Podium” conference in Enugu.
Theme of the conference was: “Trend and Dynamics of Armed Banditry: Making Sense of the Problem.’’
It was organised by the African Heritage Institution (Afri-Heritage), and the Institute for Peace and Conflicts Resolution (IPCR).
Eze said that the Federal Government must rise up to show leadership and political-will in order to check the spillover of the current happenings in Nigeria to other countries in Africa.
According to him, to solve the problems, first, the Nigeria Government needs to re-examine all the existing strategies in confronting insecurity.
“Secondly, it should maximise the use of in-depth and collective dialogue to address all grievances of individuals and groups.
“Fix all known structural inequities and try as much as possible to create an egalitarian society with equal opportunities for all.
“Full involvement and collaboration with the locals as well as seeking their workable views on their local security challenges.
“Investing in local intelligence and working with the community leaders and influential persons,’’ Eze said.
He said that banditry could not be solved through guns being everywhere, but by the authorities and people taking and implementing some levels of responsibility.
“It needed synergy with all living within the country and with the government investing in modern intelligence gathering, security gadgets and equipment.
“Peace is a collective construct of all. Building peace also means investing in the future,’’ the security expert said.
Also, Dr Tswah Bakut, Director-General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that banditry had become the greatest threat to peace and stability of the country.
“I believe this conference will come out with basic practical solutions to solving the security challenges confronting us,’’ Bakut said.
In his remarks, Prof. Ufo Okeke-Uzodike, the Executive Director, Afri-Heritage, said, “Our leaders should be able to provide answers to why security is failing daily in the country.’’