South-west governors and monarchs have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to overhaul the nation’s security infrastructure.
This is coming on the heels of the #EndSARS protests which led to violence and looting, particularly in Lagos state.
At an event hosted by south-west governors in Lagos on Sunday, Buhari, represented by Ibrahim Gambari, his chief of staff, pledged to address the root cause of the protest.
After the meeting the forum issued a communique which read: “The security architecture of the country requires adjustment to adequately address the threats and realities of insecurity in the country. There should be more police presence in communities in the south-west states.
“A comprehensive programme that addresses youth employment and empowerment should be prioritised. Closer coordination and complementarity between the States and the Federal Government.
“Curricular of tertiary institutions should be reviewed, with emphasis placed on skills acquisition and entrepreneurship.
“We recognise the damaging and negative impact of fake and false news, and we worry about its destructive and dangerous potency. We call on the Federal Government to use the instrumentality of existing laws and regulations bench-marked from other countries to provide safeguards against the spread of fake news. The 2015 Cyber Act must also be fully used.”
The president said the political class must go beyond lip service and equip young people with skills that would make them competitive.
“Before our very eyes, what started as a peaceful demonstration turned to different thing that became a threat to all of us, who are regarded as elite,” he said.
“What we witnessed in the violence showed that something needs to be done to address the underlying issues and come out with solutions. We must be able to sustain the peace in our region at all cost.
“The vice-president and governors are designing an engagement framework through the National Economic Council that will be rolled out across States of the Federation.
“Chief among them is police reform across all its dimensions. Community policing as an additional layer that can resolve some of our security issues.”
On his part, Rotimi Akeredolu, Ondo governor and chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, expressed dismay the assets which sustained the region were destroyed by hoodlums.
Akeredolu said the assets are still vulnerable and that measures should be put in place to protect them.
“Before our very eyes, what started as a peaceful demonstration turned to the different thing that became a threat to all of us, who are regarded as elite,” the governor said.
“What we witnessed in the violence showed that something needs to be done to address the underlying issues and come out with solutions. We must be able to sustain the peace in our region at all cost.”
Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ooni of Ife, expressed unhappiness over the failure of the political class to consult with traditional institutions in decision-making.
The Ooni said dialogue would bridge the gap of communication between political leaders and traditional rulers.
Also speaking, Lamidi Adeyemi, Alaafin of Oyo, blamed the “unitary system” for the violence that occasioned the protests against police brutality.
Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, (2nd left), APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (centre) when Prof Gambari led South-west Ministers to symphatise with Asiwaju Tinubu at his Bourdillon, Lagos residence over the recent destruction in Lagos pic.twitter.com/MGupr8xdPH