Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has charged the people of Ondo State to defend themselves against terrorists.
During a live television programme, Politics Today, he said the people of the state were indomitable, urging them not to flee whenever the attackers invade their lands.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who promised to do more to make the state a safe place, said: “If they bring a fight to you, you also should fight them back. Our people cannot afford to stay back and they think we are lazy people.
We are not lazy. We are unconquerable people. When we believe and act this, we fight these people back.” Akeredolu who is also the chairman of southwest governors forum maintained that the lesson learnt from the Owo terrorists’ attack on a church means the state must take security seriously, adding that the action had led to an Executive Order for the installation of CCTVs in all public places.
He disclosed that he had also tasked traditional rulers on readiness to defend the state and its people. His words: “Take the fight to them in the forest, Whosoever has the higher hand will survive. We have to be careful about the people around us and we have to be on the alert. When incidents like this happen, don’t run into the house. Go ahead and confront them.
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“When the Federal Government said the terrorist act was committed by ISWAP, I reacted to that almost immediately. What evidence do they have? Because the security agencies were too quick to jump to the conclusion that it was done by ISWAP. ”Whatever it is, we stand by a position that it is a theology that is operating in our forest to cause havoc.
We have Fulani herdsmen, bandits and ISWAP. It is the three of them that are working together in Ondo State and I don’t know how you want to separate them except if you have concrete evidence. And again, ISWAP most of the time, takes responsibility for their actions. I think if ISWAP had done this, they would have come up to say they were the one. Some of us have our fears that it is not ISWAP. “We have a very vast forest in the Southwest.
Unfortunately, these terrorists occupied the forest. They said they are searching for fertile areas to feed their herds . If you want to feed your herds , you do not need to carry an AK47. If there is rustling, it is not enough for you to be involved in criminality.”
Akeredolu further stated that no arrest had been made, stressing that the Amotekun commander only said they were on the trail of the perpetrators and they have recovered the vehicle and some evidence which they have handed over to the SSS for the required analysis.
“Because of the vast forest reserve we have, they can hibernate and we know. But the major problem we have now is that we are not in control of security agencies, ” he lamented. Akeredolu said he had increased the number of men in Amotekun and armed them with more vehicles for patrols to prevent further attacks. He added: “What we should prioritize today in the country is the State Police. That is the only way of getting out of this issue.
As we are here, we run a state security outfit that cannot carry firearms. “Amotekun has been doing wonderful work in the Southwest but the point is that it would have been more effective if they could carry weapons.”