OYO State Governor Seyi Makinde has insisted that the Federal Government’s security apparatus must duly inform states before carrying out any covert operation.
The governor said this on Wednesday in reaction to the recent crisis that rocked Igangan and its environs in Ibarapa North Local Government of the state.
Some operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) had arrested suspected smugglers in the community, leading to a face-off between the operatives and the residents who mistook the operatives for the belligerent herdsmen and resisted the arrest.
The incident led to the death of the coordinator of Amotekun in Ibarapa Central Zone and two other people.
Reacting, Makinde noted that the deaths would have been avoided if the state had been carried along in the operation.
He said that the state would not release some guns seized from operatives of the NCS during the operation until it got an audience from the Federal Government.
“The Igangan incident, some days ago, was only falsified by some people who were saying that Fulani herdsmen had invaded Igangan again. The truth is actually about the NCS and smugglers. They know each other,” he said.
“Customs officials were accused to have entered Igangan, which is not a border town. But we are working with Federal authorities and they have arrested most of them. The gun that was collected is still with us. I said I won’t release it until I get the attention of the federal authorities.
“In the Constitution of Nigeria, Oyo State is a federating unit. We are not saying federal agencies should not carry out their operations here. But they must tell us; they must inform us. They may not disclose the details of the operation to us, but we must know about it.
“If we had known about the operation, we would have pre-informed the security detail in the town and those who died could have been alive. The Amotekun coordinator that died in Igboora would have still been alive today.”
The governor also berated the Customs officials for also invading the town with unidentified vehicles, knowing the volatile security situation in the area.
He pleaded with residents of the area to shun misinformation, stressing that tackling insecurity in the state was a collective responsibility.
Speaking further, the governor claimed that recent data indicated an improved security situation in the state, following various security measures the government had taken.
Makinde said part of the measures was the instruction to local government chairmen to involve traditional rulers and other voluntary residents in policing their areas.
According to him, each local government is to spend N10 million monthly on this security arrangement.
He explained that the initiative amounted to spending N330 million in the 33 local government areas, besides other efforts the state government had put in place to tighten security.