18 January 2019

Nigeria: Kidnapping - Ondo Holds Security Summit, Seeks Solutions to Violent Crimes

Following the incessant kidnapping incidents, killings and other violent crimes in the state, the Ondo State Government, on Thursday, held a security summit in a bid to work out a blueprint on fighting myriad of security challenges facing the state.

Participants at the event which held in Akure, the Ondo State capital, include the army, the police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, other paramilitary organisations, local vigilante groups, traditional hunters and some Niger Delta militant groups.

The state has, in recent past, been a hub for kidnapping, ritual killings and other violent crimes, with a number of academics, lawyers and medical personnel as victims.

The alarm brought the army, the police and other security agencies together into a joint task force, which had made relative success in the raids of some of the forests around the state.

A few persons have been arrested for kidnapping and other violent crimes, but the state is still largely, under the siege of the bandits.

At the event, the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said his administration was committed to the fight against kidnapping and other security challenges, but noted that fighting insecurity was capital intensive.

"Insecurity has been a major challenge globally," he said. "There is hardly any continent in the world without its own peculiar socio-economic issues."

Mr Akeredolu said the African continent is grappling with serious challenges of existence with debilitating impact on the people's development.

"It is, therefore, expedient that we put in place the necessary security architecture that would enhance all-round development of the State and protect the citizens and investors operating in the state," the governor said.

"We need to involve all well-meaning individuals to ensure that our environment is free of crime."

A Professor of Criminology, Femi Odekunle, while making a presentation at the summit, said a lasting solution to the problem of insecurity in the country would be to empower the traditional rulers and institutions by making funds available to them to fund security in their domains.

Mr Odekunle, who was the lead speaker at the summit, presented a paper titled 'Improving the Security Architecture of Ondo State for Sustainable Peace and Development.' He said traditional rulers should be saddled with the responsibility of securing their domains in order to assist the government at all levels in tackling insecurity.

He specifically urged the National Assembly and the 36 States' Houses of Assembly to make legislation against insecurity with a view making their states safer.

"There should be a legislation to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of security work and administration in all the states," he said.

"By this, I mean there can be legislation to enforce regular security patrol, intelligence based policing and stipendiary justice administration."

Mr Odekunle also advised that the government should establish an advisory social science based "State Crime Prevention and Control" body for articulation and co-ordination of the objectives of crime prevention and control instrumentality in all the states.

He identified corruption as the basis of insecurity in the country and urged Nigerians to support the fight against corruption by the present administration, adding that such would put an end to crime and insecurity in the country.

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