People of Ikaleland in Okitipupa and Irele Local Government Areas of Ondo State on weekend held a community security summit to deliberate on and fashion out better ways to protect life and property in the communities.

The summit organised by a non governmental organization under the aegis of Ikale Security Observer (ISO) was hosted by Prince Dr (Gen) Olu Bajowa, OFR in his residence at Igbotako, Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state.

All stakeholders including, HRM Oba George Babatunde Faduyile, the Abodi of Ikaleland, Jegun of Idepe-Okitipupa, HRM Oba Michael Obatuga Adetoye, HRM Oba (Dr.) Gbadebo Bajowa, JP, the Rebuja of Osooro Kingdom, and other traditional rulers as well as sons and daughters of Ikaleland within the country and in the Diaspora gathered at the summit.

In his welcome address, General Bajowa said the security summit became necessary in view of high rate of insecurity in the country.

According to the Jagunmolu of Ikaleland, “I particularly feel greatly honoured and privileged, to host the first Ikale Home Security Summit organised by the Ikale Security Observer (ISO), at my Igbotako-Osooro residence, today Friday 17 September 2021.

“I equally feel impressed that the Royal Fathers and all the Security Stakeholders in Ikale Land and in diaspora, have come together to collectively address the Issues of security in Ikale land. This is a laudable and commendable initiative, as insecurity is one of the major challenges currently facing Nigeria. Happily, this is an area which I can confidently comment, being my professional constituency. More so, that I was the Chairman of the Ikale Rehabilitation Fundraising Committee, to reconstruct and reactivate the destroyed government facilities and private properties, consequent upon the 2020 EndSars protest.”

“As the son of the soil and a retired General in the reserve list, I guarantee my support for the Ikale Security Observer project, which I understand deals with Centralised Security Network, its Operation, Funding and Management.”

“Hence, I willingly avail my residence as a venue for today’s historic and unique summit, whilst congratulating the Chairman/President of ISO, Aare Prof Salewa Olafioye and Chief Barr Abayomi Akeremale, CP Rtd, the guest speaker, for today’s occasion.”

Chief Akeremale

“Certainly, the establishment of ISO could not have come at a better time than now, in view of the experience of the peaceful EndSars protest of 2020, which was hijacked by hoodlums and assailants. It was later discovered that lack of adequate and timely information and intelligence, led to the failure of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies to act proactively, on the EndSars incident.”

“Without prejudice to the guest speaker’s address, I cannot as a retired General and Jagunmolu of Ikale Land, but make few comments on the security issues, for today’s discussion.”

“As survival is the first law of nature, so the security of the people and property must be assured by the Government, as a basic need along with: food, shelter, healthcare, access to education and means of livelihood, through gainful employment, to address poverty. The nonexistence of these basic needs or human rights are the root causes of crime, terrorism, banditry, insurgency, and general insecurity in the country.”

“Needless to over emphasise the importance of security in the community, and indeed the nation at large, without which peace, development and progress would be hamstrung. Although, security of people and property, is the primary responsibility of Government, the gathering of information for processing of shared intelligence by the police and other security services, is the responsibility of all, for a successful community or neighbourhood security. It is an accepted security fact that shared information/intelligence is key to successful internal security.”

“Also, of important concern in security, is the issue of funding and resource control. Our security architecture requires proper and adequate funding, with a well-coordinated and organised control structure, for meaningful impact of security policy set goals and objectives to thrive.”

Bajowa reasoned that “Although security of people and property is the primary responsibility of government, the gathering of information for processing of shared intelligence by the police and other security services is the responsibility of all for a successful community or neighbourhood security.”

He, therefore, suggested that “the security network outfit, should be fully set up and with adequately equipped Vigilantes, Hunters, and Neighbourhood Informants. Community policing requires the setting up of check points at strategic areas for population movement control, and neighbourhood patrolling, to assist the police and other security agencies, which should equally have adequate communication and transportation, to rapidly move intervention forces to deal with incidents at flash points.

“In conclusion, I fervently hope that the outcome of today’s brainstorming exercise of the ISO project for Irele and Okitipupa LGAs, will provide veritable, positive, and realistic solutions, for the centralised Ikale Security Network, its operations, funding, management and by extension, produce a Blueprint which could be available to other Local Governments Areas, in addressing criminal acts such as armed-robbery, kidnapping, banditry, insurgency, and terrorism, which are the major challenges facing Nigeria, today.”

In his address, the guest speaker at the summit, Chief Abayomi Akeremale, a retired Commissioner of Police, said the security network was meant to prevent life and property of the people from external invaders and internal criminal elements.
He said: “We are grouping all hunters in Ikaleland. We shall screen and place them in sectors under the area commands with each sector under a traditional ruler.
One Ode (Hunter) commanding 10 Ogbojuodes (great hunters).

According to Chief Akeremale, the security network is a non-aggressive outfit but shall work with the police and other security agencies to prevent crimes in Ikaleland.

In his address, the Chairman/ President of Ikale Security Observer, ISO, Aare Prof Salewa Olafioye, based in the US, noted that the security summit was organised to be a step ahead of perpetrators of criminality who were moving from one community to another in the country.

He expressed optimism in community security network’s collaboration with the police and other security agencies in checking criminality in all Ikale communities when constituted.