The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, Telu I, has explained how the Federal Government could utilize the traditional institution to curb spate of kidnapping and other crimes in the country.
Speaking with reporters in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, the Oluwo advocated for empowerment of traditional rulers to re-establish communal structure in combating high ranking crimes.
The first class traditional ruler, who regretted the height of insecurity across the nation, said far reaching and creative measures must be applied urgently to “forestall impending doom hanging dangerously on the nation.”
Oba Akanbi said it was time the FG restructured the nation’s security landscape through a collaboration with key stakeholders, including the traditional rulers, who by virtue of their closeness to the grassroots, are veritable instruments of intelligence gathering and feedback for relevant authorities.
He said: “Traditional rulers should be empowered to domesticate security at the grassroots which constitutes higher percent of the hideouts for kidnappers. Co-opting monarchs will unavoidably decimate security threat. But traditional institution should be given security vote to engage local hunters, vigilante, the Agbekoyas, trusted local Odua People’s Congress (OPC) among others. In my own capacity, I am trying my utmost best in my domain but the institution I represent deserves security funding to act more.
“I have personally arrested a criminal in my domain and handed him over to the police. I know the nooks and crannies of my city. No criminal can survive with illegality here. I have instilled the fear in them and this has decimated atrocities in Iwo. I am ready to do more if empowered by engaging trusted local security details.
“The police saddled with this primary responsibility is underfunded and under staffed. Nigeria of over 200 million population is parading about 300,000 policemen. The police should be equipped with modern tools and should be paid good salaries and as well be assured of job security to motivate them for maximal performance.
“Government should provide surveillance helicopters to aid technical detective assignments by the police, most especially when searching kidnappers’ hideouts.
“Strict punishment should be enacted and uphold by agencies of government. The fear of legal reprisal can equally disabuse some perpetrators. Also, the ultimate panacea is the implementation of robust youth based programs and empowerment for the Nigerian youth. The root of every security threat is unemployment. Addressing this will halt the menace of criminality and clean our country of social vices.”