Kunle Adelabu & Wale Jagun
The six local government Chairmen in Ikorodu Division of Lagos State, Southwest, Nigeria, have made a bold statement that they are working towards having their own security architecture to be named, ‘Ikorodu Division Security Trust Fund’, to provide necessary funding and support for the fight against crimes in the division.
The Council bosses also revealed that they have resolved to have a joint taskforce to tackle crimes in the division in conjunction with the Police and other security agencies.
These were part of the resolutions by the chairmen at a press conference after their Joint Peace and Security Committee Meeting with security agencies in the division at the office of the Ikorodu Local Government Chairman, Hon. Wasiu Adeshina, on Tuesday, March 8, 2022.
The new development confirmed the investigative report of THE IMPACT on Monday, March 7, 2022, titled, “Council Chairmen Plan Own Ikorodu Security Trust Fund”.
The six Council Chairmen – Hon. Wasiu Adeshina, Chairman, Ikorodu Local Government, Hon. Sulaimon Kazeem Olanrewaju, Chairman, Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Builder Adeola Banjo, Chairman, Ikorodu North LCDA, Builder Sesan Daini, Chairman, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, Hon. Motunrayo Gbadebo – Alogba, Chairman, Ijede LCDA and Hon. (Prince) Wasiu Kunle Agoro, Chairman, Imota LCDA, said that they are the ones empowered constitutionally to institute such security architecture for Ikorodu.
Ikorodu Local Government and Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA Chairmen spoke on behalf of their colleagues at the gathering.
Hon. Adeshina, speaking, confirmed that they are working with the Lagos State Security Trust Fund to recreate the initiative in the division while watering down the significance of the Ikorodu Division Peace Initiative Limited initiated by royal fathers and other stakeholders and being chaired by High Chief Adewunmi Ogunsanya, the Odofin of Ikorodu and Chairman, MultiChoice Nigeria. as its Chairman.
“Yes, we are in alliance with the Lagos State Security Trust Fund. As local governments, we are part of Lagos State and even Conference 57 that is the umbrella body of the councis, is taking a good part in supporting LSSTF”, he said.
“So, we are thinking of having the same at our local government level and by the time we finish with the design, we would make it public.
“The established peace initiative (Ikorodu Peace Initiative Limited/GTE) is for peace. I think that they are for peace and not a security issue. In fact, as it is with anything about peace, the operatives are not expected to carry guns because they are to make peace”, Hon. Adeshina said.
While establishing that they are the ones constitutionally empowered to initiate policy and action on security of lives and properties as elected chairmen, Adeshina also revealed that a Joint Taskforce will be unveiled soon.
“We, as the persons bestowed with the constitutional responsibilities of being the Chief Security Officers of our respective local governments, are only playing our constitutional roles and that is why you can see the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and other security agencies in this meeting”, he said.
“I want to assure that very soon, the six of us would come out with a Joint Security Taskforce that would embrace the six councils in Ikorodu Division, so that the issue of cultism and other security issues would be permanently laid to rest.
“Even with the peace initiative that you are talking about, as I am speaking with you, Ijede is boiling but by the time we set up our own joint task force, you will not hear anything of such again. That is to tell you that we are the ones bestowed with constitutional power and we are going to work with security agencies”, he reiterated.
In his responses to questions raised by journalists, Builder Daini, while confirming the move to initiate another security architecture which many have seen as an attempt to rival IDPIL/GTE, also provided more details on how far that they have gone in that regard.
He also revealed that they are working towards having an Executive Bill to establish a bye – law for the establishment and operation of the proposed security architecture.
“We are being supported by the LSSTF and we do support them as well. So, whenever we have issues, we contact the appropriate bodies and they will support us”, he said.
“The consultant that is working with us was nominated by the LSSTF. That is the Consultant that would assist with the creation of the Ikorodu Division Security Trust Fund Bill. He’s with us on the recommendation of the LSSTF after the meeting and agreement between us (the six councils chairmen) and notable leaders in the state”.
“This is not aim at causing any division, rather, it is we standing up to our responsibilities to tell the world that we are competent, capable and not irresponsible”.
Speaking on the IDPIL/GTE, Daini said that the six chairmen are not party to the initiative that is set to be launched tomorrow by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu and other dignitaries.
“On the role of the chairmen in the Ikorodu Division Peace Initiative, we would only attend what we were not invited to be part of. As far as we are concerned, we are not part of the security architecture”, he said.
“It is not even about involvement or not, it is about our constitutional responsibilities. We swore oath of allegiance and secrecy and those two oaths keep us abreast of the constitution than any other person.
“We cannot but do what is stated clearly in section 14 (1) sub section, a, b and c of the Nigerian Constitution which says that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of the government”. Government in the constitution can either be the federal, state or local government”, he declared.
“So, we are only doing this to establish the constitutional responsibilities according to the oath of secrecy and allegiance that we have sworn to”, he added.
While also reacting to question on why they are unveiling their agenda on security issues on the eve of the launching of the IDPIL/GTE which many have described as laudable and timely intervention, Daini said that:
“On the question of why now, there is no time too late for the government. Baba Jakande said that government is a continuity, nobody can finish it. Events, activities and situations bring new developments in governance”, he said.
“That we are doing it now, it’s just because it is necessary and it is the only way out.
“We have also discussed it at this security meeting and all of us have equally agreed that now is right time to establish the Ikorodu Division Security Trust Fund to solve our security problems together and I must say this, why we come to that conclusion is that we got to know that Ikorodu is interwoven. Igbogbo cannot solve its security issue without Ijede and Ijede cannot solve it without Imota.
“That is why we have decided that the common solution is for all of us to come together. Any perpetrator or criminal who wants to fight or wage war in any part of Ikorodu will know that he’s waging war against the six councils”.
Both chairmen also said that all the chairmen in Ikorodu Division are capable and competent administrators which is why they are coming up with a joint effort of the ideas they have initiated at individual level.
“We called this meeting to actually show that we are performing, especially on security”, Hon. Adeshina said.
“I also want to say this, that most of the other men (security personnel) that are working with others around the town are products of the six council chairmen. We discovered these people that they want to start tapping and using”, Builder Daini said.
“If we are not competent enough, we wouldn’t have established and put that structure in place for people to tap into”, he added.
Also at the press conference were the six Council leaders in Ikorodu Division.