By Ebunoluwa Sessou
Conference of Speakers of South West Legislatures today converged in Lagos to brainstorm on how to end security threats confronting the region.
The Speakers who came from Southwest states including Lagos, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti and Ogun reiterated the need to proffer lasting solutions to incessant security challenges the region has been faced with in recent times.
They made the promise at the maiden edition of the Conference of South West Legislatures in Nigeria held in Lagos.
The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, who doubles as the Chairman of Conference of Speakers of Nigeria, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa in his welcome address as the host of the visiting Southwest Speakers, highlighted issues bothering the peace of the region.
According to him, “We are opportune to deliberate on Southwest economic and socio-political integration for progress, we know the problems confronting us as a region which includes; kidnapping, theft, arson and herdsmen attacks on our people among others.
“It has reached an alarming height and we need to beef up our internal security, all stakeholders in Southwest should collaborate to find lasting solutions to the hydra-headed security problems confronting us.
Obasa also noted that the idea to establish Special Security offices across Southwest is also in the offing, while he urged the Federal Government to be proactive in securing Nigerian Nationals in South Africa against the xenophobic attacks.
“I urge the Local Government, State and Federal Government to work relentlessly to stem the threat to peace.
“There should be speedy action to halt this sad development, we condemn xenophobic attacks in it entirety and we urge our citizens to give peace a chance and not to result to vandalization of their investments in Nigeria in retaliation to South African xenophobia.”
Speaking with journalist after the end of the parley, the Chairman Conference of Speakers of Southwest State Legislatures, the Ondo State Speaker, Mr. Bamidele Oleyelogun cited the need for integration amidst the political stakeholders in the southwest to evolve even development.
According to him we deliberated on a lot of issues, unity, security threats, killings in South Africa, we condemn it in it’s totality.
“We want peace and unity in southwestern states and had robust debate on what can move our zone forward.”
Commenting on the models of tackling insecurity in the region, Oleyelogun said,” each of the respective Speakers have to go back to his own domain and have discussions with their Governor and meet with stakeholders to fine tune the way forward.
On how to fund the proposed Special security offices to be established across southwest, he noted that the Governors are ready to support security matter.
“You can not quantify it with money as it involves lives”, he said.
Present at the parley were; Speakers of Ogun State Assembly, Mr. Olakunle Oluomo, Mr. Adebo Ogundoyin of Oyo, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye of Ekiti, Mr. Timothy Owoeye of Osun, and some of the principal officers of the respective state Assemblies and their Clerks.