In a bid to end the rising insecurity in the South-West region, South-West governors have deliberated and resolved to regulate operations of motorcycle riders popularly known as Okada riders.
Naija News reports that the governors met yesterday to discuss following the recent horror killings of worshippers at the St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State.
Recall that some gunmen had two Sundays ago stormed the worship centre and killed scores of worshippers.
Restating their commitment to protecting the lives of citizens and properties, the Governors forum vowed to combat the threat of insurgency and terrorism in the region with every means possible.
At the meeting, the governors set up a security committee to look into the desirability and operations of okada riders.
Naija News understands that the South West Governors’ had earlier declared a 3-day mourning period in memory of victims of the terror attack in Owo.
They also directed the flying of flags at half-mast in all public buildings, facilities and official residences across all the states in the South-West in honour of the departed Christian worshippers.
The Forum announced that the mourning period should commence on Monday, June 13, 2022.
Governors in attendance in the virtual meeting include the forum’s Chairman, Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun) and Seyi Makinde (Oyo).
A communique issued after the meeting reads: “The recent attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owaluwa Street, Owo, compels immediate intervention in the whole of the South West to nip the insidious phenomenon of insurgency in the bud.
“The meeting, consequently, took decisions, some of which are expected to have far-reaching implications in the quest to protect lives and property in the region.
“The governors noted, with great discomfiture, the increasing agitations about spaces taken over by unidentified and unknown migrants in all South-West states.
“The meeting, therefore, recommends an increase in the scope of surveillance of the activities of these undocumented settlers by relevant security agencies in all the states.
“The governors, as chief security officers, resolved to continue to assist the security agencies in the areas of crisis management and intelligence gathering at all times.”
Naija News understands that the governors during the meeting reviewed reports received from various States on the factors militating against peace and security in the region.
They lamented the developments happening and expressed worries about the influx of Okada riders into all parts of the South-West, especially the State capitals.
The meeting further resolved that efforts be geared toward identity management of Okada riders and stringent regulations put in place for their operation.
Consequently, the governors concluded that it was time to reconvene the South-West Security Committee to look critically into this creeping menace before it blossoms into another intractable social problem.
The statement added: “The committee will be expected to submit its findings on the desirability of Okada operations in the region. It is also expected to submit a multi-level template to combat the threat of insurgency and terrorism in the region.”