The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission has called on security agencies in the country to double up their efforts in ending kidnapping and other security challenges that are on the rise in Southwest Nigeria.
The commission also commended governors in the region for deciding to hold a security summit as a strategy to combat the growing challenge.
The Director General of the commission, Mr Seye Oyeleye, in a statement at the weekend said with the summit, the incidents of kidnapping and other security challenges in the region will soon come to an end judging by the commitment of the governors.
The commission has been mandated by governors in the region to organize the security summit which is expected to hold by end of June.
The commission, which condemned the threat to lives and property of people in the region, said the commission was “averse to the spate of robberies and abductions on our roads and highways and economic sabotage by trespassers on farmlands in the region.”
The commission expressed support for the efforts of the Federal Government and state governors to cooperate in addressing the problem.
“DAWN Commission supports all efforts by State and Federal authorities and the International Community to ensure the protection of people in these areas, and appeals torelevant authorities not to relent in their efforts at ensuring that perpetrators and those directly or indirectly responsible for these crimes capable of disrupting the peace of the Region face justice and are held accountable for their crimes.” The statement said.
Encouraging residents not to entertain fear, the commission insisted that the region is not in crisis, pointing out that the situation is mostly exaggerated.
“DAWN also appeals to the general public that contrary to the alarmist, exaggerated and sometimes misrepresentation of facts by mischievous elements on social media and other fora, Western Nigeria largely remains peaceful, safe, welcoming and harmonious to all law abiding people and not in a state of crisis.” The statement added.
The commission also called on influential leaders in the region to exercise restraints in their comments in order not to aggravate the current situation.
“DAWN Commission also calls on all those with influence, including political, religious and traditional leaders, to exercise and encourage restraint and to refrain from incitement to hostility or violence, even in moments of outrage. An escalation of inflammatory rhetoric by influential persons or groups at a moment like this has the potential to aggravate the growing unease and could ultimately serve the interests of thoseaverse to peace in the region.” DAWN added.
It promised to sustain its efforts in mobilizing stakeholders and providing the framework for regional development.
“DAWN Commission being the regional development institution pursuing the composite development of Western Nigeria under a co-operative and collaborative framework, will continue to mobilize and work in a concerted effort with a variety of actors and stakeholders regionally, nationally and globally to preventing security, incitement to violence and to avert the risk of communal crisis in Western Nigeria and Nigeria as a whole.