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South-West roads no longer safe, schools operating under fear – Gov. Akeredolu cries out [FULL SPEECH]



Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Tuesday raised an alarm that roads in the South West region are no longer safe, while schools in the region operate under palpable fear.

Akeredolu, who doubles as Chairman of Western Nigeria Governors Forum, made these revelations while speaking at a summit organised by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission.

The summit christened, “Stakeholders’ security summit: Focus on Western Nigeria” held in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, had all the six governors from the region: Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun) Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), in attendance.

Others are security chiefs, traditional rulers, leaders of thought and prominent groups within the region among whom are a former deputy governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, Chief Gani Adams, Secretary of Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Dr. Kunle Olajide, Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejuyigbe and Olukare of Ikare-Akoko Oba Akadiri Momoh among others.

The list also includes: Dr. Femi Majekodunmi, Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulraseed Adewale Akanbi, AIG in charge of Zone 11 which consists of Oyo, Osun and Ekiti, Mr. Leye Oyebade, Commissioners of Police in the six states, among others.

Akeredolu, while addressing the audience, lamented that school children are now abducted for ransom while commuters are no longer safe on the highway.

He insisted that, “This aberrant phenomenon seems blind to class, religion and ethnicity. Nobody is spared. All of us have become victims, suddenly”.

Below is a full text of Akeredolu’s speech while speaking at the summit.




I welcome, most heartily, my fellow brothers from all South Western States and, indeed, all dignitaries invited to this very important gathering in Ibadan, the political capital of the Yoruba people. This meeting has become exigent considering the spate of insecurity in the country. The anxiety of our people is palpable. The growing fear among the populace makes nonsense of any plans conceived for the development of our God-given space.

It is my fervent hope that this engagement will not be limited to the current challenge which threatens to wreck our collective peace. I look forward to future interactions on matters as important and affective as this one which compels this assembly. There is no gainsaying the obvious; the issue of socio-economic integration in the region must be taken seriously for any aspiration towards development to be meaningful. No remarkable progress can be achieved amidst chaos. No State in the Region can achieve greatness in isolation.

We should extend the possibility of cooperation on other socio-economic fronts. Our people stand to benefit from our resolve to ensure that they remain at the centre of all permutations and considerations. Partisan coloration should not delimit the extent of collaboration aimed at maximum service for our people. With shared yearnings for the development of the region, there should be no difficultyin agreeing to provide the best services possible in the interest of our people.

There should be no disagreement in aspiration for service, if altruism is the focus. Our seeming difference, considering political platforms, should not stand in the way of commitment to promote the collective well-being of our people. Convinced of our shared heritage, propelled by the desire to proceed on the enviable tradition of excellence for which our ancestors are reputed, we cannot harbour any extraneous preferences to this inherited and established course of development.

We are particularly lucky; we have many examples to draw from history considering exemplary courage in the face of adversity, uncommon display of hospitality, even in privation, industry and distinctive virtues, all of which mark us as a unique people. The influx of peoples from other parts of the country and beyond attest to our urbanity and humane disposition which accommodate divergence.The evidence of great successes recorded by those who seek refuge in our geo-political space is sufficient reason for the sustenance of our hospitable disposition, provided that our people’s interests are not in jeopardy.

Again, our history compels us to be cautious when confronted with strange occurrences. Our past experiences should teach us that understanding a phenomenon will assist us, tremendously, in proffering useful solutions. As leaders of our people we cannot afford to be emotive in taking decisions for their benefit. Any step taken must reflect the collective will to protect them. No sacrifice is too much to preserve this heritage of peace and prosperity.

The pervasive presence of persons not indigenous to our space bears eloquent testimony to the quality of our upbringing. The preponderance of thriving businesses owned and controlled by our brothers and sisters from other parts of the country is evidence of sophistication. Our land is indeed a lesson to other parts of the country. There is no limit to the aspiration of anyone who lives, peacefully, among us. Nobody is persecuted in our midst. We protect the weak, even against our own. Our borders are thrown open to all and sundry in the spirit of brotherhood and oneness.

There is, however, the urgent need compelling a review of this liberal policy of openness. Our people are under siege, the harbingers of death, sorrow, tears and blood threaten the existing fraternity among the peoples of this country. Narrow-mindedness gloats over the horrendous crimes perpetrated by these criminal elements. Some fail to see beyond partisan parochialism. The situation on ground should compel a broader and open-minded analysis of this strange incursion with a view to ascertaining the real reasons responsible for this disquiet.

We should be particularly worried by the current spate of an insidious phenomenon, hitherto unknown and uncommon in our immediate clime, creeping into our erstwhile peaceful and prosperous ambience. The incessant perpetration of anti social behaviours, occasioning pervasive despair, and the seeming helplessness of our security agencies to stem the tide of these aberrant attitudes, which threaten the very existence of our region as an autonomous socio-political entity, call for serious scrutiny. We must review these unfortunate incidents individually and collectively. Every State must be able to ascertain the extent of this current threat. We must locate the sources of compromise within our space with a view to curtailing same effectively in both the short and long run.

Our collective goal should be the security of our space and safety of our people in all ramifications. On this, there should be no compromise. We must, consequently, be proactive in tackling the current security issues. The adoption of a scientific approach towards the resolution of the current crisis will bear far-reaching effects. Our State will be looking forward to working with other States in the South Western Region to eradicate the menace of armed robbery, drug abuse, cultism, kidnapping, among others.

There can be no argument on the assertion that insecurity has becomea major issue in the polity today. There is virtually no part of the country which is spared at the moment. All the six geo-political zones experience one form of crisis or the other. From Zamfara to Katsina, the current trends are banditry and cattle rustling. Kano, Sokoto and Bauchi are not spared. Kaduna faces an uphill task in combating security challenges.

The Middle Belt Region is also affected seriously. The crisis between the Jukun and Tiv in Taraba State appears intractable. Jos has witnessed a serious upheaval recently. Benue State was practically under siege at a moment. The North East has been waging a seemingly endless war against insurgents who have now introduced an international dimension to the mindless killings and destruction of properties. The South East and South South battle with communal clashes, banditry, armed robbery and kidnapping.

The South West had enjoyed some moments of respite until recently. What started as isolated cases have now become a daily occurrence. Some cases are obviously exaggerated and there are many fictive narratives out there. Some unscrupulous persons hope to derive political mileage from this confusion, no doubt. There is no denying the fact that the region which had enjoyed some relative peace, is currently under siege. Everybody is concerned about the ease with which these fiendish characters operate. Some victims have been unlucky, they paid the supreme price.Others live with bodily scars and bruised psyche. The morale of our people had never been this low. Our security agencies appear overwhelmed by the incessant and sustained attacks on our people in different parts of the country. Our roads are no longer safe. Our schools operate under palpable fear. School children are now abducted for ransom. Commuters are no longer safe on our roads. This aberrant phenomenon seems blind to class, religion and ethnicity. Nobody is spared. All of us have become victims, suddenly.

There have been attempts by some to create disaffection among Nigerians. Others have tried to take advantage of the unfortunate crisis to further compound the problems. A traditional ruler and a pastor have been accused of feigning kidnap to extort money from sympathisers. Crime, of varying hue, is gradually becoming a very lucrative business in Nigeria.


The Ondo State Government, recognizing the gravity of the current challenges, held a Security Summit early this year. The enormity of these problems made the convocation of the event exigent. There was unanimity in the belief that the location of our state explains the seeming vulnerability of both the government and its people. The assemblage of security experts, personnel and representatives of agencies agreed on the pathway towards the resolution of the current crisis.

Ondo State occupies a very strategic location in the country. Her littoral shores are the longest and, arguably, the deepest. Her northern borders lead to the North Central and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The volume of human and vehicular traffic coursing through the State requires constant alertness. The State is the gateway to the South-West. She shares common borders with Kogi, Edo, Osun and Ogun States. The state is easily accessible from Lagos State by the Lagoon and Atlantic.

These geographical realities dictate that our security architecture be honed, constantly, to reflect the dynamic nature of the challenges faced by our people. Some fugitive criminal elements believe that our State provides a safe haven for them by the simple logic of her heterogeneous composition. Our porous borders encourage seamless ingress and egress, especially by these undesirable elements whose nefarious activities excite anxieties.

The State has had her own share of socio-economic adversities, chief among which has been the issue of crime and the embarrassing presence of army of unemployed youths. We have been contending with common anti- social attitudes like stealing, thuggery, even armed robbery. We have had to resolve crisis between farmers and herdsmen and a new understanding has been reached. The introduction of the novel phenomenon of kidnappinghas, however, been quite unsettling. We are not unaware of the antics of some unscrupulous elements who seek to employ this unfortunate development to divide the people. The pernicious attempt to bring in ethnicity and religion must be condemned by all well-meaning citizens in the country.

The Ondo State Security Summit produced a Security Policy Document for the State. This document considers the current situation and suggests ways through which the problems can be tackled. The Summit identified high level of insecurity, wide gaps in available security architecture, constraints occasioned by these challenges, future institutional arrangements, sustainable structure and funding. It also came up with both medium security and safety strategic plans.

Our administration has exhibited sufficient political will which leaves no one in doubt of its readiness to confront the challenges headlong. This Security Policy Document (SPD) promises to address these problems realistically. The provision of adequate security architecture will enhance the socio-economic development of the people of Ondo State and promote investment and tourism.

The document contains five key Security Policy Objectives which the government proposes to boost public confidence. These are enunciated as follows:

1. Ensuring Public Safety: providing for, and mitigating risks to, the safety of citizens and communities;

2. Preserving Domestic peace and safety: protecting the physical security of residents and their properties;

3. Protecting Public Assets: this is both physical and virtual. The citizens are allowed to communicate, trade and engage in socio-economic activities without any fear of molestation from any quarters;

4. Sustaining economic prosperity: maintaining and advancing the economic well-being of individuals, families, business and communities; and

5. Maintaining democratic institutions and national values: preventing activities aimed at undermining or overturning government institutions, principles and values that underpin the society.


The Ondo State Government has adopted a holistic and integrated strategic approach to manage security risk. We will be relying on the 4Rs to combat the menace. These are:

1. Reduction: this administration believes in the drastic reduction in crime rate through identification and analysis of long term and short term risks with a view to eliminating them.

2. Readiness: developing operational systems and capabilities to prevent crimes.

3. Response: moving swiftly to nip in the bud any significant event before, during and/or directly after occurrence.

4. Recovery: using coordinated efforts and processes to engender immediate, medium-term and long term prevention of crimes.

In achieving these lofty aims, heavy reliance will be placed on collaboration with certain government agencies which deal with crime and delinquency prevention. These include:

Law Enforcement and Investigations

Criminal Prosecution

Justice Administration

Legal Defence, Victims and Witness Protection

Prisons and Offender-Correction.


Need for a proper coordination of the activities of all formal and informal security groups in the State.

Free flow of information regarding crime from members of the public as encouraged by the State.

Need for a toll-free line for crime reporting in the State.

Need for joint border patrols with neighbouring States.

Above all, the need for inter-agency cooperation and collaboration.

We must ensure that we fill the gaps in legislation to sanction deviance promptly, firmly and comprehensively.

The role of the people is vital in the implementation of any conceived ideas. The people must be informed adequately on the strategic importance of collaboration with the agencies of the State. Unless they are made to own the programme, it will be very difficult for the government to make any appreciable impact in its bid to confront insecurity.


The South-Western States must ensure that their strategies are harmonized to achieve a common purpose. We cannot afford to work in isolation at this moment. We must cast aside all partisan considerations in the interest of our people. Our ultimate aim must be the socio-economic integration of the Region which reflects our collective aspirations for a peaceful and prosperous environment.

As we seek to collaborate to combat a common challenge, it should also not be tasking for those of us in the saddle to begin to think of the socio-economic benefits accruable from working together to make our Region less dependent, almost solely, on external sources for survival.

I shall be listening, attentively, to the presentations of my brothers. I look forward to gaining more from the practical examples to be presented.

I thank you all for your patience.




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Hardship: Labour Begins Strike, Vows to Ground Economy




The Nigeria Labour Congress has vowed to ground the economy as it says the stage is set for a two-day nationwide warning strike in response to the severe economic hardships plaguing the nation on the aftermath of subsidy removal by the Federal Government.

This move has garnered widespread support from key stakeholders, including the banking sector, civil society organisations, and workers’ unions, as they unite to address the growing economic crisis in the country.

The National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees, the umbrella organisation representing workers in the banking and insurance industry, on Monday vowed to take part in the strike, effectively shutting down financial activities across Nigeria.

A statement signed by the General Secretary of NUBIFIE, Mr Mohammed Sheikh, underscored the importance of their participation in the two-day warning strike by the NLC, citing the need to draw the government’s attention to the dire economic situation faced by Nigerians.

The leadership of NUBIFIE has issued a notice that all banks will be shut down on Tuesday, 5 and Wednesday, 6 September 2023, in line with the NLC two-day strike directive.

“The directives are imperative to get the needed attention of the government and to warn it against interfering in the internal affairs of unions instead of addressing the punishing economic circumstances we find ourselves in,” the statement emphasised.

Speaking with The PUNCH, the Senior Deputy General Secretary of NUBIFIE, Mr. Aboderin Olusola, reiterated their commitment to the NLC’s cause, stressing the necessity of solidarity among industrial unions during these trying times.

Olusola said, “It was NLC’s directive to all the industrial unions and NUBIFIE didn’t have any option than to issue that circular to all our members and management of banks and insurance companies in Nigeria.”

Joining the chorus of concern, the United Action Front of Civil Society has thrown its full support behind the NLC’s two-day warning strike.

In a statement signed by the Head of the National Coordinating Centre for the United Action Front of Civil Society, Wale Okunniyi, the organisation expressed outrage over the hardship inflicted on Nigerians by the government’s decision to remove fuel subsidies and subsequently raise the price of premium motor spirit.

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria has backed the Nigerian Labour Congress to embark on the two-day warning strike.

This was contained in a letter on Monday titled, ‘Compliance to the Nigerian Labour Congress directive on a nationwide two-day warning strike’, signed by the Head of Media, MWUN, John Ikemefuna.

The PUNCH reports that on Friday, the NLC in a communiqué jointly signed by its National President, Joe Ajaero and Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, said it decided to embark on a two-day warning strike following what was described as the failure of the Tinubu-led Federal Government to dialogue and engage stakeholders within the organised labor on efforts to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal on Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, on the “poor masses”.

The President General of MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, directed all its affiliates to embark on the two-day nationwide strike.

He said, “This decision is due to the Federal Government’s refusal to engage and reach an agreement with the organized labor on critical issues of the consequences of the unfortunate hike in the price of petrol, which has unleashed massive suffering on Nigerian workers and the generality of the Nigerian citizens.”

“The MWUN as an affiliate of the NLC, is obliged to comply with the directive and has consequently instructed all our members in all ports, jetties, terminals, and oil and gas platforms nationwide to partake on the two days total shut down warning strike as directed by the NLC.”

The Punch

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Naira Continues to Appreciate, Trades for N850/$1 in Parallel Market




The Naira on Wednesday continued its appreciation against the United States dollar on Wednesday, exchanging at N850 per dollar at the close of trading.

The currency appreciated on Tuesday, ending the day at N915 per dollar 24 hours after the Central Bank of Nigeria announced that it was intervening with some measures to curb the fall of the naira. It had earlier traded on Monday at N950 to a dollar.

Bureau de Change operators in Lagos said they bought and sold the naira at N830 to a dollar and N850 to a dollar on Wednesday, adding that demand was lower compared to last week.

However, in Abuja, a BDC operator, Aminu Zakari, said he bought and sold the dollar for N860 per dollar and N845 per dollar. According to him, there has been uncertainty in the parallel segment of the market following the announcement by the CBN.

At the Investor & Exporter forex window, trading commenced at N781.66 to a dollar and reached a high of N799.90 per dollar before closing at N759.86 to a dollar on Wednesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, it closed at N781.30 to a dollar.

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Marketers Propose N720/litre, Suspend Fuel Imports over Forex Crisis




Oil marketers, on Sunday, indicated that the cost of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, would rise to between N680/litre and N720/litre in the coming weeks should the dollar continue to trade from N910 to N950 at the parallel market.

They also hinted that dealers seeking to import PMS were being forced to put the plans on hold due to the scarcity of foreign exchange to import the commodity.

The warning came barely one week after the local currency crossed the N900/dollar ceiling, with the naira selling at over 945/dollar at the parallel market on Friday.

Oil dealers said the CBN Importers and Exporters official window for foreign exchange, which boast of a lower exchange rate of about $740/litre, had remained illiquid and unable to provide the $25m to $30m required for the importation of PMS by dealers.

This, they said, had led to the suspension petrol importation by dealers who were initially eager to import the commodity.

Operators told The Punch that the only marketer, Emadeb, who imported the commodity recently, was now finding it tough to recoup its investment due to the depreciation of the naira.

Senior officials of major oil dealers, who spoke to The Punch in separate interviews on Sunday, said PMS price hike was imminent unless the local currency appreciates in the coming weeks.

Leaders of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria of Nigeria, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, and Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria said there was a need for the Federal Government to intervene to address the crisis.

The National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, explained that the price of petrol was now driven by the fluctuations in forex, hence Nigerians should expect a hike soon.

Asked whether oil marketers were considering an increase in petrol price, he replied, “Once there is a slack in the naira against the dollar, there is going to be an effect. The demand and supply of forex is a key factor. We should also understand that it is not only petroleum products that use forex.

“Other manufacturers who import one thing or the other are also searching for dollars. So, the surge for dollars has continued to increase. So now that the dollar is hitting N910 to N940, and approaching N1,000, you should expect to buy PMS at the rate of N750/litre.

“It is simple mathematics, once the dollar is going up, have it in mind that the prices of petroleum products would definitely increase because the products are dollar-driven.”

Ukadike stated that oil marketers were still sourcing dollars from the parallel market, as the CBN’s Importers and Exporters official window was illiquid.

“Nigerians should brace for a price regime of between N680 to N720 if the exchange rate stays around N910 to N950/$, but the price is going to hit N750 once the dollar rises to N1,000.

“This is because marketers still source dollars from the parallel market, and not only marketers but virtually all importers in Nigeria. There is no subsidy any more on petroleum products, so you expect the cost to fluctuate with the dollars,” he stated.

The IPMAN PRO also stated that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited was still the major importer of petrol into Nigeria, though another importer, Emadeb, imported the commodity recently.

“NNPC is still the major importer for now. One other company, Emadeb, imported products recently, but because this product is being sold in naira, getting back their funds is another issue since the naira keeps depreciating, while PMS imports is in dollars.

“This is why it is often difficult to go back and buy again as an independent importer. That is the problem we are facing,” Ukadike stated.

On when Nigerians would start seeing the price increase, he said, “NNPC is like the sole distributor of petroleum products now, so once you see a change in the price of petrol at their outlets, then other marketers will implement it.”

The Punch

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