Agboyi Ketu Local Government Community Development Area (LCDA) in conjunction with Owode-Onirin Police Division recently held a special stakeholders meeting bothering on security and peaceful cohabitation.
The security meeting which took place on the 13th of August,2022 at Thomas Playing ground behind Owode-Onirin police station had community leaders, security agencies, Counsellors, CDC/CDA members, market women, non-governmental organisations and stakeholders in attendance.
Agboyi ketu chairman ably represented by Mr Tunde Idowu exalted DPO Owode Onirin division, SP Charles Sawyerr and the chairman PCRC, Mr. Adebisi Adeniyi for putting together the security meeting to arrest any rumour of discord between the ethnic groups in Agboyi ketu, adding that there’s need for tolerance among the people.
Chairman PCRC Owode Onirin Division, Honorable Adebisi Adeniyi while addressing the audience talked about the dos and don’ts in order to live in a peaceful environment.
“When you see something going wrong around you or your community, try to rectify it if it is within your power or call the attention of people with higher authority,especially security operatives, so that no one will get harmed. The meaning of all this is, when you see something,say or do something”.
“This peace meeting is timely and very necessary concidering the tension around the communities in Nigeria over insecurity. We have gathered to preach the gospel of peaceful coexistence, cohabiting in love, tolerance and respect for each other in the local council, considering the huge economical activities going on the area. So the need for great understanding cannot be overemphasised.
“We have gathered to assure our visitors that there is great need for mutual respect for each other’s culture, religion, value and more so that we can maximize our diversities and benefit from it together. We have also gathered here to appeal to one another to learn how to ignore and stop sharing stories that escalate terrorist activities. Some of these include fake news that send panic to people and they don’t represent the unity in Nigeria. They are posted to damage the good relationship that we have laboured to build over years and can cause security breach. Messages tagged as ‘send as received’ messages that you won’t be able to explain to proper authorities when you are questioned. Always verify the integrity of the story from the proper authorities before sharing to others.” PCRC chairman explained.
Hon. Adebisi also warned people saying: “let me use this opportunity to warn those that see themselves as the enemies of the state (Agboyi Ketu LCD), to relocate or stop your evil activities because the combined team of SP Charles Sawyer, the DPO of Owode Onirin and other security forces and community leaders are prepared to protect the community and deal with you within the guideline of the law. You can’t threaten the peace that people enjoy and expect us to fold our hand without stopping you.
“To our community and religious leaders, we want you to call more community meetings and organise vigilante activities for timely interventions to protect people. Don’t forget the Owo Catholic terrorist attack, the bandits lived among the people for a while before accomplishing their mission. This is why we should be vigilant to inquire about strangers and new arrivals in the community. If we do this, we can assist the police force in curbing criminal activities even before it escalates.
“To the youths, let us desist from stigmatisation of ethnic groups, religion or tribes, no one wants to be associated with evil. We must stand up against every act of lawlessness of any kind. Impunity and disrespect for the right of others are usually pathfinding traits before a full blown crisis. Crimes like kidnapping,stealing,terrorism etc are not associated with any particular tribe, gender or religion, so stop stigmatising people and causing crisis in the community” Adebisi advised.
He also addressed the local council authority, saying “we appreciate if you can provide a public information desk or box in the local government headquarters, where people can drop their complains and requests for quick intervention so we can have a peaceful community
“Finally I want to appreciate your concern for a peaceful Agboyi Ketu LCD, long live Agboyi Ketu, long live lagos and long live The Federal Republic of Nigeria. Thank you.” He concluded.
CDC Chairman Agboyi Ketu, Chief R. O Ajayi said people have being saying that “police is your friend” but didn’t fully believe it until he met DSP Sawyerr.
“Mr. Sawyerr is a man who has taken the responsibility to keep us alive in this area. I have been observing how he acts and how he does his job, he’s someone that will pursue any errant person to anywhere he or she wants to hide. He’s also an impartial person in his work.
“The first time I came close to him, I was surprised to see the way he carried out his duty on a case that was even close to my house. He was so polite, sincere, he didn’t try to extort anyone in any form, he did his job purely as expected of a good policeman.”
Looking straight into DSP Charles Sawyer eyes, Chief Ajayi prayed that God will continue to be with him and protect him and his men. ” God will continue protect you and your men that are carrying out duties in the community.”
He continued further,”ladies and gentlemen it is important to take the bulls by the horn, the issue of security nowadays is something that shouldn’t be toyed with. What are you doing within your vicinity or where you live to contribute to the peaceful coexistence of your people. In this area the Hausas are our friends, same goes for the Igbos and Yorubas. We argue but we settle almost immediately. The seriki of the Hausas here for example, if there is any argument within Hausas or argument with other tribes, you will see him running about to try to settle it before it escalates.Same goes for other tribes and their leaders here. This is the example we must follow so that whatever happens we can settle it without it turning to a crisis.When we fight we must be ready to settle.
“As elders, let us train our children and youths to follow the right path so that they will not become nuisance to the community and jeopardise the safety of the people in it. We should try to encourage youths who are not doing what is right to change positively so that it won’t come back to haunt us. Report those that are causing trouble in the area to the proper authorities before they infect the rest of the community. Let us play our path in ensuring the safety of our community.
“As we are getting to the political season, let us not indulge in propaganda activities that will cause trouble in the society. Report any suspicious activities involved in the political aspect to the police force and they will keep watch on them to prevent disruption in the society. Thank you all for creating time to listen to what we all have to say in this peace submit. May God help us as we continue to live in peace.” Chief Ajayi said.
SA to Agboyi Ketu LCDA Chairman, Mrs Toyin Oriyomi also enjoined residents to respect one another by not allowing political differences cause rift amongst them.
“I speak on behalf of my Chairman, Mayo Oladele Abiodun who I am representing. Security is very important in our community especially now that election is approaching. I am appealing to us all to stay as one body; don’t let politicians use us against one another, we are one. If a politician sees money today, he or she won’t give you anything for helping him or her. Don’t have tainted mindset against each other in the community. The point of my message is for us to come together as one, we shouldn’t let politicians use us to disrupt the union of the community during the coming elections.
“Let us try to understand ourselves, because lack of communication also causes division among the different tribes in the community. Most of the issues generates from lack of communication. So let us try to calm down and find a common language to communicate with to avoid misunderstandings that can lead to security crisis between tribes in the community.
In summary, we should all try to live in harmony and peace with all tribes, ethnicity, race or religion, having tolerance and love for each other to ensure the safety, security and prosperity of the community as a whole.