GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu was sworn-in today for a second term as the Ondo State governor and used his inauguration speech to call for the establishment of state police forces as the only way to combat the growing insecurity in the country.
Elected for a final four year term, Governor Akeredolu and his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, took the oath of office this morning in the state capital Akure. In his speech, the governor vowed to continue fighting the insecurity, pointing out that the current challenges demanded that states be allowed to defend their space.
Earlier this month, Governor Akeredolu was at the centre of a controversy after he gave an ultimatum to Fulani herdsmen operating in the state’s forest reserves to leave due to increased kidnapping and other criminalities perpetrated there. Although he had to contend with the presidency and some northern elements, the governor stood his ground, insisting that all pastoralists in Ondo State be documented, adding that those who failed to register will be asked to leave.
Governor Akeredolu said: “We have had our share of security challenges since our assumption of office and I have been able to confront this problem head-on. This problem is one of the main issues militating against the development of this country, as apart from Covid-19, the other debilitating issue is insecurity.
“We are of the firm belief that the police central command be brought so near the federating units for effective monitoring. We have been relentless in advocating for the establishment, therefore, of state police and we will continue to call for it.
“There can be no other way, if we are indeed serious about securing lives and property. Every state must be allowed to secure its space.”
He added that the security challenge informed the establishment of the Ondo State Security Network, along with other southwest states, codenamed Amotekun in the efforts to deal with the problem of insecurity. According to the governor, Amotekun has done very well in its short time of existence and has been able to work within the law, adding that its achievements have justified its establishment.
Today’s ceremony was attended by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande and the governors of Ekiti, Edo, Lagos and Osun States. Also in attendance were the former senate president Senator Ken Nnamani, the former Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun and Senator Iyiola Omisore.
Governor Akeredolu also highlighted some of his achievements in the first tenure, such as the construction of roads, the provision of health care, the renovation of primary schools and improvement of tertiary institutions. He said with his new mandate he would continue to improve on the work already, with improved economic situations.
In November, Governor won the election by polling 292,830 votes against Eyitayo Jegede of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, who garnered 195,791 votes to come second. However, Mr Jegede is contesting the outcome of the election claiming that it was marred by violence.