Insecurity: SW Governors Urged to Set Up Regional Security Trust Fund

Governors of the South-West states have been urged to set up a regional security trust fund to address insecurity in the zone.

The fund should be managed by non-state actors selected by each of the six states in the South-West, the Alliance of Yoruba Democratic Movements (AYDM) said in a statement issued on Tuesday and signed by its General Secretary, Popoola Ajayi.

Irohinoodua received the statement on Tuesday.

AYDM is an alliance of over 130 pan-Yoruba and community-based groups in largely Yoruba territories including Kwara, Kogi, Akoko-Edo and Itsekiri part of Delta State.

AYDM said it estimated that the South-West states should be able to realise no fewer than N100b in the first six months of its launch.

The group said no single state in the South-West could resolve insecurity without networking with others in the region.

Ajayi said the funds should be raised from contributions of state governments,
corporate organisations, Yoruba in Diaspora, individuals, professional and artisan groups resident in the region.

“There are some 60 million people in South-West. Every adult from the age of 18 resident in the West should be encouraged to contribute a minimum of N500 to the Fund. This will be invested in providing necessary material and training for Amotekun, while creating and building a strong intelligence bureau that would tackle all varieties of crime in the region, ” the AYDM said.

AYDM said part of the fund should be used to set up security posts in all the borders across the region and also establish a training school on intelligence and counter-intelligence, adding that it would aid the ability of the region to prevent crime before and not after the acts had been committed.

The group said the South-West was the most industrialised in Nigeria and had continued to witness mass migration of people fleeing from other parts of Nigeria, the Magreb and even Sudan who saw the region as economic haven.

The group said it was deeply concerned about the rising menace of kidnapping and other violent criminal activities in Yorubaland and occupation of arable land by armed groups which led to food insecurity.

“AYDM is urging the Southwest Governors to take collective proactive measures in securing the region by establishing the Regional Security Trust Fund”, it said, arguing that the recent surge in criminal activities, particularly kidnapping, banditry, cultism, cyber crime and drug abuse had raised alarm bells within Yoruba communities

AYDM said it recognized the need for collective effort to address these challenges and believed that a regional security trust fund would provide a sustainable and community-driven solution.

AYDM called on South-West Governors to ensure a transparent and accountable Regional Security Trust Fund that would allow Yoruba worldwide to make generous donations.

“This fund will also be instrumental in supporting police and other efforts of security agencies and initiatives aimed at tackling the growing threats to the safety and well being of the people.

“The time has come for creative thinking. It is time for us to unite and take decisive action against the rising insecurity in our beloved indigenous territories by establishing a Regional Security Trust Fund, we can harness the collective strength and resources of Yoruba worldwide to support our security agencies and ensure a safer future for our communities,” said Ajayi.

AYDM said the proposed security trust fund would serve as a channel for individuals, businesses, and organizations, both within and outside, to contribute towards the enhancement of security infrastructure, training, and intelligence gathering efforts.

“This collaborative approach is crucial in fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility among all stakeholders” Ajayi said.

AYDM emphasized the importance of transparency and accountability in managing the regional security trust fund.

“Clear mechanisms for monitoring and reporting the utilization of funds should be established to ensure that contributions are utilized effectively and efficiently” Ajayi said.

The Alliance of Yoruba Democratic Movements, the group stated, was ready to collaborate with the South-West governors, security agencies, and other stakeholders to make the security trust fund a reality.

Ajayi said: “AYDM is confident that through collective action, we can create a safer and more secure environment for Yoruba at home and abroad.”