Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has urged the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to improve on securing the land borders with a view to stopping foreign herders from gaining entry into the country.
He said most crimes perpetrated in the state forest reserves were done by foreigners.
The governor lamented that the foreigners have almost remained permanent at the reserves.
Akeredolu, who spoke during a visit by the Coordinator of Zone ‘F’ of the NIS comprising Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti states, Dora Amahian, said the rate foreigners entered the country through land borders was alarming.
He said the individuals coming into the country were without record and identity.
Said he: “We all know what this Service is established to do. It’s clear to us. The number of people who come into Nigeria through the land border is becoming alarming.
“Knowing your efforts to secure our borders, we are worried about some foreigners that come in and are almost permanent at our forest reserves. I know a number of criminal activities that are being perpetrated in our reserves that are done by foreigners.
“Yes! Foreigners. They may be Fulani, but they are not Nigerians. I think there must be collaborations. Collaborations with other security agencies. That way you can function well and achieve more result. Collaborate with security agency such as the ‘Amotekun’.
“Peace is very important to us, not only in the Southwest or Ondo State, but peace in the country. All over the country we are being ravaged by foreigners.”
Amahian praised the cordial relationship between the state and the NIS.
She said the passion of the governor for good governance and delivery of dividends of democracy had been seen in his ability to maintain peace as evident in the peaceful co-existence of the diverse people of the state.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Southwest caucus in the House of Representatives has supported any legitimate step to flush out criminals in the region.
The lawmakers, who hailed Governor Akeredolu over the fight against crimes in the Southwest, said the cultural differences of the ethnicities must be respected.
Femi Fakeye (Osun), Dolapo (Lagos) and Mayowa Akinfolarin (Ondo), who spoke in Akure during a visit to Akeredolu, said his performance was responsible for his victory in the October 10, 2020 poll.
“Because of the stride you have achieved in your first term, the people of Ondo State have re-elected you for a second term. You have performed and still performing.
“Let us first commend your efforts at Ore. The Ore flyover. That speaks for itself. It’s one of the reasons you are returned. Again, the Ore industrial hub, there is no country that can make it without an industrialised economy.
Governor Akeredolu said it was part of the move to secure the state and Southwest in general that led to the creation of ‘Amotekun Corps’.
He said: “The most important thing you have said is that we have to think about our people first and in doing that, we have to make a declaration.
“When we came up with ‘Amotekun’, people were scared, they thought it was state police, but we stood our ground and ‘Amotekun’ has come to stay.
“You have a duty to us, to our people and that has to do with the issue of state police. The time is now. This rampant security challenge is virtually everywhere. This issue of state police, we need to pursue it.
“If we have the state police, we may not need ‘Amotekun’. It will be a great fight for our people.
“We must stand together. I praise the governor of Kano State who said cows should not be moved to the South again for grazing.”