The Ekiti State Government has said that the spate of kidnapping and other criminal activities increased in the state after the withdrawal of military personnel from checkpoints across the state.
The Deputy Governor Bisi Egbeyemi, who made the observation, therefore, called on the military to restrategise on tackling security challenges bedeviling the state by returning military checkpoints on the highways.
In a statement on Sunday signed by his Special Assistant (Media), Odunayo Ogunmola, the Deputy Governor called on the military to look for more alternative means of preventing men of the underworld from perpetrating their nefarious activities.
Egbeyemi made the call at a church service to mark this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day which took place at the Government House Chapel, Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
The Deputy Governor spoke in response to the remarks of the Brigade Commander of the Nigerian Army 323 Artillery Regiment, Akure, Brig.-Gen. James Ataguba, that “the soldiers were withdrawn from checkpoints to more fluid areas to enable them respond swiftly to any case of insecurity reported to them.”
Egbeyemi said, “the General was saying they removed them (army) from the road, we know the impact of removing them from the road.
“I pray that you have a better alternative. Immediately you removed your men from the road the kidnappers started operating.
“Although we have been assured that the alternative you will provide will be far more better.
Alluding to the security measures obtainable in other countries, Egbeyemi urged them to take cue from their strategies to rid the country of kidnappers and criminals.
“In Nigeria, the security system is not as it is in the abroad, you must have gone out to some of these countries. And those of us who have been to Britain, American and China, you must have seen military men in the market and everywhere watching over the people.
“We should imbibe the same spirit to make sure that we are safe. We need to keep Nigeria one by making sure they are safe.”
The Deputy Governor emphasized on the need to remember the fallen heroes and take proper care of those presently serving in the military.
Earlier his remarks, Brig.-Gen. Ataguba said the effectiveness of the army would only be ascertained by the prompt information given to them by the citizenry.
The one-star general called on the people of the State to desist from shielding people of questionable characters and criminal elements in the society.
Commenting on the success of Nigerian Military in other countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone and in Sudan, Ataguba said the military would not rest on its oars until the security challenges in the country was finally laid to rest.
In his sermon the Government House Chaplain, Rev. Lawrence Adetola, described the Military men as God’s ministers sent to secure the live of the people on earth adding that they needed prayers to succeed in curbing security challenges in the Country.
Rev Adetola who noted that those who died sacrificially are hardly remembered likened their experience to the death of the Lord Jesus Christ whom most people did not recognise the value of his death for mankind.
The clergyman stressed that Armed Forces Remembrance Day provides the opportunity to remember those who lost their lives while serving the Nation and the need to support, pray and show care for their loved ones left behind.
The thanksgiving service featured prayers against insecurity in the country and the State, prayers were also offered for the Governor, his wife, the deputy governor, all arms of government, the fallen heroes and their families.
The service was attended by the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe; the Chairman Nigerian Legion, Ekiti State, Col. Adeyanju Olorunda (rtd), the acting Head of Service, Mrs Peju Babafemi; the Chief of Staff, Mr Biodun Omoleye; military officers, Permanent Secretaries, Executive Secretaries, General Managers, Chairman Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Rev. Olu Abifade, clergymen, security officers and other top government functionaries.