South-west governors yesterday took on President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, over his attack on them for allegedly inciting the recent ethnic violence, which erupted in some states in the region.
They, however, said they would not engage in a media war with those they described as crisis entrepreneurs and divisionists on matters affecting the security of residents of the country, especially the South-west.
Lawan, in an interview with the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), had accused the governors of instigating the crisis through their unguarded utterances.
He described what happened in some parts of the South-west particularly, in Ibadan, Oyo State where the tension boiled over, resulting in a clash between Hausa and Yoruba traders at Shasha Market, as a failure of leadership.
But in a riposte to Lawan, Chairman of the South-west Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), said the governors would not engage in a media war with any person or group of persons on matters affecting the security of residents of the country especially in the South-west.
Akeredolu, in a statement by his Special Assistant on New Media, Mr. Olabode Olatunde said: “At the risk of being repetitive, the Governor Akeredolu-led South-west governors will not go into the arena of media conflict with crisis entrepreneurs and divisionists.”
Oyo State Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde, also described the statement credited to Lawan as unnecessary and uncalled for.
Makinde’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said his principal, alongside other governors in the South-west, had worked and would continue to work for the peace of not only the region but the country.
He stated that Makinde has never hidden his position on state police as he believed that some forms of crime are better dealt with using state police.
Adisa said: “One good example of that is the implementation of the state’s anti-open grazing law. During his visit to Ibarapa recently, the governor decried the non-enforcement of the law, adding that such is an area state police would have helped.
“Crime is committed in localities and the existence of state police with people who know the nooks and crannies of areas will in no small way help in fighting crimes. The absence of that as it were, we can say is a hindrance to the wheel of justice on a larger note.”