Oyo State Governor seyi Makinde has cowed that his administration will do more to end insecurity in Ibarapaland and other areas of the state.
The governor expressed this at Ibarapa Town Hall meeting, held in Eruwa as part of activities marking the second anniversary of his tenure.
He lamented that nsecurity in Ibarapa land has been the most challenging but stated that his government has put in place several measures, including the creation of a Base for Operation Burst in the area and deployment of more Amotekun corps, among others.
The governor said that the highlighted measures have yielded positive results in the last few months.
The governor, however, added that with the uncensored feedbacks he got from the residents of the area, who spoke freely during the Ibarapa Town Hall Meeting, more will be done
The governor also promised to return to Eruwa in two weeks to flag off the construction of Isaba-Ogundoyin Road, adding that he will give immediate directive that the Operation Zero Potholes intervention should be carried out on the Igboora road and the Eruwa-Lanlate-Maya road.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor,Taiwo Adisa, quoted Makinde as saying that in order to tackle the security challenge, the government is about to recruit more Amotekun corps,.Iit would also take a decision on what to do with the uncompleted 60-bed health facility in Igangan, which has become a hideout for criminals.
Makinde, who pledged to continue to deliver excellent service to the people of the state as much as they continue to support the administration, said that he has listened to the people and would continue to ensure quality service delivery in the administration’s ‘second half’.
The statement added that the governor also launched the annual Oyo State Farmers’ Support programme and the Oyo COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus known as Oyo CARES, a World Bank-supported intervention through which 20,000 small-holder farmers will receive improved seedlings, farm implements and fertilisers.
The launching of the CARES programme was held at the Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora, where the governor also pledged to ensure that the school accesses at least 70 per cent of its capital vote in the 2021 budget so it could address the infrastructure deficit within the institution.
The governor equally inspected the Igboora General Hospital Annex rehabilitated and upgraded by the government in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While speaking at the launching of the Oyo CARES programme, Governor Makinde maintained that the state had carried out a similar support programme at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, when it gave palliatives to 10,000 farmers to ensure food security in the state.
He added that small-holder farmers being supported by the CARES programme are important to his government, because they have the key to food security, noting that the government has the database of farmers and that any small-holder farmer who feels left out should feel free to contact the government.
Similarly, the Oyo State Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Ojemuyiwa Ojekunle, stated that the Makinde administration has undertaken several interventions in the agriculture sector, such as STEP, YEAP and others, for the expansion of the state’s economy and eradication of hunger.
He said that the Oyo CARES programme would ensure that small-holder farmers are able to create wealth.
The Director-General of the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA), Dr. Debo Akande, appreciated the governor for touching every area that needed to be touched as far as agriculture development is concerned.
He noted that the government has implemented the Start Them Early Project (STEP) to encourage students in agribusiness, and launched the Youths Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness Programme (YEAP) to target the youth sector.
Akande said that with CARES, a programme that is akin to the state’s farmers’ support programme started in 2020, the governor is reaching out to small-holder farmers, a development which, according to him, has put paid to apprehensions that the Makinde administration would only focus on the private sector in its drive to expand the state’s economy through Agribusiness.
At the Town Hall meeting, representatives of traditional rulers, communities, religious bodies, artisanal groups, traders and students spoke on issues affecting them, bordering on insecurity, trading and agriculture support, accreditation of courses in higher institutions in Ibarapa zone, among others.
In his response, Governor Makinde expressed pleasure at being able to listen to people without hindrance, appreciating them for the support for his government in the last two years.
He said: “The issue of insecurity brought me here the last time and I remember that I made a comment that we needed to tackle those challenges because it is the only way it can affect our economic prosperity. Farmers in Ibarapa could not freely go to their farms because cows are invading their farms.