Oyo State Government on Monday sought the assistance of the United States to tackle insecurity in Nigeria, particularly in the state.
The state deputy governor, Adebayo Lawal, asked for the assistance on behalf of Governor Seyi Makinde while receiving the new US Consul-General, Williams Stevens, at the Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Ibadan.
Lawal, who observed that insecurity was becoming endemic in Nigeria, said Oyo State would welcome whatever technology required to combat the menace.
“Initially, we thought we could localise this issue of security, but it has become a hydra-headed phenomenon.
“If you choose to assist, you can be deliberate and we will encourage you to assist and partner with the Oyo State Government in the area of security,” he said.
On efforts made so far to address the insecurity, Lawal said, “We know security is key and we have really deployed a greater percentage of resources into security development.
“Since the inception of this administration, we have put in place an outfit called ‘Amotekun’ to complement the efforts of our conventional security outfits – police, Department of State Security, and others that are national in nature.
“Amotekun is domesticated, localised, and goes into the nooks and crannies of our communities to ensure our environments are safe.”
The deputy governor further said that the state government wanted partnership with the US on agriculture and health.
Lawal used the opportunity to also commend the United States for its efforts in fighting the HIV virus.
According to him, Oyo State has been working hard “to reduce the prevalence of the virus.”
Earlier, Stevens said his country was poised to improve economic relationship and bilateral trade and work together with Oyo State to combat crime.
Stevens also said the US was partnering to prioritise agriculture, health, and security, among other initiatives.
He lauded the state government for doing well in the areas of healthcare delivery, noting that the state’s parameters on HIV prevalence is better than some countries.
Stevens said the United States would partner Oyo State and the Federal Government in combating trans-national crimes and ensuring the security of lives and property of residents.