Traditional chieftaincy title holders in Ekiti State have urged the state government to employ the services of local hunters and vigilante groups in curbing the waves of killings and kidnappings in the state.
The chiefs made this recommendation during their meeting with the Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, in his office in Ado-Ekiti.
The traditional chiefs, who were led by their Spokesman, the Odofinyin of Iyin-Ekiti, High Chief Ayodeji Esan, had listed a 10-point demand which include official recognition by government and their involvement in the maintenance of peace and security in their various communities.
They hinted that doing so would help in warding off the incursion of armed herdsmen and kidnappers.
This is coming as suspected gunmen abducted a Director of Administration with the Ekiti State Local Government Service Commission, Mr. David Jejelowo, and his driver.
Jejelowo, is the Director of Administration in Gbonyin Local Government Area of the state.
He was kidnapped on Monday evening along Ado-Ijan Road while returning from Ode-Ekiti, the local government headquarters to Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
Recall that this happened days after an accountant with Emure Local Government, Mr Abayomi Ajayi, was killed and two other officers of the Emure Local Government were kidnapped along Ise-Ikere Road.
It was gathered that Jejelowo was returning to Ado-Ekiti around 7.15pm with his official car when he was abducted on the way.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Mr. Caleb Ikechukwu, confirmed the incident, saying the driver had been released.
“We confirmed the kidnap incident yesterday (Monday). It happened along Ado-Ijan Road and it involved the Director of Administration of Gbonyin Local Government and his driver.
“But the driver has been released. We can confirm that to you. We are monitoring the situation and our men are working round the clock to ensure that the man is rescued from the hideout.
“The driver has been giving us useful information that we are going to work on to facilitate the release,” he said.
Ikechukwu added that the Command is mapping out strategies to tame the marauding kidnappers, who were fond of abducting prominent people with the intention to collecting ransom from the families for their release.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor has disclosed that a special Security Council meeting had been scheduled for today (Wednesday) where far reaching decisions would be taken on the security situation of the state.
Egbeyemi, who added that the Fayemi administration was collaborating with kings and chiefs to tighten security across the state, stressed that government would frown at a situation in which their domains serve as operational bases for kidnappers and other criminals.
He said: “We would frown against any oba or chief in whose domains people are kidnapped. We would frown against any place where people are kidnapped or used by kidnappers to operate.
“Henceforth, obas and chiefs must now be on alert and you must know people in your vicinity. Be on alert especially for strange persons in your neighbourhoods and farms who may want to use those places as hideouts.
“Those coming in and those going out of your domains, you must know them. Government is ready to assist you to ensure that there is security of lives and property.
“Obas and chiefs in communities between Igede and Efon, Ikere and Emure, Ado and Ikere, between Iworoko and Ifaki and Ifaki and Omuo, the obas there should be up and doing.
“You will recall that during the first tenure of Governor Fayemi, he committed a lot of resources to security by equipping the police and purchasing over 35 vehicles for them.
“But after four years, the vehicles are damaged and there are no replacements for them.”
The traditional chiefs, however, pledged their loyalty to the Fayemi administration which they acknowledged invested in the development of grassroots.
They also promised to mobilize people in the grassroots for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming general elections to ensure victory for the party’s candidates.