GOVERNMENTS and security agencies in the South-West states have beefed up security around government structures and institutions, with machinery put in place to forestall the breakdown of law and order by any group forcing an agenda on the states.

Also, security agencies have warned that they would curtail any form of insecurity, adding that anyone parading himself as a Yoruba Nation agitator should either toe the path of peace or have himself to be blamed.

The warning by the South-West governments and the police came on the heels of an attempt on Saturday by separatist Yoruba Nation agitators to take over the Oyo State Government Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.

According to reports, the agitators, donning army camouflage and armed with rifles, attempted to hoist their flag on the premises of the Oyo State House of Assembly.

The attempt was foiled by security agencies with 20 of the agitators arrested.

In May 2023, some Yoruba Nation agitators had also hijacked Radio Nigeria, Amuludun FM 99.1 airwaves in Ibadan for more than one hour before they were overpowered and arrested.

The promoters of the Yoruba Nation are canvassing the breakaway of the Yoruba people from Nigeria.

They argued that Yoruba people have not fared well in Nigeria, arguing that their welfare would be better guaranteed under a separate sovereign entity to be called  he Yoruba Nation.

The agitation has, however, been resisted by the Federal Government, which in 2021 sent the Departmemt of State Services after the Yoruba Nation arrowhead, Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho.

Igboho fled Nigeria in 2021 following a midnight of his Ibadan home in July and was captured and detained in the Benin Republic while attempting to escape to Germany.

The Saturday invasion of the Oyo Government Secretariat sent panic to the residents and road users, especially around Customs, Ikolaba, Awolowo and many other areas within the Ibadan metropolis.

On Sunday, the governments of Osun, Ekiti and Ogun state hinted that they had put security measures in place to forestall a repeat of the Ibadan experience in their domains.

The Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, in a statement on Sunday, said he had directed reinforcement of security around government structures in the state to frustrate any plan to disrupt public peace by suspected Yoruba Nation activists.

Adeleke said he had directed his Special Adviser on Security Matters, Mr Samuel Ojo, “to ensure immediate mobilisation of joint security teams to secure the secretariat, the Government House and other strategic government buildings, including the headquarters of the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation.

He called for a rededication to the ideals of a united Nigeria, with ongoing constitution amendments to ensure a truly federal system in Nigeria, as he urged agitators to join the crusade for the reform of the federal system to ensure adjustments that will give the states more autonomy and responsibilities.

A statement by the governor’s spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, said,  “In line with the governor’s directive, security men and women were deployed to identified locations yesterday to ensure the Oyo State incident is not repeated in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.

“I associate with my brother, the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde. I urge the agitators to sheath their swords. We must continue to try to realise the Nigeria of our dreams. We must support President Bola Tinubu as he drives the federal reform efforts. We have a duty to stand by Mr President in the realisation of this difficult national assignment.”

Also, the spokesman for the Osun State, Yemisi Opalola, told The PUNCH that the command was prepared to stop any act of lawlessness in the state, no matter the status of the perpetrators.

She said, “We are aware of the incident and it sent a signal to us. We are prepared to ensure peace across Osun State. We urge people not to engage in any act of lawlessness as police will not tolerate that from anyone no matter the status.”

Also in Ekiti State, the government said it had put in place machinery that would ensure maintenance of law and order at all times.

The state Commissioner for Information, Taiwo Olatunbosun, told The PUNCH that the security apparatus in the state had also been well-equipped to curtail any form of insecurity, in addition to the fact that residents were not reckless.

The commissioner, who described the Saturday invasion by the Yoruba Nation agitators of Oyo State Government House as “recklessness and agitation taken too far by any individual, group or pressure group,” said, “In Ekiti, we are not worried. Ekiti is safe and secure, we are peace-loving people and our people are not reckless.

“We are under a federating unit and we have every democratic structure in place to manage the affairs. I know that our people in Ekiti will not engage in such recklessness by any pressure group or individual. Our government has done everything to ensure that we maintain law and order here.

“Every security apparatus is well-equipped to curtail any form of insecurity here. We are okay, we are educated, we are civilised and people are respected within the provision of the constitution of Nigeria to express their opinion without any form of violation or crisis.”

Olatunbosun advised Ekiti residents to go about their duties without any fear, saying, “Our people should feel free and go about their businesses without any fear at all.”

Also speaking, the Ekiti State Commissioner of Police, Mr Adeniran Akinwale, said there was no need for anybody in the state to entertain any fear over what happened in Oyo State.

Akinwale said, “We (police) are fully on the ground. There is no cause for alarm. No need for people to panic, we are monitoring situations and by the special grace of God, there won’t be any problem.”

Similarly, the Special Adviser to the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Security, AIG Olusola Subair (retd.), told The PUNCH that Ogun State had activated security measures to prevent a repeat of the Oyo experience.