The Conference of Speakers of Southwest Legislatures at the weekend solicited the involvement of stakeholders to tackle insecurity.
They stressed the need for integration in the zone to ensure development and security.
Those were some of the resolutions made at the end of the maiden meeting of the Speakers, at the Lagos State House of Assembly complex on Friday night.
Briefing reporters at the end of the meeting, the conference Chairman and Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly Bamidele Oleyelogun said the meeting was to proffer solution to insecurity confronting the region and discuss issues bordering on development in the zone, xenophobic attacks in South Africa and others.
The chief host and Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, had in his welcome address said stakeholders in the Southwest must collaborate to find solution to the insecurity confronting the zone.
“We know the problems confronting us as a region, which include kidnapping, theft, arson and herdsmen attacks on our people. It has reached an alarming height and we need to tighten our internal security,” he said.
Obasa, who is also the chairman, Conference of Speakers of Nigeria, said the Speakers were to deliberate on Southwest economic and socio-political integration, adding that the idea to establish special security offices across the Southwest is in the offing.
He urged the Federal Government to be proactive in securing Nigerians in South Africa against xenophobic attacks.
“I enjoin the local, state and federal governments to stem the threat to peace.
“There should be speedy action to halt this sad development. We condemn xenophobic attacks in its entirety and urge our citizens to give peace a chance. They should not resort to vandalism of South Africans’ investments in Nigeria in retaliation against xenophobic attacks,” Obasa said.
Oleyelogun said the Speakers deliberated on a lot of issues, including unity, security threats and killings in South Africa.
“We condemn it in its totality.
“We want peace and unity in Southwestern states. We had a robust debate on what could move our zone forward,” he added.
Commenting on the models of tackling insecurity in the zone, Oleyelogun said: “The Speakers have to go back to their states, discuss with their governors and meet stakeholders to fine-tune the way forward.”
On how to fund the proposed special security offices to be established across the Southwest, he noted that the governors were ready to support security matter.
“You cannot quantify it in money, as it involves lives,” Oleyelogun said.