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Oyo state Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, says some criminals in the state are fomenting trouble while hiding under the guise of protecting the interest of Yoruba people.
While receiving Ngozi Onadeko, the new commissioner of police in the state, at his office on Friday, Makinde charged the police to arrest those who are behind the call for eviction of Fulani herders and Hausas from the state.
Sunday Adeyemo, a Yoruba youth leader better known as Sunday Igboho, had given a seven-day ultimatum to herders to vacate Igangan in Ibarapa north local government area of Oyo state, of rising insecurity.
He had blamed herders for the high rate of kidnap and attacks in the area.
But Makinde told the police commissioner that the welfare of all those living in the state is the priority of his administration and he would not allow some persons to plunge the state into crisis.
“For people stoking ethnic tension, they are criminals and once you get them, they should be arrested and treated like common criminals,” he said.
“For this administration, the major pillar for us is security, because we know that all the good economic plans we have won’t be possible in an atmosphere of chaos and insecurity.
“So, when people say things that are neither lawful nor within the spirit of Nigeria’s Constitution, it is not acceptable here. And they cannot hide under the guise of protecting Yoruba’s interest to perpetuate chaos in the state.
“I am sure that since you came in, you must have heard about some things happening at Ibarapa axis of the state. I will still say it here that we are not after Hausa-Fulani. We are after criminals.
“We are after hoodlums and bandits irrespective of their tribe, religion, or creed. Those are the people we are after. If you look into the records, when we had the armed robbery incident at Okeho in Kajola Local Government Area of the state, some people were killed, some were arrested and we found out that they were from Ebira, from Kogi State. So, we want to go after the criminals – whether they are Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani or whoever they are.”
He also commented on the relationship between the police and the state security network agency called Amotekun.
The governor highlighted the importance of synergy between the police and the outfit to fight crime in the state.
“Amotekun here in Oyo state is working with us towards the same objective. We need intelligence to know about criminals before they even strike. It is one of the major reasons why we set up Amotekun; to be able to gather intelligence in all the wards in Oyo state,” he said.
“But the same people that demonised Amotekun are the ones now telling us that a certain ethnic nationality should leave this place.
“For us, we will ensure that all the security agencies work together. I will encourage interaction with all other agencies and once we have that synergy, we will ensure that the objective of the people going about their businesses with no fear of being molested will be attained.”
The CP said her team had already begun work to rid criminals in the state.
“Since we came in, we have started with our visibility policing. When I came in, I noticed that there were no policemen on the roads, maybe it was still the aftermath of the #EndSARS issue, but we have been able to talk to them. We have asked them to occupy their space because it is their constitutional duty. We have to reduce crime to its barest minimum in Oyo State,” she said.
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