The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has charged security agencies to go after trouble makers across the state, saying his government would not allow anyone hiding under the guise of protecting Yoruba interest to cause ethnic tension and perpetrate crisis in the state.
He indicated that the war which the state and the security agencies need to wage was not against any particular ethnic group but against criminal elements, irrespective of their tribes, religions, creed or political affiliations.
The governor’s call was coming hours after popular Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, arrived Igangan, Ibarapa North Local Government Area the over alleged quit notice issued to Fulani herdsmen in the state.
But the governor added that his administration would not allow anyone to threaten the peace of the state by acting unlawfully and saying things that are alien to the Nigerian Constitution, noting that acts that are capable of causing chaos in the state would not be accepted.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that Makinde stated these while receiving the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko, declaring that his administration would not relent in placing priority on the welfare of the officers and men of the Police Force in the state.
Makinde made it clear that his administration would continue to synergise with all security agencies in the state to fight criminals, hoodlums and bandits under any guise, while urging the police to arrest miscreants causing tension and threatening the peace of the state.
“For people stoking ethnic tension, they are criminals and once you get them, they should be arrested and treated like common criminals. 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,” Makinde said.
Makinde, who stated that his government would ensure that all security agencies work together to ensure a secure and peaceful Oyo State, also pointed out that the Oyo State Security Network Agency, codenamed Operation Amotekun, like other federal security agencies, was working towards the same objective of securing 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. 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 governor commended the new Commissioner of Police for swinging into action immediately she resumed office, pledging that the government would give maximum cooperation and support to the security agency.
Earlier, Onadeko vowed that the Oyo State Police Command would secure the lives and property of the people and ensure that the people go to bed with their two eyes closed.
“We are here to formally tell you that we have resumed duty. As you can see, some of us are here. So, we came with the promise that we want to make the lives and property of the people of Oyo State safe and secure. We want the people to go to bed with their eyes closed,” the statement said.
She equally noted that the police officers have started the visibility policing in all the nooks and crannies of the state and have returned to their duty posts and are poised to reduce crimes to the barest minimum level 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 added.