Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde on Friday charged the state Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko to arrest and treat as common criminals those fueling ethnic tension and fanning the embers of crisis in the state.

This is as he also called for more synergy between the police and the Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Amotekun Corps, tasking the security outfit on joint patrol to go after the common enemy.

Makinde gave the directive while playing host to the new CP who was at the Agodi State Secretariat to officially report upon her recent posting to the state.

The governor also reiterated his words that the Hausa/Fulani ethnic group residing in the state are not the problem in the state but hoodlums, bandits irrespective of their tribes and religion.

He added that security remains one of the pillars of his administration and that all the good policies his administration has outlined for economic prosperity could not be actualised in an atmosphere of chaos and insecurity.

Makinde asserted that those who demonized Amotekun are the ones issuing ultimatum to certain ethnic nationalities to vacate the state.

Makinde said “You are welcome home because we believe Oyo State should be home to you and should make you and the team as comfortable as possible. We don’t want this to be a hardship posting for you. So, your welfare and that of your officers and men is of paramount to us and of very high importance.

“You and your team are all coming in at a very challenging time. This is a period where false information is almost at its highest, ethnic tension almost at its highest as well. So, I will say you have your job cut out for you. We won’t make the job difficult. We will be sincere, open and support you.

“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-Fulanis. 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 record, when we had the armed robbery incident at Kajola, Okeho precisely, some people were killed, some were arrested and we found out that they were from Ibira, Kogi State. So, we want to go after the criminals, whether they are Yoruba, Hausa or whoever they are.

“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 things we want to do economically won’t be possible in an atmosphere of chaos and insecurity. So, when people say things that are not lawful and within the spirit of Nigeria’s constitution, it is not acceptable here. And they cannot hide under being people protecting Yoruba interest to perpetrate chaos in the state.

“If you look at our environment, why we had the EndSARS was because people got bottled up. There has been very limited access to opportunities and when that happens, the young ones will discount the future.

“They don’t think about tomorrow but how to survive today first and we have to address that by expanding our economy and opportunities for them. If we have to do that, we have to do it in a safe and secure environment.

“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. The same people that demonized Amotekun are the ones now telling us that a certain ethnic nationality should leave this place.

“So, we will ensure that all the agencies are working 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.

“Two days ago, I was surprised to see SRS when I got to Challenge. We decided to take the Iwo Road Express and, under the bridge around Old Ife road, at 1am, I also saw SRS. So, that is a major shift since you came in. I want to thank you for that and the officers and men who are supporting you.”

“I am sure none of you is from Oyo State but you are putting your life on the line for the people of Oyo State. The only thing we can do is to appreciate and support you and that is exactly what we will do irrespective of what people with limited ability are doing.

“So, please do your work and rely on the government and the people of Oyo State. We will give you maximum cooperation and support.”

Speaking earlier, the Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko vowed to make lives and property of residents of the state safe and secure, adding that visibility policing has started in earnest.

The new CP assured the governor that men and officers of the command would display high level of professionalism, while corruption will be shunned with the view to achieving common goal.

“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.

“Since we came in, we have started with our visibility policing. When I came in, I noticed that there were no policemen on the road, 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 nip crime to hit the barest minimum in Oyo State.

“We are going to be professional about our work; to shun corruption, synergise and work with other sister agencies because we are all working towards one particular goal – to make sure that Oyo State is safe and secure. We know that, with this, you will be able to carry out your economic programmes for the people of the state.

“So, we promise you that we will work with you in tandem with your security vision for Oyo State. We also thank you for the provision of the SRS vehicles, the repairs you made for us. We are rejigging the SRS because we want to make them to be fully operational so that they will do what is meant to be done.”

She seized the opportunity to request for the support of the Governor in securing more operation vehicles to aid effectiveness and efficiently of the operatives in the state.

Local Content and Sustainable Development in Global Energy Markets (Cambridge University Press, January, 2021) By Professor Damilola S. Olawuyi, SAN, FCIArb, Professor of Law and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti For more information or to pre-order your copies, please contact: Mr. Keji Kolawole: info@ogeesinstitute.edu.ng; Twitter: @dsolawuyi, Tel: +234 81 40000 988

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