Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police, in charge of Zone 11, comprising Oyo, Osun and Ondo States, Mr. Leye Oyebade, on Wednesday said the police have technical support to apprehend kidnappers, armed robbers and other criminals operating on Ibadan-Ilesha-Akure Road, and other parts of the zone.
He gave the assurance during his familiarisation tour of Oyo State police command, where he was received by the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Shina Olukolu, traditional rulers, religious leaders, farmers, members of Miyetti Allah association and members of Police Community Relation Committee (PCRC) at Eleyele, Ibadan.
Lately, kidnappers kidnapped and released an Ibadan-based lawyer, Mr. Musibau Adetunmbi, at Iwaraja in Osun State along Ilesha-Akure Road, as well as a professor of orthopaedic Surgery and traumatology, Adeyinka Adegbehingbe, of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, after taking ransom.
Also, a number of armed robbery cases have been reported on the road, especially between Ilesha and Owena, in spite of the heavy presence of security personnel at some strategic points on the highway.
Oyebade, however, called on inhabitants of various communities in the three states to give useful information to the police on the suspicious movements in their communities. This, he said, would help the police to take proactive steps and prevent crime from being committed, instead of being reactive.
Asked to comment on the measures he has put in place to combat incessant kidnapping and armed robbery on Ibadan-Ife-Ilesha-Akure road, he said: “If one incident happened, you don’t use the word incessant to say it is now a terror zone. I won’t take that submission. We have gone on that road. Crime is dynamic and we have to up our games.
“We have got more technical support and we have got more technical platform to be able to apprehend the criminals that have been disturbing us.
“So, we want the cooperation of members of the public. This is what we are soliciting, and that is what we are getting. In all areas, we know that we’ll deal with heinous crimes to be able to achieve the desired result of getting minimim problems or challenges in terms of our ability to curtail crimes in this zone.
“We have crime-mapped the zone to indicate which crime is prevalent and where, to enable us develop the appropriate strategies to nip such in the bud.
“Conscious of the need for the public to share information for effective policing, we have given out Control Room numbers of the three commands, as well as the dedicated number of the zone to members of the public. The public can also share information through Facebook and WhatsApp platforms recently created for the zone.”
Oyebade explained that “our vision in the zone is in synergy with the overall vision and mission of the force. Our vision, which we expect every police officer serving in the zone to align with, rests solely on the tripod of problem-solving, community partnership and organisational transformation, which are the essentials of community policing.
“As you are aware, community policing is part of the policy thrust of the administration of the Inspector General of Police, and we must collectively imbibe and encourage the practice of community policing as a tool for effective, quality service delivery.”
Oyebade also urged farmers and herders not to fight, but always work together to ensure peaceful co-existence as Nigerians, adding that the cause of the major security failure in Nigeria these days could be traced to the loss of family values.”
Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Mr. Shina Olukolu, earlier in his welcome address, told the AIG that the command had been facing the challenge of inadequate manpower caused by inter-state transfer and death of personnel, adding that logistics such as patrol vehicles and other gadgets were also parts of the challenges.
But he said the challenges had not stopped the command from combating crime and criminality, adding that the command had recorded a lot of achievements, as shown in the number of suspected kidnappers, armed robbers, burglars and so on, that have been nabbed in the state.