• Kidnappers yet to contact family
By Moshood Adebayo
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday presided over an emergency security council meeting attended by heads of security agencies in the State. The governor assured residents that efforts are being put in place to make kidnapping a thing of the past.
Suspected gunmen stormed the Iba Community last Saturday evening at about 8 pm and abducted the Oniba of Iba, Oba Yushau Goriola Oseni from his palace at Iba.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni said government and all security agencies in the State are bordered about the emerging crime of kidnapping, and that efforts are on to rescue all those kidnapped recently in the state, including, Oba Oseni.
“What we want to assure the people is that we are putting efforts together to ensure that not just the monarch is rescued but also other victims of kidnapping and we will bring those criminals to justice,” he said.
He said the emergency security council meeting was principally to appraise the security issues confronting the State, as well to assure members of the public on the priority and importance attached to their welfare and security.
Owoseni said: “All of us are bordered. As the people are bordered, government is bordered and law enforcement institutions are bordered. We are looking at the issue of kidnapping and the only thing we can tell the good people in Lagos is that government is doing everything possible and is deploying all arsenals of the state towards ensuring that we put a stop to the menace. And at the same time seize this opportunity to tell those engaging in these activities to channel their energy to lawful conduct because there is no excuse to say that because they cannot vandalise the pipelines again, that is why they are resorting to all these soft targets kidnapping.
“They should divert their energy into productive use. The government has opened up lots of opportunities for people that want to access soft loans for small scale businesses and industries. The Bank of Industry (BOI) for instance is there, they have been putting up adverts, let them have a change of mind, drop their weapons, access these funds that government at the state and federal levels had created.
“Those of them that have certificates and saying that yes we have stopped bunkering and there is no other thing for us to do, there are platforms that have been created by government for them to be meaningfully employed,” the CP said.
Owoseni, who addressed journalists alongside heads of other security agencies in the state, including the state Attorney General, urged members of the public to stop patronising street traders, saying there have been instances where criminal elements hide within them to launch havoc on unsuspecting citizens.
He said the law against street trading had been in place even before Governor Ambode came into office, but that the enforcement was being implemented responsibly considering the mood of the society.
He said: “The law has been there even before the present executive governor came into power, so what we are doing as responsible government and responsible security and law enforcement institutions is to further engage the people like the Governor did last time on television on the evils of street trading.”
Anxiety continues to mount yesterday as abductors of the traditional ruler are yet to establish contacts with the family.
One of the children of the monarch who spoke with journalists on phone on condition of anonymity lamented the development, saying that the monarch’s immediate and extended families are apprehensive and worried about the situation, as well as the health of their father.
He said: “We are not just worried, but greatly worried that 72- hours after, abductors of our aged father have not established contacts with us.
“We are appealing to them not to hurt him and allow him return home safely. We also continue to pray fervently too that he will return home safely.”
The prince said the kidnappers have not demanded for any ransom, neither have they established contacts with the family.