From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The federal and Oyo State governments have been called upon to find a lasting solution to the rising kidnapping cases in the Oke-Ogun area of the state.
The National President of Oke-Ogun Development Consultative Forum (ODCF), Alhaji Ahmed Raji, SAN, made the call in a statement made available to reporters in Ibadan Monday.
According to him, the abduction of farmers on their farms is an indication that the kidnappers are not only after the collection of ransom but the perpetrators also aimed at crippling the source of food items for the common people.
Four farmhands that included the manager of a poultry farm and his girlfriend were abducted on Saturday afternoon at a farm settlement along Iseyin-Ipapo-Saki Road in Iseyin local Government.
A joint security team has been deployed to the Ipapo/Iseyin axis of Oke-Ogun in the Oyo North senatorial district over the abduction of four farmers by gunmen.
The Oyo State government, which deployed the special security team, has also appealed to the people of Ipapo to be calm in the wake of the fresh abduction of the four persons.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Adeniyi Adebisi, said a security team comprising police and the military has been dispatched to support the existing security architecture in the area.
However, Raji commended the prompt response of the security agencies to the incident and called on the leadership of the Nigeria Police and the military to increase the presence of their men in the Oke-Ogun zone, to discourage criminalities.
His words: “We appreciate the efforts of the various security agencies on this particular issue as we have seen reinforcement from the Nigerian Army and Amotekun into the forest to search for the victims and the kidnappers; this is commendable.
“Now is the time for our people to be cognizant of those things that happen around them and give prompt information to the security agencies to work on before crime is committed. We shall overcome this.
“We also want to call on the military and police leadership to please make possible an increase in the presence of their men in these areas within the Oke-Ogun region; their presence with a good standard of operation will dissuade criminalities and give our people the confidence to go about their businesses.”
Raji also enjoined religious leaders to intensify prayers towards ridding Nigeria, Oyo State and Oke-Ogun region of unpalatable occurrences, saying only prayers and concerted efforts by all would make peace sustainable.
The search for the four kidnapped farmers has continued since Saturday, as the local security men, police and military personnel have been on the trail of the kidnappers till the moment.