We are after criminals of all tribes —Makinde

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has insisted that the government is not after Hausa-Fulani but armed robbers, hoodlums, bandits and other criminals, irrespective of their tribe, religion or creed.

Makinde, who stated this on Friday when the new Commissioner for Police in the state, Ngozi Onadeko, paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Ibadan, decried rising ethnic tension in the state.

“When we had an incident at Okeho, some people were killed, some were arrested and we found out that they were Igbira, that is, from Kogi State,” the governor said.

He described as unacceptable, making statements that are unconstitutional. This is just as he chided those claiming to be protecting the interest of the Yoruba race to perpetrate chaos in the state.

He decried calls for a certain ethnic nationality to leave the state, noting that the battle was against criminality in its entirety devoid of ethnic or religious leanings.

Makinde promised support for the police and other security agencies to guarantee a safe state.

He said: “This is a period where false information is almost at its highest, ethnic tension almost at its highest. You have your job cut out for you. We will give you maximum support. I am sure you have heard of things happening in the Ibarapa axis of the state.

“For people stoking ethnic tension, they are criminals and they should be arrested and treated as common criminals.

“For this administration, a 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, insecurity. When people say things that are not lawful, that are not within the spirit of the Nigerian constitution, it is not acceptable here and they cannot hide under being people protecting Yoruba interest to perpetrate chaos in this state.

“We had EndSARS because people got bottled up; there has been very limited access to opportunities and we need to address that by expanding opportunities for these people. And if we have to do that, we have to do that in a safe and secure environment.

“For Amotekun here in Oyo state, we are all working towards the same objective. We need intelligence, we need to know about criminals before they even strike. We set up Amotekun to gather intelligence in all the wards in Oyo state and bring out information for joint patrols with the police and go after our common enemies, the criminals.

“The same people that demonised Amotekun a few weeks ago are the ones now telling us that a certain ethnic nationality should leave this place. We will ensure that all the agencies work together.

“I will encourage interaction with all the other agencies and once we have that synergy, we will ensure that the objective of people going about their duties without fear of being molested will be achieved.”

The police commissioner, Onadeko, said she would pursue professionalism, having police with a human face and synergising with other sister agencies.

Onadeko said that her men had fully returned to their duty posts and would shun corruption. On the situation in Ibarapa axis, Onadeko said patrols by the police and Operation Burst were in place to ensure calm in the area.

She added that law-abiding citizens had nothing to fear and should go about their lawful businesses.

Onadeko said: “We want to police with a human face, be professional and make sure that everybody is involved, synergize with all the other sister agencies and also focus on community policing.

“In Ibarapa, men have been on the ground for the past two, three days. There has been a lot of convoy patrol and patrols with other security agencies, including Operation Burst.

“So, the place is calm and we enjoin every citizen to go about their lawful businesses. Provided you are law-abiding, you don’t have any problem with law enforcement agencies.”

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