Oyo Tension: Culprits Behind Violence In Igangan Will Be Brought To Justice – Police
The Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Ngozi Onadeko, has called for calm in the state, promising that action will be taken against those behind the recent violence and ethnic tension in the state.
“Investigation into the arson and the breach of the peace, which occurred at Igangan will be investigated to logical conclusion and culprits shall be brought to justice,” read part of a statement issued on behalf of the commissioner by the command’s spokesperson, CSP Fadeyi Olugbenga, on Saturday.
The police boss, who blamed the situation in the state on “the inciting pronouncement of Chief Sunday Adeyemo, A.K.A Sunday Igboho”, warned that security agencies will not watch while some criminal elements take laws into their hands.
The statement, however, did not confirm or deny a report that the Inspector-General of Police had ordered Adeyemo’s arrest.
Adeyemo had issued a quit notice to herders in the state and on Friday held a rally in Igangan to buttress his position.
According to the police the rally is responsible for the violence which resulted in houses and cars being burnt in the town.
“Following the fear of threats to public peace, occasioned by the inciting pronouncement of Chief Sunday Adeyemo, A.K.A Sunday Igboho, the Oyo State Police Command jointly with the Operation Burst had embarked on visibility/confidence building patrol of the areas concerned,” the police said.
“Sadly, the relative peace and calmness, being enjoyed, due to the visibility patrols of the Security Agencies were truncated by the visit of Sunday Igboho to Igangan, at about 16:30hrs [4:30 pm] on 22nd January 2021.
“The visit had culminated in a mob action by some youths in the town, who, armed with different types of weapons, embarked on arson and a breach of peace. In the process, grievous hurt was committed against one of the police officers, while discharging his statutory duties.”
While investigating the situation and trying to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the state, the police appealed for calm.
The CP called on well-meaning and peace-loving elders in the community to caution and advise restive youths to sheath their swords and shun violence in addressing the complex situation at hand.
She also urged the youths to avoid being used as pawns to ignite an ethnic war.
Warning people against taking laws into their hands, the police said that a “substantial number of suspects (of different ethnic backgrounds)” were arrested in connection with virtually all the cases of kidnapping or assassination, which had occurred in the State.
Some have been arraigned in court and are being remanded in correctional facilities, while investigations are still ongoing in some of the cases.
As tensions escalated on Friday in the Ibarapa axis of the state when Igboho visited Igangan, the Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, vowed that his government will not allow anyone to cause ethnic tension or harass anyone carrying out legitimate business in the state.
The Governor, who made the comments when the new police boss in Oyo state, Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko, paid him a courtesy visit in his office, urged her to ensure the police arrest miscreants causing tension and threatening the peace of the state.
“For people stoking ethnic tension, they are criminals and once you get them, they should be arrested and treated like common criminals,” Makinde said.
“For this administration, the major pillar for us is security, because we know that all the good economic plans we have won’t be possible in an atmosphere of chaos and insecurity.
“So, when people say things that are neither lawful nor within the spirit of Nigeria’s Constitution, it is not acceptable here. And they cannot hide under the guise of protecting Yoruba’s interest to perpetuate chaos in the state.
“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-Fulani. 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 records, when we had the armed robbery incident at Okeho in Kajola Local Government Area of the state, some people were killed, some were arrested and we found out that they were from Ebira, from Kogi State. So, we want to go after the criminals – whether they are Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, or whomever they are.”