The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Monday ordered the immediate deployment of the Police Intervention and Stabilization Forces to Oyo State to stem the tension and apprehension that have pervaded the state.
The special intervention team, codenamed ‘Operation Puff Adder II,’ is being deployed reportedly to reinforce the fight against banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and other violent crimes in the land.
The special team, which would be intelligence-led and community-driven, is expected to operate in collaboration with the Armed Forces, the Intelligence Community and other sister security agencies.
It is said to be aimed at re-dominating and reclaiming the public space from criminals that are bent on threatening the internal security order across the country in a bid to bring them to book.
The IGP, during the flag-off of the Special Operation at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, noted that Operation Puff Adder II is an initiative of the Force conceived from a deliberate and critical evaluation of the pattern and trend of crimes in the country.
With the Special Operation, there shall be massive and well-planned deployment of both human and other operational assets of the Force to reinforce and consolidate on the successes and achievements of Operation Puff Adder I, launched by the IGP in April, 2019.
The IGP further noted that the flag-off is the first phase of the operation targeted at the full restoration of peace and security in the country.
The operation, he said, is aimed at dislodging bandits from their current operational spaces (in parts of the north) and denying them space to regroup in other parts of the country. It will also ensure that all arrested bandits and their collaborators are brought to book. In the long run, it is expected that the operation shall be replicated across other states of the Federation to deal with the security challenges inherent in those States.
The IGP, while assuring the Police operatives of adequate welfare provisions during the mission, charged them to be civil with law abiding citizens but firm and ruthless with criminal elements who may want to threaten the safety of citizens in their Areas of Responsibilities.
Meanwhile, the IGP has assured Nigerians that the Force shall continue to do all within its powers to guarantee a stable security order across the country. He calls on the civil populace to work with the Police and other security agencies in the joint tasks of safeguarding our nation, especially in the area of providing useful, relevant and timely information.
Meanwhile, the Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has said that his government would ensure that justice is served on the victims of the Hausa/Yoruba clash at Shasha Market in Akinyele Local Government, Ibadan, at the weekends.
Governor Makinde, on Monday said a judicial panel will also be inaugurated to investigate the crisis, adding that Peace and Security Committees will equally be made available in all the zones of the state with a view to addressing grievances and ensuring justice.
The governor, while appealing to angry residents of the area to sheathe their swords, warned the people to take precautions at the sign of potential dangers of words and actions. He said, “It is time to think about our self-preservation. It is time to put Oyo State first.”
He said that contrary to news circulating in the social media, the state government has brought the situation in Shasha under control, adding that the situation had been de-escalated since Saturday afternoon. “A curfew was put in place and there has been no further unrest since then,” he said.
He cautioned residents against taking laws into their hands, adding, “I visited Shasha Market and Ojoo in Akinyele Local Government Area yesterday (Sunday), and I have met the people affected by the crisis. I am saddened by the loss of lives. I feel your pain. I understand your anger and frustrations. We will make things right.”
“As I stated yesterday (Sunday), I have also ordered a full investigation into the immediate cause of the crisis and I promise that all culprits will be brought to book. Our administration will also be providing the needed support to ensure that those who lost their properties to the mayhem are compensated.
“I mourn the loss of lives that has occurred. Even when justice is served, nothing can bring back the dead. That is why I must also state that individuals who have taken to stoking up ethnic flames in Oyo State either through their utterances or actions or posts on social media are enemies of our state.”
He warned those leveraging on the incidents in the state for political goals to desist, stating that “The people who have decided to leverage these sad events to further their political goals are not our friends. These people handing us petrol and matches will not stand with us when the fire turns into an inferno.
“When we see the potential dangers of words and actions, we must take precautions. It is time to think about our self-preservation. It is time to put Oyo State first. Let me make it clear, the socio-economic prosperity that has existed in Oyo State for about two years since this administration came into office, and the peace and confidence in government we have been building, is under threat. This threat will only succeed if we allow it to happen.”
He lauded security agencies, including the Police, Operation Burst and the Amotekun Corps for the roles being played, warning that those doing disservice to the state by sabotaging efforts on ensuring peace and security would face the wrath of the law.
Decrying the shooting of an Amotekun Corp by a Divisional Police Officer in Ogbomoso, he disclosed that a judicial panel would be set up to investigate the incident and that anyone found culpable would face the music.