OPC / Police Security Partnership
OPC / Police Security Partnership
THE Nigeria Police recently said it would strengthen the Operation Puff Adder and Safer Highway in the South-West by partnering with the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC).
THE Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who said this in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, at the South-West geopolitical zone security summit said the police hoped the strengthened partnership would stabilise security in the South-West .
HE said current concerted operations of the police and other security agencies across the country, particularly along the Niger-Kogi-FCT-Kaduna-Kastina and Zamfara areas, have engendered a dispersal and forced relocation of some of the criminals to new localities, including the South-West.
THE Police, he said, needed to continue evaluating and re-evaluating its operational strategies, while strengthening its institutional capacity at proactively responding to criminal situations.
THE new policy of the Police is occasioned by a terrifying situation, where criminal elements especially kidnappers and robbers have been plaguing states in the South-West.
BANDITS scout for victims from Lagos to Ondo, Osun to Ekiti, Oyo and Ogun states, using every available space, bush, forest and abandoned properties as their headquarters.
ISOLATED roads and highways such as the Ilesa-Akure road, Ikorodu-Epe, as well as the waterways of areas like Arepo, Ikorodu, Epe among others that link Lagos and Ogun states, have continuously served as their hideouts.
AS they carry out their nefarious activities, everybody is a target: the rich, the poor, the powerful and the weak.
RASAKI Musibau, Director of Lagos State Fire Safety, was driving from Ikorodu to Epe sometimes in April when the kidnappers struck, and held him and five others hostage. He was said to have paid an undisclosed sum of money before he could free himself from the clutches of the terrorists.
SHORTLY after, Dayo Adewole, son of the immediate-past Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole, was abducted by a gang of kidnappers while on the way to his farm in Fiditi, in Oyo State and was released after 24 hours in captivity.
IN June, a 12-seater bus, commuting between Akure, the Ondo State capital and Ikere, a town in Ekiti State, was hijacked by kidnappers, who whisked away the passengers.
EVEN though the Police debunked the report, insisting that only one passenger, suspected to be a chieftain of the National Union of Road and Transportation Workers (NURTW), was actually kidnapped, the fact that such a thing happened showed the problems faced by innocent citizens in the South West.
IN July, Olufunke Olakunrin, the daughter of Pa Reuben Fasoranti, the leader of Pan-Yourba socio-political group, Afenifere, was killed by suspected herdsmen on the Benin-Ore road.
IN June, state governors of the Southwest took what looked like a practical step to solving the pervasive insecurity by making a strong case for the establishment of state and council police to complement the efforts of the federal police, which appear overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the malaise.
THE call had become necessary because insecurity has created palpable fear in the minds of the people, as the campaign of blood by Fulani herdsmen, who had ravaged the South-West, has become a serious source of concern to the Yoruba race.
IT is disheartening that the group, despite several appeals to their consciousness, has continued to wreak havoc on the land, plundering the South West, and now, people living in the geo-political zone are at risk of being hunted and butchered by a group of senseless persons.
UNDER this situation, The Hope welcomes the proposed partnership between the Police and the OPC, because it’s a new way of tackling the security challenges in the South-West.
THE truth is if the Police need a different result in crime prevention, it must change its strategies to get the desired results.
THE partnership between the Police and OPC is another form of community policing, and South West governors in June made the point, that community policing might just be the solution to the frightening insecurity problem in the region.
APART from the OPC, The Hope calls on the Police to extend hands of partnership to local hunters, because they understand their various communities and know how to guard them against intruders.
WE also call for the Police to change their strategy towards community engagement, as a means of winning the confidence and trust of the community is pivotal to the success of curbing banditry in the South- West community engagement requires a policing perspective that goes beyond the standard law enforcement methods.
WE also call on the Police to treat citizens with dignity and respect, as their current arrogant attitude and their unnecessary or excessive use of force will diminish the willingness of community members to engage with and provide information to the police.