Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Tuesday evening played host to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, and requested for a new mobile police squadron in Oyo town, the seat of Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, in the state towards further strengthening the security architecture of the state.
The governor, who personally received the IGP in his office at Agodi, Ibadan, the state capital, said the immediate past IGP, Mohammed Adamu, had given a verbal approval on the request before his retirement from office. He added that Adamu had earlier approved the siting of a mobile police squadron at Ago-Are in Oke-Ogun area of the state, saying the place is already functioning now.
“I came to your predecessor few months before his retirement. They granted us approval to set up a Mopol Unit at Ago-Are, which we did; and they are working well. It has assisted us to look at the security challenges around the northern part of Oyo State. We felt that we still require another Mobile Police Squadron. The former IGP approved it verbally to be sited at Oyo town.
“We have discussed with the traditional institution there and the people of Oyo are ready to give us land. As a government, we are ready to provide the basic infrastructure to enable them move in there. So, I will use this opportunity to also make that request. I hope we will find favour for the request to be approved.”
Makinde stated further that the Oyo State Police Command has been trying its best in checking crime and criminality in the state, in collaboration with the state government and sister security agencies. he noted that when “we started Amotekun Corps, the police felt we were getting people to take over their jobs and responsibilities. But over these few months with the leadership of the police in the state, we have had serious cooperation. The inter-agency rivalry or skirmish has been reduced is to the barest minimum in Oyo State.”
The governor stated further that when some people tried to poke poke ethnic tension, “we all rose to the occasion. And the message to everybody was very clear. In Oyo State, we are after criminals. We don’t care where they are from. We know that criminals abound in every ethnic group. Also, in Oyo State, we have had a situation, where some people went to rob a bank at Okeho. Eventually, when they got those people, they were from Kogi State. So, we don’t profile anybody based on their ethnic background.
“When you are talking to your officers and men, I really want that message to be reinforced that the cooperation that we are enjoying with the officers and men of the command in Oyo State, we really want to keep it. We also know that this is a challenging period in the country. The resources are dwindling. But we have challenges all over, especially insurgency in the North-East, banditry in the North-West, kidnapping and even South here, ethnic tension everywhere. We are here to support the effort of Nigeria Police Force, at the zonal and the state levels.”
In his address, the IGP, Usman Baba, described his visit to the state as part of his tour of the 36 states of the federation geared towards meeting chief security officers of each state, traditional institutions, rank and file of NPF and some strategic stakeholders.
“I also want to talk to other stakeholders on the issue of community policing, which is an adopted strategy of policing in Nigeria. It is evolving worldwide. But we have not started just now. We have started as far back as 2004,” adding that it has not been effectively used by both government. He noted that there are two versions of community policing, “where we send officers for trainings to learn the British Model and American Model.”
Baba stated that the Federal Government has, however, asked the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru to study it for one year and recommend to the government, adding that his predecessor “has tried and I will continue from where he stopped,” as he solicited the support of Governor Makinde for community policing in the state.
“We have every intention to increase our strength in terms of recruitment of junior police officers. We had issues with our bosses and now that we have overcome the issues, we have the blessing of Mr. President to increase our strength by 20,000. Every local government will benefit from this gesture. The directive of Mr. President is that we must recruit from the 774 local governments of the federation.”