…collaborates with the community to proffer security measures
…as govt begs citizens to embrace lawful means of resolving grievances
By Adeola Badru
THE Oyo State Government, Tuesday, expressed displeasure over the spate of killings at the Akinyele area of the state, with the recent murder of a middle-aged woman, Mrs Funmilayo, by an alleged serial killer, Sunday Shodipe, who escaped from the police custody after being paraded by the police barely two months ago.
The state government, through the Special Adviser to Governor Makinde on Security, Mr Fatai Owoseni, at a security Town Hall meeting with stakeholders in the community, held at the Akinyele Local Government Area of the state, noted that providing security for a community should be devoid of ethnicity, religious and other biases.
Mr Owoseni expressed optimism that with the new security architecture in the state by the governor, it would help to end the senseless killings and restore peace in the area, adding that the state government would continue to place a premium on security as the backbone of sustainable development.
He said: “Beyond the boots on the ground, the state government is conducting series of engagements with traditional rulers, religious leaders, community leaders, civil society and other agencies and we are making progress.”
Owoseni, then, called on non-state actors, especially residents of the affected communities to give their maximum support to the government and security agencies during the period of the operation through intelligence sharing mechanism.”
“The executive governor of Oyo State has directed that we should come and meet with people in the community to know that he shares in the pains and the state shares and that what has happened is highly condemnable to the state as well.”
“But be that as it may, his excellency also us to dialogue with people that in as much as security challenges can affect economic development, so also barbaric actions taken laws into people’s hands can also affect economic development.
“That the people have a right having suffered that pain comes out to protest when we do our protest, we should do it in a way that will not continue to destroy properties, properties being destroyed are of the people, or for members of our family. Everyone knows that has happened is bad but for every twelve of the disciples Jesus Christ, there must be Judas Iscariot.”
“So, His Excellency aside from sharing the pain of the people in solidarity, he wants the hearing to get to the top echelon of the police which is the Inspector General of Police. So the Inspector-General of Police and His Excellency has given the marching order to the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State and all his officers to work with our people in Akinyele to ensure that the suspect is re-arrested and not just re-arrested but also to ensure that all those cases are investigated to a logical conclusion, it is deaths too many in Akinyele.”
“This last one was preventable if that suspect had not escaped. His excellency had given a marching order just as the state gave the security agencies including the police the wherewithal the tools to apprehend that suspect in the first case so also the governor deploying all the enablement that will make them succeed and must work in partnership with members of the community.”
“We have come here to pass the message to the community, they have also given their commitment to work together with the security agencies especially with the police to make sure that suspect is arrested and all the cases are investigated,” he disclosed.
While speaking, the Alakinyele of Akinyele, Oba James Odediran, noted that there was the need for a thorough investigation by the police to detect those police officers who were accomplice in the escape.
He added that the escape of Shodipe pointed to the fact that no one was safe in the local government area anymore.
Oba Odeniran said: “He was arrested and confessed to killing about eight persons in Akinyele. When another killing was recorded, he was seen around just before the killing. How did someone in the custody of the police escape? That points to something fishy. Immediately the suspect escaped, the first thing we expected was for the police to declare the suspect wanted.”
“He was being taken around with his legs chained. We are, therefore, surprised to hear that he escaped. No one is safe in Nigeria if a suspect can escape from police custody.”
“The killer is not an indigene of Akinyele; he comes in here to do the dastardly acts. He said he and his parents used to live in Moniya. We enjoin our police to be more serious with their duties. They have some betrayers among them and they should fish them out,” the traditional ruler stated.
The Akinyele axis of the state has been under siege for months by rampaging serial killers who kill and maim.
In the past two months, communities in the local government have been under constant attacks by these unknown assailants believed to be ritual killers.
The latest of the killings took place on Wednesday, August 18, 2020, of one Mrs Funmilayo, who was reported to have been macheted to death, by Sunday Shodipe, a 19-year-old suspect, who was arrested in connection with the killings of Barakat Bello, Azeezat Shomuyiwa and a five-year-old boy identified as Mujeeb, was paraded along with two others in July.
The killings have been widely condemned by groups and individuals, including human rights organisation across the state.