Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has appealed to the new Commissioner of Police posted to the state, Mr. Abiodun Odude, to rid the state of notorious gangster group popularly known as ‘one million boys.’
Ajimobi who noted that the violent group has been a threat to the peace of the state made the appeal in an address during a familiarization visit to his office by the new commissioner of police.
The governor implored the CP to engage more in community policing, because of his belief that residents of local communities always had information about the movement and activities of hoodlums before outbreak of any crisis.
Ajimobi stated that security of lives and property was the fulcrum upon which the state situated its developmental agenda, exuding confidence that new police boss would complement the efforts of the government in promoting peace across the state.
The governor said, “The role of police is pivotal in providing security services and if you look at Oyo State today, you will see the changes that have taken place through the perpetuation of peace. We started our administration in 2011 by putting security at the top of our priorities, because everybody knew the state of violence that predated our coming.
“We have achieved the level of socio-economic development we are witnessing today because of that decision. It is a thing of joy to know that the top hierarchy of the police is very committed, judging by the arrest of the otherwise invincible leader of the notorious gangsters, ‘One Million Boys,’ in Ibadan.
“They had to trace those boys to Lagos to arrest them, which is highly commendable. Please try your very best to round up the remnants of these one million boys for a lasting peace in Oyo State”.
Ajimobi urged the police authority to embark on internal cleansing by ridding the command of few personnel who work at cross purposes with the police by colluding with criminals to perpetrate violence.
He drew the attention of the police boss to a recent incident in which some miscreants parading themselves as landowners, a.k.a. Omo Onile, went to areas where the state government had started road construction to disrupt activities of the contractor insisting on being ‘settled’.
He said, “Just as we have bad eggs in every profession, I think there are policemen that connive with miscreants by tipping them off to evade arrest when law enforcement agents move against them, thereby jeopardizing efforts to rid the society of such brigands.
“Such officers need to be flushed out. I implore you to ensure that you latch on to community policing programmes to get firsthand information about possible outbreak of crisis and nip such in the bud”.
Earlier in his speech, Odude had assured the governor of his team’s preparedness to cooperate with and support the government to sustain peace in the state, adding that the police under his watch had arrested many kidnappers and armed robbers in his few days at the command.
The CP promised to work round the clock to achieve a violence-free Oyo State by devoting time and energy to the project of securing lives and properties.
Odude said, “We hit the ground running upon my arrival with the arrest of seven kidnappers and 19 armed robbers. We were also able to recover seven vehicles. We pledge to support your administration to ensure perpetual peace and tranquility in order to promote socioeconomic development of the State”.
An alumnus of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife) where he bagged a BSc in Demography and Statistics in 1983, the new CP attended Government College, Ibadan, for his secondary education.
Until his deployment as CP Oyo command, Odude was the Commissioner of Police, Administration, in the Department of Finance and Admin., Force Headquarters, Abuja.
The CP vowed to bring his wealth of experience to bear in his new posting as a successful crime fighter, but solicited the support and input of well-meaning members of the society.