Wednesday, June 19, 2019 1:31 pm
As a result of the seven-day ultimatum given the Fulani herdsmen in the South-west by the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, early this week, sent his Chief of Staff, Mr. Jude Nwankor, to Chief Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland.
Individuals who were also present at the meeting were: Asoju Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, Yinka Oguntimehin, Assistant General Secretary of OPC, Mr. Lasun Ogunfowokan, Chief Superintendent of Police Peter Gana and Mrs Stella Gowon.
Adams told his guests that as the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, “there are pressures on me to act on the issues” adding that OPC “is ready to partner with the police in solving the security challenges in the country” and that our group “has a history of winning war against kidnapping, banditry and other social vices”.
“I commend the Inspector General of Police on this move. The visit, as far as I am concerned, is a welcome development and it goes a long way in solving the menace. The security situation in the country is becoming too worrisome with cases of Killings, kidnapping, raping and banditry prevalent across South-West states, and there is an urgent need to curb the menace,” said Adams.
Nwankor, who led the police delegation responded that the reason for the visit “is to seek your support in solving the security challenges in the country. We are happy to relate with you as a prominent voice in Yorubaland. We know there is no way we can secure the grassroots without local intelligence. The IG has indicated interest in seeking your assistance and support and that is why we are here to tell you that the police, as an institution, is ready to partner with you.”
This synergy between the Police and the OPC is a welcome development, given the hot relationship between the two in the past. Moreover, what this also points to is that since security is better tackled at the grassroots, the reason for which concerned Nigerians have been advocating state police.
This is the same Adams that the Lagos State Police Command of Nigeria Police declared wanted in 2001. Worse still, the Police placed a ransom on him! And when he was finally arrested, he was made to appear half clad with handcuffs in both hands.
This frosty relationship, however change when, in 2017, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgar Imohimi informally came up with a form of cooperation between his Force and OPC to fight the Ikorodu Badoo boys.
Results from that 2017 experiment must have, according to Tunde Busari, a journalist, guided the incumbent Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, “in his search for practical solutions to the fear created by kidnappers in South-west states.”
That OPC could be co-opted into fighting insecurity, given the members’ knowledge of the local terrain and the people should be a pointer to the fact that the state police that is being advocated should be made to come to reality. Just as there are Borno Civilian JTF members in the North East and the participation of hunters in Ekiti when Governor Ayodele Fayose was in charge, the Police should recruit more people at the local levels, even as the old Supernumeraries.