The Oyo State Government on Sunday said at least 51 suspects are on trial for their involvement in kidnapping, rape and banditry from the Oke Ogun axis of the state.
The Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Security, Mr. Fatai Owoseni disclosed this during an assessment tour of Igangan, Ago Are and Tede communities, calling on residents to stop hostilities and allow peaceful coexistence which the areas have been noted for.
Owoseni and the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ngozi Onadeko jointly appealed to the residents after an on the spot assessment of troubled areas.
The delegation, which also visited Ago Are and Tede communities, which got engulfed in communal clashes over the weekend, held peace parleys at the Ago Are town hall and the palace of the Onitede of Tede, Oba Rauf Oladoyin.
“Truth is 51 suspects have been in detention for various offences that bother on this kidnapping. Arrests were made,” he said.
“Some have been arraigned in court. Some are awaiting trial. For some, investigations are still ongoing, which we made them know.
“Everyone will learn lessons, especially the police officer that was accused of complicity in some of these cases. The CP has given that assurance that every victim will get justice and all the allegations they have made as to the Seriki colluding with criminals, will be looked into.”
He also debunked insinuations that Governor Makinde has abandoned the people to their fate.
On her part, the police boss appealed for peace between the two communities, promising to host a peace meeting in her office before the end of the week.
“We have come to assess and listen to you over the incident that happened. I want to appeal to every one of us to be calm and ensure there is peace. If there is no peace in the community, there won’t be growth and development,” she said.
“I want to appeal to the youth, we have listened and they have interpreted all your complaints and I want to say you should not spoil your case by using force. We are a new team. Bring out all the cases you have, put them in an orderly manner and we will make sure that justice is done.
“So, I want to enjoin all of you to be peaceful and live with one another in a peaceful manner. If we live in peace in this community, we should be able to identify kidnappers, robbers, and rapists. It does not matter where you come from – whether you are from Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa. Actually, we have the good and bad ones. Criminality is not only ascribed to a particular ethnic group, it cuts across all the ethnic groups.”
Speaking also, the Olugbon of Orile Igbon, Oba Francis Olusola Alao, who is also the Deputy Chairman of Oyo State Council of Traditional Rulers, who was in Igangan, Tede and Ago Are, called for peace, insisting that the state can only develop in an atmosphere of peaceful coexistence.
He appealed to the youths to always report their cases to the security agencies, adding that self-help cannot help anyone at the end of the day.
Other monarchs at the Igangan peace parley held at the Igangan Town Hall include the Asigangan of Igangan, a representative of the Eleruwa, the Olu of Igbo Ora, and monarchs from adjoining communities in Ibarapaland.