* Seeks permission from Lagos, Oyo, Ogun govs
The Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Otunba Gani Adams, has urged governors Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, and Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to allow the newly inaugurated Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) Dependable Team and Southwest Security Stakeholders Group (SSSG) smoke those he described as criminal elements from their forest hideouts along the Lagos-Ibadan highway.
Aare Adams, through a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, expressed concern over the incessant attacks on travelers plying the road.
He said since the police have failed to honour the earlier arrangements to provide effective security along the highway, it is pertinent to ask the governors to allow the OPC, Amotekun and other security groups such as the hunters, vigilante, COMSAIC, Isokan Oodua under the auspices of the SSSG, to flush the terrorists out of the forests.
Expressing worry at the increasing spate of insecurity along the expressway, Adams declared that the only way out of the quagmire is to allow the OPC to face the battle for the restoration of peace along the road.
“There has been an abnormal surge in cases of kidnapping along the Lagos-Ibadan Express Way. The information at my disposal indicates the surge in the numbers of terrorists and kidnappers hiding at Sapade, a 62km town to Ibadan.
“Kidnappers are now having a field day even as it is obvious that the police couldn’t help the prevailing situation.
“The situation is getting out of hand and I believe it is now time for the three governors of Oyo, Ogun and Lagos to allow us flush the bandits out of their hiding place.
“The road is the most strategic road in the Southwest, we would not allow terrorists to set our region ablaze through constant attacks.
“I want to assure the governors that we will flush out the terrorists from their hideouts within three weeks.
“We can also work with Amotekun to salvage the situation and secure the road and other roads in the Southwest.”
The Yoruba generallissimo, while warning terrorists and bandits to stay away from the south west, insisted he would not fold his arms to see the highway taken over by terrorists that have been attacking travellers.
“Lagos-Ibadan expressway is not Kano-Kaduna or Abuja road that has become havens for terrorists. So, the governors should allow us to rid them from this road,” he pleaded.
Meanwhile, the Police commands in Oyo and Ogun states have jointly beefed up security on the expressway following the resurgence of criminal activities along that route.
There have been recurring reports of kidnapping and other security challenges along the 131 kilometre road.
Spokesman of the police in Oyo State, SP Adewale Osifeso, said on Thursday that Commissioner of Police Adebowale Williams has vowed to rid the area of undesirable criminal elements.
Williams in company of his Ogun State counterpart Lanre Bankole, on Thursday, undertook a strategic assessment patrol along the highway and deployed personnel and assets to forestall further attacks.
He said both commands have also restructured the security apparatus around Lagos-Sagamu-Sapade-Onigari axis.
“The security architecture of both commands is also deliberately remodeled with cooperation from adjoining State police commands to deal decisively with criminal elements whose mindset is to use both states as hideouts after being dislodged.”
He advised the residents of the states not to panic over the enhanced presence of security personnel and equipment in the area.
The spokesman said there would be joint intelligence-led surveillance, aggressive patrols, combing of forests alongside local hunters and vigilante members and other permanent visibility policing measures.
He urged the public to provide the police with timely and credible information on suspected criminals around them.