Forum blasts Police over robbery attacks in Oyo town

Nigeria Police Officers
FILE PHOTO: Nigeria Police Officers

Following a spate of robbery attacks on several neighbourhoods in Oyo town, Oyo Global Forum, a network of the town’s professionals, has condemned the alleged failure of the police to curb the menace and said it is collaborating with vigilante groups to guard the town.

In a statement on Tuesday, the group said residents now had negative sentiments regarding the police. It also said it planned to organise a protest in the town “against the robbery attacks and the failure of the security formations.”

See the group’s full statement below:

The leadership of Oyo Global Forum condemns in very strong terms the spate of robbery attacks on various neighbourhoods in Oyo Town, and hereby expresses grave concern about the problem that started few weeks ago.

The robbers operate unhindered, raising worries about the competence, capability and commitment of the police formations in Oyo. In fact, victims at various locations separately said police operatives did arrive hours after havoc had been wrecked. This, then, has caused growing negative sentiments among residents.

OGF therefore calls on security operatives not to help entrench a perception of incapability by committing themselves to the duty of securing our people and their properties. As a civic group, our representatives will meet with security heads to explore – and how we can support – ways of combating the attacks which now have our people to live in fear.

However, we feel compelled to, within the limits of the law of the land, resort to self-help in the meantime. We are collaborating with vigilante groups/OPC to help secure neighbourhoods within Oyo. We will provide logistical needs, including vehicles, for this operation prompted by the urgent need to ensure our people and their properties are safe. We intend to mobilise the community, especially those with means, towards the end of contributing to this effort.

OGF also calls on traditional and political authorities and representatives alike to act decisively and offer leadership at this critical period. As stakeholders, we should work together by all lawful means to stop the robbers and other criminal tendencies in the short term; and in the long term, build a society that is peaceful, free, open, just, decent and conducive for socio-economic progress.

There is evident link between the criminal activities in Oyo and the unfortunate and disgraceful situation whereby persons in positions of public responsibility arm and fund gangs of thugs for narrow ends. In fact, the current spate of robbery started just in the wake of the release from prison of “Agbara Iseke”, whose incarceration followed our efforts during the December 2015/January 2016 #SaveOyo campaign. So, what we face today is a consequence of choices made by our leaders and they should come forward now to end the problem they caused.

On Saturday, we plan to mobilise the community to match on the Town in protest against the robbery attacks and the failure of the security formations. Details of this plan will be unveiled shortly.

Finally, OGF wishes to reassure our people that we shall overcome the insecurity challenge and crave their full support in the civic quest to collaboratively combat the challenge.

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