The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, on Friday inaugurated the newly reconstituted state Joint Security Task Force, codenamed `Operation Burst,’ at Idi-Arere, Ibadan.
A statement by Yomi Layinka, Mr. Ajimobi’s media aide, said the state government took the decision because Idi-arere area is considered one of the hot spots in the city of Ibadan.
Similarly, the governor also inaugurated the new Board of Trustees for the state’s Security Trust Fund (OYSSTF).
The board, headed by the Deputy Governor, Operations, of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Bayo Adelabu, was inaugurated at the Executive Chambers of the Governor’s Office, with a mandate to reinvigorate the security outfit.
Members of the OYSSTF include the Commissioner for Health, Azeez Adeduntan; a member of the Olubadan-in-Council, Abiodun Kola-Daisi; Adesola Adeduntan; Falil Ayo-Abina; Femi Odumagbo; and Vickram Goushani; as well as the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security Matters, Femi Oyedipe.
Mr. Ajimobi described the two occasions as a milestone in his administration’s efforts at stamping out all forms of brigandage and violent activities, which, he said, had earned the state the appellation of a garrison before the advent of his administration.
“Before our administration came on board in 2011,” Mr. Ajimobi said, “Oyo State used to be known as a garrison, because of the violence, arson, brigandage and destruction of property being carried out by criminals.
“This led to the establishment of a Security Trust Fund and ‘Operation Burst’ in 2013 which eventually brought peace back to the state. We were then able to stem the tide of armed robbery, gangsterism and other vices with this instrument of the law.
“We have now fortified the ‘Operation Burst’ with officers and men of the Nigerian Army, Navy, Special Response Squad of the Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), to renew the people’s confidence in the capacity and capability of the outfit.”
While inaugurating the 20 new patrol vans donated to the state by the OYSSTF at Idi-Arere, the governor promised that other arms and ammunition required to fight crimes and criminal activities to a standstill would be made readily available to the security outfit.
He charged members of the board to apply the Trust Fund law recently amended by the state House of Assembly towards the sustenance of peace, saying the law had paved the way for private sector involvement.
The governor, who emphasised that security was a serious business that involved the participation of all and sundry as well as sustained funding, called for a robust data base and public-private partnership.
Mr. Ajimobi also said that arrangements were being made for the installation of Closed Circuit Television cameras in strategic areas and a base station where people could call in for emergencies as well as acquisition of aerial patrol helicopter.
“We have come to knock on the doors of brigands to flush them out. We decided to choose this location (Idi-Arere) for this occasion because it is generally believed to be the hot spot of criminal activities in the city of Ibadan.
“With this development therefore, `One million Boys’ should be on the run! There is no more a safe haven for criminals and perpetuators of violence in our state,” he submitted.