Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has requested the immediate redeployment and investigation of the Divisional Police Officer of Lafenwa in Abeokuta, Samuel Aladegoroye, due to “incessant complaints” against the officer.
The governor, who visited the Lafenwa market on Monday following a petrol tanker explosion in the area a day earlier, accused the DPO of aiding and abetting criminality in and around the market.
The explosion, which occurred in the early hours of Sunday, led to the death of a woman and her child.
“There are complaints against the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) here, I want that DPO investigated. I also want him removed from this place because this is not the first time that complaints have been lodged against him,” the governor said.
“We’ve gotten several complaints against him about how he mismanages this place, particularly as it pertains to miscreants that come and disturb the traders. He arrests them, within five to ten minutes, he releases them and that is why this place has continued to be restive. The thuggery in this place has not been contained.”
On Sunday, an official of the state’s Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps blamed residents who trooped to the place where the tanker overturned for the explosion.
In the aftermath of the inferno, angry residents hurled stones at emergency responders who had arrived and were trying to contain the situation.
Mr Abiodun asked the police commissioner in the state, Lanre Bankole, to declare a state of emergency in Lafenwa community.
“I want every miscreant arrested because this kind of situation is totally unacceptable – where a tanker overturns, fuel that is highly inflammable is flowing through the drainage and someone wilfully ignites it so that they could cause chaos and begin to loot the market. This is very bad; it is just not acceptable; it is criminal.”
While calling for an investigation into the incident, the governor asked the Police Commissioner to “ensure that everybody involved in this heinous crime is arrested and brought to book. We must make an example of them.”
The governor also gave a three-day ultimatum to the Commissioner of Transportation, Gbenga Dairo, and the Commander of Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, (TRACE) to unravel the cause of the incident.
In his response, the Babaloja of Lafenwa Market, Musa Adeyinka, recounted their loss during the incident and thanked the governor for his sympathy. He also requested an urgent intervention to cushion the effect of the incident on traders.
Premium Times was unable to get the reaction of the DPO. Police officers usually refer such media enquiries to the police spokesperson.
The police spokesperson in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, did not respond to phone calls and a text message on the matter.
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