Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Friday, said his government would not allow anyone hiding under the guise of ethnic interest to perpetrate crisis in the state.
Governor Makinde said the war to be waged by the state and the security agencies is against criminal elements, irrespective of their tribes, religions, or creed.
He added that his administration would not allow anyone to threaten the peace of the state by acting unlawfully as such is against the nation’s Constitution.
The governor spoke while receiving the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Ngozi Onadeko, stressing that the state government would not relent in placing priority on the welfare of security agencies in the state.
He said his administration would continue to synergise with security agencies in the state to fight crime and criminality irrespective of their tribes, religions, or creed.
The governor said, “For people stoking ethnic tension, they are criminals and once you get them, they should be arrested and treated like common criminals.
“For this administration, the major pillar for us is security, because we know that all the good economic plans we have won’t be possible in an atmosphere of chaos and insecurity.
“So, when people say things that are neither lawful nor within the spirit of Nigeria’s Constitution, it is not acceptable here. And they cannot hide under the guise of protecting Yoruba’s interest to perpetuate chaos in the state.
“I am sure that since you came in, you must have heard about some things happening at Ibarapa axis of the state. I will still say it here that we are not after Hausa-Fulani. We are after criminals.
“We are after hoodlums and bandits irrespective of their tribe, religion, or creed. Those are the people we are after. If you look into the records, when we had the armed robbery incident at Okeho in Kajola Local Government Area of the state, some people were killed, some were arrested and we found out that they were from Ebira, from Kogi State. So, we want to go after the criminals – whether they are Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani or whoever they are,” Makinde said.
The governor equally said that his administration would continue to synergise with all security agencies in the state to fight criminal elements, adding that his government will continue to place a priority on the welfare of the officers and men of the Police Force in the state.
Governor Makinde, who stated that his government would ensure that all security agencies work together to ensure a secure and peaceful Oyo State, also pointed out that the Oyo State Security Network Agency, codenamed Operation Amotekun, like federal security agencies, is working towards the same objective of securing the state.
“Amotekun here in Oyo State is working with us towards the same objective. We need intelligence to know about criminals before they even strike. It is one of the major reasons why we set up Amotekun; to be able to gather intelligence in all the wards in Oyo State.
“But the same people that demonised Amotekun are the ones now telling us that a certain ethnic nationality should leave this place.
“You and your team are all coming in at a very challenging time. This is a period where false information is almost at its highest, ethnic tension almost at its highest as well. So, I will say you have your job cut out for you. We won’t make the job difficult. We will be sincere and open; we will support you.”
Earlier, the new Commissioner of Police, Mrs Onadeko, said, “We are here to formally tell you that we have resumed duty. We came with the promise that we want to make the lives and property of the people of Oyo State safe and secure. We want the people to go to bed with their eyes closed.”