Home News Outrage As Makinde Moves New Police Post From Oyo To Ago-Are

Outrage As Makinde Moves New Police Post From Oyo To Ago-Are

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When the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi, in a letter dated 14th of February 2020, on behalf of the Oyomesi and the entire people of Oyo town expressed his sincere appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government for granting his appeal that a Police Mobile Squadron headquarters should be located in Oyo, little did he know that this appreciation will be short lived. OYOINSIGHT.COM’s Managing Editor, Adebayo Abdulrahman writes.

How It Started

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On the 2nd of February 2019, the Alaafin of Oyo, in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, appealed to him that the federal Government should site the office of the Police Mobile Unit in Oyo State in Oyo Town.

In the letter, the Alaafin wrote, “ Mr. President you are quite aware of the long history of Oyo empire and the significant roles of the Alaafin both in the history of the Yoruba land as well as that of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is therefore on the basis of the paramouncy of my office in Yoruba land that I earnestly appeal to your excellency to locate/site the office of the Police Mobile Unit in Oyo State in Oyo Town.

“I assure Your Excellency that all the basic facilities for the takeoff of the office will be provided by the good people of Oyo town. I also undertake to provide adequate land for the permanent structure as and when necessary.”

Hope…

In another letter dated 14th of February, 2020, the Alaafin stated that he is extremely happy after receiving a letter from the Inspector General of Police on the 10th of December, 2019, that the IGP had ordered the Deputy IGP to treat his request.

He then revealed that, to ensure the smooth take off of the squadron command in Oyo town, he had set up a committee to source for a suitable temporary location for the new squadron.

Adding that, ”30 acres of land have also been provided to serve as the permanent base for the squadron.”

Joy…

On the 13th of January, 2020, In an internal memo from the office of the Assistant Inspector General, Police Mobile Force to the Inspector General Of Police, he wrote, “sequel to the directives of the police management decision to establish more PMF squadrons in some crisis prone areas in the country, the following are the proposal of units to be drawn to form the proposed new squadrons.”

Top on this list is Oyo town in Oyo State.

Similarly, in a police wireless message from the office of the Assistant Inspector General of Police, MOPOL Federal headquarters, Abuja on the establishment of new squadrons to the commissioner of police in Ibadan and some other parts of the country, he directed him to, as a matter of urgency, liaise with the squadron commander and the Executive Governor of Oyo State to assess the structural arrangement in place at the locations earmarked for the establishment of new squadrons.

Shortlived Joy?

However, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, on the 27th of May, against the the announcement of the Inspector General of Police that the new Police Mobile Force squadron will be sited in Oyo town revealed that it will be sited at Ago-Are in the Oke-ogun region of the state.

Speaking at the event, the governor said, ” We decided that the new squadron should be based in Oke-Ogun due to its vast size, and the fact that it shares international borders with the Republic of Benin.”

“I thanked the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu for acceding to our request for the additional unit, and charged the officers to carry out their duties efficiently. I stated that our administration remains committed to deploying the state’s resources to secure the lives and properties of the people of Oyo State.”

It is also quite surprising that the governor thanked the IGP for granting his request when the request was made by the Alaafin in February 2019 — three months before Engr. Seyi Makinde resumed office as the governor of the state.

Outrage

The decision of the Seyi Makinde led administration in the state to shift the location of the squadron from Oyo – a town the AIG identified as a ‘crisis prone area’ – to Ago-Area did not go down well with the people of the ancient town.

In his reaction, an indigene of the town, Akintunde Babatunde, who is a journalist and program manager at the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism, stated that It’s time for people with quality civic engagement skills come out and hold the government accountable in Oyo.

According to him, “It’s more heartbreaking because we have many people from Oyo in GSM’s government, if they are not able to influence stuff like this, why do we have to congratulate Oyo people for having people in government?

He added that it’s not all the time that the government at the national level should be faulted because a lot is going on at the sub-national level that require the attention of the citizens.

Another indigene of the town, Owoboye Owolabi, wondered why Governor Seyi Makinde did to the people of the town, the same thing former governor Alao Akala did that made the people of the town dislike him after relocating the teaching hospital meant for Oyo to Ogbomosho.

He also questioned whether the decision of the state governor was made with fairness.
In his own reaction, Alhaji Saheed Akinkunmi Siyanbola, a community-based activist who is the founder of Omo Iya Kunmi foundation, wrote that this should not come as a surprise to the people of the town because the town was also schemed out of the creation of isolation centers in the state before the governor later re-considered his decision after some efforts by stakeholders.

In his words, “Why should this shock or surprise us despite the number of influential sons of the town in the administration? Dont forget that Oyo was schemed out of the isolation facility created in all other zones and it took some efforts before we could be re-considered.”

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