The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Thursday, lamented that cultism, armed robbery, hooliganism, and all forms of criminality, in recent times, had become hallmark of Kwara state.
He also tasked the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the entire Nigeria Police Force to redouble efforts to rid the state of all criminal elements before 2019 general elections.
ROYAL NEWS reports that the Minister stated this at the official commissioning of multi million naira mobile police barracks in Offa, solely built within six months by the Offa community and donated to the Nigeria Police.
He described his statement as a call to duty and charged the IGP to ensure that Kwara state, once again, is safe for all to live in.
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According to him, “What we are doing today is a strong message for the police and it is very apt considering what happened in Offa April 5th this year. We all remember the sadness the massacre of 33 innocent lives by hoodlums. And what Offa people have done is to ensure that never again will this be repeated in the town.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on the police in Kwara state and with what Offa people have done today in giving you the necessary support is to rid not just Offa but the entire Kwara state, of
criminal elements, hoodlums, cultists, armed robbers and all undesirables.
“This is a call to duty by the police in the state to redouble their efforts in ensuring that the state is safe for all. It is unfortunate that the state in recent times, has become notorious for criminality.
“Kwara state in recent time has made headlines for wrong reasons. It is either because of armed robberies, killings or acts of cultism. This is why I believe that the police have been a big responsibility before you to rid this community and Kwara state of all criminals. Because
without security not only won’t there be peace, there will be no development.
No investor will come into a community which is controlled by thugs, hoodlums and cultists and those who witnessed what happened a few days ago in Ilorin, the state capital, would agree with me that cultists, hoodlums, hooligans and brigands are still very much active in the
“So my appeal to the police especially the run-up to the 2019 general elections, is that they must redouble their efforts. You must ensure that every citizen of this state is free to cast his vote and his vote will not only be counted, but his vote would count. And the only way
you can assure this is by ensuring that you rid the state of all criminal elements before general elections.
“We are not asking you to do this just because of the elections, we are asking you to do this for all times, because it is very unfortunate today that cultism, thuggery and all sorts of criminality have now become the hallmarks of Kwara. This is not the Kwara me and you
dreamed of and it is not the Kwara that we intend to restore. I call on the inspector general of police to ensure that Kwara is once again safe for all of us to stay.
It would be recalled that after the April 5, 2018 armed robbery incident, the Offa indigenes both home and abroad under the leadership of Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi, inaugurated a committee on security trust fund under the chairmanship of Dr. Funsho Oladipupo, with determination to tighten up the security of the ancient town.
Part of the resolve was provision of offices and standard residence apartments to encourage police officers posted to the town.
Also speaking at the event, the Olofa recalled that prior to April incident, the issue of security had been a great concern and challenge in his domain.
He said that the community gave out seven Hilux vehicles to various security agencies in the state when armed robbers struck in 2014.
“The 68 Mobile Police MPF squadron which comprises of 16 offices, 200 Capacity conference room, abode for Officers with boreholes Water and electricity we are commissioning today is sacrifice borne out of the sweat of our people. And We want to specially thank the inspector-general Of police, Alhaji Ibrahim Kpotum Idris, mni, for his organisation approval and support to make it reality, the timely approval given to the project by IG shows that you truly shared in our pain. As we hand over the base to you, we ask for the deployment of enough personnel to make it achieve its purpose”, he said.
Speaking at the occasion, the representative of the Inspector General of Police, Mr Lawan Jimeta, who is a commissioner of police in charge of mobile police force, appreciated the decision of Offa people in their giant step of contributing to the security of Nigeria and Offa community in particular and promised that the police would do every needful to make Offa crime free.
He also charged members of the community to see security as part of their own daily responsibilities by feeding police force with necessary information that can prevent crime.