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Attack on Oyo Secretariat, treasonous crime – Commissioner

The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in Oyo State, Dotun Oyelade, speaks with AJIBADE OMAPE on the recent attack on the State Secretariat by Yoruba nation agitators.

What Do you think the recent attack on the Oyo State Secretariat has fueled this?

I think that, apart from the misdirected nature of the agitation, the only reason we can attribute to it is that they have been hypnotized by someone with a sweet tongue, and who probably has some money to waste. So that’s how we see it and this is our reading, and as we’ve said, we’ve moved on very quickly since then. It happened on Saturday and two days later they are charged. That will tell you that this is a proactive government. We were not ready for it, we were shocked when it happened, but we had to act quickly and we started moving from the very first day, which was on Saturday.

What is the position of the government on addressing the grievances of the agitators of the Yoruba nation while maintaining law and order?

The first thing the government looks at are the fundamentals. The fundamental thing is that in today’s Nigeria, we must be honest with ourselves: people are suffering through no fault of their own. And you know, when you find a scenario like this, I am not saying that the government is doing its best at the federal level because what is happening, the agitation is not against any state government but against the overall configuration of the government. nation. That is the reason for the unrest.

So it has nothing to do with Oyo State, or Osun State or Ekiti State. So if we are able to alleviate much of the suffering of the people, this kind of unrest can be nipped in the bud.

So our government is not against agitation; it is the mode of agitation that we argue about. It is not possible for us as a responsible government to look the other way or treat those who bear arms with the intention of bloodshed. We can’t look the other way, nor can we treat them with kid gloves. So we need to apply the sharp edge of the law as provided in our Constitution to tackle them, and that is exactly what is happening now. And they are sponsored. So I say that we will deal with them legally together with their sponsors.

You recently stated that those arrested are now 20 years old. Are there ongoing attempts to arrest more people involved?

Well, first of all, there’s an update on the figure you gave: it’s not 20, we now have 29 in custody, and they were all charged in court on April 17. So 29 people have been charged. Rest assured that the government will not follow the madness or any emotional sentiment in dealing with this issue. We will come at it from the cold side of the law and follow exactly what the law says.

You were quoted as saying that some agitators were arrested at a radio station while others were arrested at the state house. Is this emerging trend of agitation particularly worrying for the state government?

No, I wouldn’t think so. Yes, people have preconceived grievances, rightly or wrongly, but we shouldn’t blow this out of proportion. As far as Oyo State is concerned, this is a one-off incident that is being effectively addressed. They were arraigned, 29 of them, and the case was adjourned until August 1. The suspects have been remanded in custody at the Agodi Correctional Center, here in Ibadan.

More than 700 live rounds, including seven awesome Pump Machine guns, have been confirmed to have been found in their custody, so this is a great arsenal for everyday people to put together. Why will they bring so much firepower to the Secretariat, which is the seat of government and the seat of our legislature?

The Commissioner of Police told me, and this should be known to everyone, that the State Government fully agrees with him that this is a classic case of treasonous crime. It is an act of terror, this is Yoruba land, the agitators were probably trying to make a statement by coming to Oyo State House first because we all know that Oyo State and especially Ibadan is the political capital of the South. West. So that was probably their reason for coming here first, but they were completely wrong. We Yorubas do not fight, especially in an environment where we know we can hardly win. So whoever is pressuring the agitators has pushed them into the crime of treacherous crime. It is also an act of terror. We are not saying that people should not agitate, but it should be done in a lawful manner.

You said that the government will not build a wall around the secretariat. How then can the security personnel control those entering the secretariat to prevent a recurrence of this incident?

Well, I don’t think that will be necessary. However, the security architecture around government facilities will have to be more alert than ever; I think they handle that very well and politely. Remember, in Oyo State, we have a Commissioner of Police here who has been very effective and cooperative with the government. We also have resources for the governor who are core professionals, we have two retired police commissioners, you know, and they are anchoring this incident, and if you come to the secretariat, I am in my office now, at the secretariat. , talking to you, and there has been free movement and human movement everywhere. So we don’t intend, as I said before, to build a brick wall just because of an anomalous incident. So if you expect the governor to build a concrete wall around the secretariat of the governor’s office, it will not happen because we are in a democratic dispensation and the people should have unhindered access to the governor’s office, the legislature power and the House of Representatives. it is their property. The people in those offices were elected by the people. The important thing here is that a certain group of people are involved in a failed venture. This is because unrest should not be the result of armed conflict.

Was there any damage to the properties of the Secretariat due to the attack of the agitators?

Well, the damage isn’t the problem, but there is no substantial damage to the home. But the most glaring issue that we need to address is the symbolism of the law, because when people have the trouble to come to the seat of power, to the secretariat where the governor is, and to the state house of assembly, which is the seat is of our legislature, , without any kind of major backup and without any legality, we must be aware that something is wrong. Whoever encourages them to participate in an act of this nature has just made them commit a crime of treason and an act of terrorism. The implications are very clear and the government must do what it must do.

Besides this unrest, are there any other security threats facing the state and how would you describe the overall security situation of Oyo State?

I will merely borrow from the documented comments of two security chiefs in Nigeria. One of them is the Nigerian Army Garrison Commander of two divisions here in Ibadan who said two months ago that Oyo State is the safest state in Nigeria today. He was quoted, we speak all the time, we spoke two days ago.

The second person I’m going to quote is the gentleman who said the same thing. He is the Commissioner of Police, Bola Hamzat, the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State. He said more or less the same, noting that Oyo State is the safest state in the country and the government is giving them everything they need. So, Oyo State is the safest state in Nigeria, and we intend it to remain so for a long time.

What is your assessment of the partnership between security agencies and Oyo communities in fighting crime and maintaining peace?

Yes, there is good cooperation. The kind of friendship, unity and symbiotic relationship we have between the Amotekun Corps, Operation Burst and the Nigerian Police cannot be surpassed anywhere, and that is because they are sufficiently motivated to do their job.