The Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Joe Nwachukwu, said on Friday that some criminals have made away with arms and ammunitions in various police stations across the state.
In a press statement made available to newsmen and signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Fadeyi Olugbenga, he warned that this development posed a serious threat to the safety of residents of the state.
“The CP wishes to inform the general public that, due to the incessant attacks on the police stations and police personnel, some police arms and ammunitions have been carted away by hardened criminals,” the statement read.
“This act is extremely dangerous and can be inimical to our general safety and corporate existence, and in lieu of this, he wishes to plead with all and sundry within and outside Ibadan metropolis to be on the lookout for those enemies of progress to promptly report any group/individual who are not police/military/other security agencies personnel in possession of such arms and ammunition and report to the nearest police station or other sister security agencies immediately for recovery and necessary action.”
The statement was released after violence in the state led to the death of at least two police officers.
Violent Thursday in Oyo
Following the shooting of protesters in Lekki on Wednesday evening by men in military uniform, hoodlums unleashed mayhem in various parts of the country, destroying and looting various public properties in the process.
On Thursday, many parts of Oyo State experienced unrest due to the activities of hoodlums.
At the Iwo Road area of Ibadan, the state capital, two police officers were said to have been set ablaze in broad daylight.
This reporter gathered that these officers were in a police vehicle belonging to the Gbagi police station when they ran into the hoodlums around Iwo-road where the crisis started.
The hoodlums alleged that the officers were guilty of brutalising an okada rider earlier in the day and they immediately set two of them ablaze while the third officer escaped.
Their vehicle and some other vans in the area were also set on fire.
Similarly, in Iseyin, a town in the Oke-Ogun region of the state, hoodlums invaded the only police station in the town, the base of the Nigeria Customs Service, the office of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) office, Nigeria Immigration Service, and the Bank of Agriculture.
A resident of the town, who asked not to be identified, said the attack on various parts of the town commenced on Wednesday before escalating on Thursday.
“While looting the police station, no one stopped them. Yet after that, they still set the place on fire,” the resident said.
The hoodlums also looted various shops and stores in the surrounding of these areas before setting the police station and some stores on fire. They carted away various seized goods from the customs base.
Stop the protests, police urge
The Police Commissioner, in his statement, decried the hijacking of the protests by hoodlums and noted that their activities had caused undue hardship and avoidable deaths.
He urged genuine protesters to put a stop to their peaceful protests in a bid to stop the hoodlums from their attacks on the properties of residents.
This, he explained, was “to prevent needless deaths occasioned by the activities of miscreants who are using it as an opportunity to carry out coordinated attacks to loot people properties”.
“The CP wishes to continue to advise parents/guardians and all stakeholders to warn their children/wards to desist from acts that can lead to the breakdown of law and order and wanton destructions to lives and property,” the statement continued.
“He equally assures the good people of Oyo State to go about their lawful businesses without any fear of threats or molestation from any quarters as the military and other sister security agencies are complementing the efforts of the Police, while he strictly warns those criminal elements that hijacked Police arms during the protests to have a rethink and quietly return the prohibited firearms immediately before the full weight of the law catches up with them.”