By Ismaila Akanji, Ibadan
Oyo state Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi has accused highly placed individuals of shielding criminals in the society from justice.According to the governor, to mitigate rising crime in the communities within the state, eminent persons including traditional rulers, captains of industry and politicians in the state should not to shadow or spare any criminal in the state.
Ajimobi said instead of shadowing or sparing them for personal or selfish reasons, they should expose them (criminals) in the interest of the state and the general public to rid the state out of criminal activities.
The governor who was represented by his deputy, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo made this known on Monday in Ibadan, the state capital during the inauguration of the state Eminent Persons Forum at the Police Headquarters in Eleyele, Ibadan.
He said that most of the eminent persons not only in the state are the one who usually pick their phones to call security agencies to release their men for personal reasons.
He urged them not to continue with the act in the interest of the state.
Ajimobi said “As traditional rulers, politicians, captains of industry, professionals we know who are criminals, it is the eminent persons that usually call the security agencies to release criminals. Please let us expose them.
“Also, let us protect the welfare of the police. In some circumstances, they also have to save their lives. It is the responsibility of all of us, all of us have responsibility to expose those criminals we know.
“When you talk about the developed countries, it is not the police that go after criminals, it is the technology, let us make emphasis on modern technology, we can also have traditional ways of exposing criminals so that things can also work.”
He then assured the police of the continued support of the state government in a bid to tackle crimes in the state.
“I want to assure you that Oyo state government will continue to support the police so that we can have peace in the state, there is no any other job for the government than to protect the lives and property in the state, we are ready to continue to get the state secured.
“I am appealing to the eminent persons to support the state also, you are aware we have a security trust fund, government cannot do it alone, let us make sure we are security conscious,”the governor said.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Samuel Adegbuyi told the gathering that the forum was in line with the directive of the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mr. Idris Ibrahim to state police commands to constitute Eminent Persons Forum in their respective states across the federation.
Adegbuyi said “Eminent Persons Forum, as the name implies is an assemblage of very eminent personalities who in their individual capacities as opinion moulders have influence in their various areas of human endeavours.
“In this category are top government functionaries, retired justices, senior military and police officers, traditional rulers, chiefs, school administrators, labour union leaders, transport union leaders, lawyers, reputable journalists, religious leaders, leadership of farmers and herdsmen, market leaders and other prominent persons in the state.