Following the spate of kidnappings in Ondo State, the Elders’ Council of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, has called for the immediate redeployment of the Commissioner of Police in the state, Gbenga Adeyanju.
The Chairman of the NBA Elders’ Council, Anthony Adeniyi, who lauded the Nigeria Army and the NSCDC for their efforts so far towards tackling the menace, maintained that incessant kidnap cases deserve another approach, hence the urgent need for the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to replace Adeyanju with a more competent police commissioner.
Recalled the over the last two months, Ondo State has been under the siege of kidnappers, as hardly a week passes without the state recording the abduction of residents as well as travellers transiting through the state to other parts of the country.
The state, which has been hitherto been known for its peaceful atmosphere, suddenly became kidnappers and armed robbers haven, particularly its highways in the northern senatorial district where the dare-devil gunmen have operate for weeks unhindered.
With the kidnappers’ nefarious activities, which has led to about 15 kidnap cases within the spate of 8 weeks, residents and stakeholders have been calling for proactive measures from the state government and security agencies that will not only curb the menace but put a total stop to it.
Also for some groups and individuals, the redeployment of the present Commissioner of Police, Gbenga Adeyanju, who has been accused of incompetence and complicity in the crime, is the only way to bringing the security situation under control.
The latest among these groups to demand the removal of the police boss is the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA Elders’ Council for alleged poor handling of persistent cases of kidnappings in the state.
Other groups such the Owo Branch of NBA, the Sunshine Liberation Front (SLF), Ondo Youths for Good Governance, (OYGG) and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had also asked the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris to redeploy Adeyanju and replace him with a more competent officer, saying the police in the state had failed to protect lives and properties of the citizenry.
Rising from an emergency meeting of the Akure Branch of the association’s Elders’ Council which comprises past and present Chairmen and Secretaries, the leader of the lawyers’ group, Senator Anthony Adeniyi said the police commissioner had shown incapability to handle the spate of crimes in the state especially kidnapping of lawyers, doctors and other members of the public on Akure-Owo-Ikare Akoko Highways and Akure-Iju-Ikere Ekiti road.
Briefing newsmen in Akure after the meeting, the Chairman of the NBA Elders’ Council, Senator Adeniyi flanked by the NBA Akure Branch Chairman, Barrister Ola Dan-Olawale and former State Attorney General, Remi Olatubora said from all of the association’s findings, it was obvious that the IGP must deploy a more competent top officer to Ondo state to flush-out kidnappers from the forests where travellers were being frequently abducted in the state.
“We are not saying the police commissioner is not competent but Ondo state people demand for a more competent top officer who can tackle this spate of kidnapping that is causing serious apprehension among our members (lawyers), their family members and the generality of our people in the state. We can no longer move or travel around freely and the police seem to be doing nothing or not doing enough to stop this trend.
“Some states have more than eight commissioner of police in a year, just to ensure security of lives and property, nobody is tied permanently to Ondo state, we unequivocally demand the redeployment of the State Commissioner of police, we are not happy with level insecurity in our state. If this is not done on time, we shall take a more drastic action,” Adeniyi stated.
The NBA elders however commended efforts of the state governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the Nigerian Army and other security operatives for being proactive in tackling the activities of the kidnappers that had overwhelmed the state in the last few weeks, making the state unsafe for residents and travellers.
The NBA elders said, “after taking a briefing from Right Hon Taofeeq Abdulsalam (Ondo State Commissioner for Works) on what the Akeredolu’s administration is doing to tackle the kidnapping issue, we are satisfied with efforts of the state government and the Army to protect lives and property. The governor is sensitive to the security of lives and properties of the people but we are not happy with roles of the police in the whole situation.”
Meanwhile, a visit by DAILY POST to the highways of the northern senatorial district of the state on Saturday, where the activities of the kidnappers have been rampant shows that security has been beefed up across the routes.
Visible on the road is the joint security task force which comprises the Nigeria Army, DSS, NSCDC and the Police.
According to a source within the DSS in the state who craved anonymity, the joint task force are currently combing the vast forest of the senatorial district towards flushing out the kidnappers.