The police have called on the residents of Ogun State not to panic following the report of pockets of violence reported in parts of the state amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.
Mr Abimbola Oyeyemi, the Police Public Relations Officer in Ogun, made the call in a statement on Friday, in reaction to a letter by a group of young boys who threatened to attack communities in the state.
He explained that the police reaction was not to dignify the letter by the ‘One Million Boys’ group which he described as faceless, but to allay the fear of the residents.
“The command is not perturbed by the mischievous letter because we have what it takes to deal decisively with any criminal gang who may want to infiltrate the state under any guise or nomenclature,” said the spokesman for the Ogun State Police Command.
He noted that since the commencement of the lockdown ordered by the Federal Government, the command was aware that some hoodlums might want to take advantage of the situation to perpetrate one crime or the other.
According to the command’s spokesman, this informed the decision of the Commissioner of Police, CP Kenneth Ebrimson, to take proactive steps to forestall such an incident.
He disclosed that Ebrimson activated all the command’s tactical squads such as SARS, anti-kidnapping unit, anti-cultists unit, PMF, as well as other conventional policemen.
Oyeyemi stated that the teams have been put on red alert with the mandate to deal ruthlessly with anyone or group with the intent to make life difficult for the residents.
“The command, therefore, wishes to assure the good people of the Gateway State not to panic or be unnecessarily apprehensive as the Command will not allow any hoodlums to fester or hibernate in the state,” he said.
The command spokesman also warned those who sponsor fake news to cause fear in the minds of the people to desist, stressing that the command would start tracing the source of such reports.
The statement read further:
Also, the Commissioner of Police is using this medium to send a note of warning to those who have formed the habit of taking laws into their hands by embarking on jungle justice to deal with suspected criminals, adding that anybody caught in such act will be seriously dealt with.
A case study at hand is that of four innocent young men that were mistaken for armed robbers who were arrested, beaten, and tied both hands and leg by members of the public at the Oke Ata area of Abeokuta on Thursday 23rd of April 2020.
Save for the quick intervention of policemen attached to the state task force, the four young men would have been beaten to death.
The commissioner of police has ordered a full-scale investigation into the circumstances surrounding the inhuman treatment meted on these young men with a view to bringing those involved to justice.
The outcome of the investigation, the Commissioner assured will be made known to members of the public.