Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has admitted that random kidnapping and cultism are the biggest security challenges confronting the state.
Abiodun said this on Wednesday while playing host to the new Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge Zone 2, Johnson Kokumo, in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
The governor admitted that, “The biggest issues we have today in Ogun State are that of random kidnapping and cult activities.
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“I believe that the cult activities have abated now because of the joint efforts of the Nigeria Police, the State Security Services and the Nigerian Army.
“However, we are still struggling and dealing with issues that relate to kidnapping of contractors, farmers and innocent Ogun State residents.
“We sincerely hope that as we go along in our relationship, we will collaborate to ensure that we reduce this incident of kidnapping to absolute zero.”
According to Abiodun, monitoring criminal activities on Ogun roads would require huge manpower and equipment because of its many federal roads.
The governor lauded the Air Wing of the Police Force for helping in combating criminal activities, especially kidnapping.
Abiodun added that the Army, through its General Officer Commanding (GOC), pledged to help the state through the deployment of tracking equipment to track kidnappers.
Abiodun, however, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the use of a Nigeria Police helicopter that has been working and providing air surveillance in the state.
He said: “The use of that helicopter greatly assisted us in reducing the response time to kidnap situations and consequently reduced kidnap situations.
“Each time we have a distress call on any of Ogun locations, either from Yewa, meaning Imeko, Ipokia all the way to Ogun Waterside or Ijebu-Igbo, the helicopter was able to respond swiftly to the distress calls while your men now move in, thereby ensuring that the kidnappers are not able to leave the immediate corridor before the men arrive,” he said.
DAILY POST reports that kidnapping has become a ‘money-making venture’ for bandits in Ogun State in the past few months.
Lately, expatriates, medical workers, students, farmers, traditional chiefs and many residents of the state were kidnapped by unknown gunmen.
Our correspondent reports that millions of naira had been paid as ransom to secure the release of kidnap victims, even as about two policemen died during gun battles with the kidnappers.
As confirmed by Gov Abiodun, DAILY POST had in March reported how cultists took over Abeokuta, killing one another and causing the masses to live in fear.
At that time, the cultists engaged one another in supremacy battles, killing and injuring rivals in Abeokuta and other places like Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu and others.
Since then, it appears the police are still struggling to curb the excesses of these cult groups in the Gateway State.