29th November, 2011
We are at a loss as to what the Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun is doing about the incessant armed robbery attacks that have nearly paralysed commercial and social activities in the Gateway state.
Apart from visiting scenes of robbery attacks in his well starched Guinea brocade and trademark long cap perching delicately on his head with a large entourage of officials, the governor has not come out to outline any concrete measures to tackle the challenging security problems facing the state.
Perhaps Governor Amosun is still basking in the euphoria of his victory at the polls and thinks all is well.Â We however make haste to alert him of the dire security challenges occassioned by the dastardly activities of men of the underworld who operate with impunity throughout the state.
Two days ago, a 15-man gang of armed robbers raided not less than 15 houses in Abeokuta, the state capital, including a hostel atÂ Oke Ejigbo, Abeokuta South Local Government Area, killing a member of the local vigilante group and a resident. They also injured several others. The men were reported to have arrived the area around midnight and operated until morning without any challenge from the law enforcement agents.
Before the latest attack, men of the underworld hadÂ attacked the Guaranty Trust Bank at Sabo, Sagamu on Thursday, 24 November and carted way several millions of Naira. The bandits who were reported to be heavily armed, also attacked the Olabisi Onabanjo University, OOU community bank. During the attack, several bank staff and customers were injured while a student hit by a stray bullet died before he could be rushed to the Ijebu-Ode General Hospital.
Prior to this, on 10 November, robbers raided five banks within the premises of OOU in Ago Iwoye with impunity, killing seven people including two students. The entrance of Oceanic Bank was riddled with bullets.
Two weeks earlier, dare devil bandits also attacked Wema Bank branch inside Babcock University, Ilisan, wounding many students while an unspecified amount of money was carted away from the bankâ€™s vaults.
In all these cases, the suspects escaped with their loot.
The incessant attacks on banks in the state had led to most of the banks closing their branches in the state. For instance, there are reports that most of the banks in Ijebu-Ode have shut their gates to their customers for fear of being attacked by bandits.
Pray, what is our amiable governor doing about these attacks?
We think it is about time the governor woke up from his slumber and tackled these challenges. He must find a practical solution to them.
This is why we want to recommend the Lagos State governmentâ€™s approach in tackling security challenges to him. Governor Amosun must as a matter of necessity get in touch with Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola to obtain the blueprint that has made Lagos a fairly secure place despite its cosmopolitan nature.
Governor Amosun can also institute a security trust fund â€” just like Lagos State did â€” to tackle security challenges in Ogun.
Time is running out and Ogun residents are worried by the governorâ€™s inaction in the face of armed robbery onslaught against their daily existence.
Governor Amosun, as the chief security officer of the state, must act now to check the excesses of robbers in Ogun.