By Kayode Fasua
The Ogun State Police Command yesterday paraded about 150 persons suspected to be armed robbers and members of deadly cult groups in some parts of Ifo and Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
Residents of Owode, Ilepa, Ifo, Arigbajo,Itori, Dalemo, Ijoko Joju,Sango, Ota in Ifo, Agbado- Ijaiye among other communities in Ifo and Ado-Odo/Ota LGAs of the state, had recently flooded police stations in their domain with various complaints on the atrocities of armed robbers and cult members, especially at nights.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kenneth Ebrimson, also yesterday conducted journalists round the areas where the 150 arrested hoodlums once held sway.
He recalled that the command deployed men from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Anti-Cultism unit, Anti-Kidnapping Unit, special forces, and conventional policemen to rein in the criminals.
Ebrimson explained that his men smoked out the hoodlums from their hideouts and recovered also various weapons.
He listed the recovered items to include eight locally made guns, 52 live cartridges, eight knives, 12 handsets, two scissors, a large quantity of Indian hemp, several cutlases, one axe and a saw.
The Police boss said an unrest was caused recently by seven cult groups which included Ilena Boys, Federal Boys, Lemon Boys, Base Boys, Sahara Boys, Gbese Boys, and Marindoti Boys.
“The Genesis of this was from some criminal gangs that engaged in supremacy battle in Ifo and spread to Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of the state.
“It started on April 4, and the command through its tactical operation, started arresting some hoodlums and seizing ammunition.”
Meanwhile, with the arrest of 150 suspects by the police, the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has vowed to deal ruthlessly with criminals in the state.
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kunle Somorin, said, “It has become expedient that we do not spare the rod and spoil the child.
“Anybody, no matter whose child he or she is, if found guilty of armed robbery, would be visited with the full weight of the law, including capital punishment.”
The governor particularly urged the police to intensify efforts at curbing the nefarious activities of criminals, asking them to smoke out their hideouts and promptly investigate those involved in these activities, not only in Ifo and Ado-Odo LGAs but also across the entire state.
He said the state would avail all other security outfits, including the Department of State Services (DSS) and the other armed forces, with necessary logistic support to end the reign of terror in the state.
“I will not hesitate to confirm sentences, even of capital punishment, if that will deter these social misfits.
“Ogun has zero- tolerance for criminals and we will deal it with venomous measures. Enough is enough”, Abiodun warned.
The governor commended the state’s Police Command for its swiftness and prompt adherence to the directive of the state government to flush out those turning the sit-at-home order occasioned by the pandemic “to a criminal enterprise”.