The Ogun State Government yesterday declared war on financial crime fraudsters popularly referred to as Yahoo Boys and kidnappers.
To fight the war against fraudsters, the state Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, disclosed that the government would soon set up its own agency to deal with internet frauds and illegal financial transactions, especially those having to do with kidnapping, ransom taking and advance fee frauds.
Abiodun disclosed government measures at the Arcade Ground, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, during the launch of the state joint security outfit, code-named OP-MESA.
He said that his administration would not fold its arms and allow the state to be known for the wrong reasons.
“We will make Ogun State uninhabitable for all criminals. The other day, I was in a meeting in Abuja and in attendance was the Chairman of EFCC, and sadly, he said to me that Ogun State tops the list on the ‘Yahoo Yahoo Boys’. In my response, I said ‘I am not surprised because Ogun State is the education capital of this country and you will find such around educational institutions’ and he agreed with me.
“We have decided that we will set up our state commission that will be targeted towards eliminating these sorts of financial crimes. Our state commission will collaborate with the federal commission so that we do not occupy that false place in this area. We would like to occupy the first in many areas, but not in fraud and Yahoo Yahoo,” Abiodun stated.
Also, he said he had declared war on the resurgence of kidnapping that reared its head on the link road between the state and its neighbours.
“Three days ago, I put a call through to my colleague in Oyo and we have decided that we are going to jointly collaborate in the area of providing security at the border posts between Ogun and Oyo states.
“He has decided that he will lead a team of his law enforcement architecture to Ogun State, so that we can have a meeting of minds and plan the way forward to take out these hoodlums. Ogun will not have a hiding place,” he said.
While affirming that OP-MESA was established to fight criminals across the state, he assured the people that members of the outfit would be picked to ensure they have the right discipline as well as ensure that they are committed to their assignment.
The governor further said that the launching of the outfit with 15 vehicles, two armoured personnel carriers and communication equipment would be done on a quarterly basis until the outfit gets its desired number.
He enjoined the people of the state to take ownership of the outfit by collaborating with the personnel of the outfit for a more secured state.
“Today, we are launching OP-MESA with a few equipment, in the first instance. We are providing them with fifteen pick up vans, communication equipment, two armoured personnel carriers; we will be providing them with this support every quarter, meaning that, in the next quarter, we will give them another fifteen vehicles, another quarter, another fifteen vehicles until we reach the number that they require.
“I therefore enjoin our people to take ownership of this security outfit by collaborating with it and supporting it. Together, we shall make Ogun State a most hospitable and conducive place of our collective dreams,” he said.
Abiodun, who called on the private sector to embrace the OP-MESA initiative, noted that his administration would continue to be responsive to issues bordering on security.
The governor, while noting that the outfit wasn’t peculiar to the state alone as it currently operates in 26 states of the federation, added that his administration was able to reactivate the outfit through a presidential consent sort by his administration after it was left comatose by the immediate past administration.
He noted that the outfit would benefit from the support of the security trust fund through donations and contributions from the government and the private sector, and added that the OP-MESA will complement other security outfits in the state.
In his remarks, the General Officer Commanding, 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, comprising Lagos and Ogun State, Major General Lawrence Fejokwu, commended the Ogun State governor for reactivating the outfit and providing them with necessary equipment.
The Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, while noting that the equipment was another example of support that would enable them to discharge their duties diligently, pledged to make best use of the equipment.
The Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo in his remarks, appreciated the governor for putting more effort at maintaining the position of the state as the safest in the country.
The royal father called on the people to pay their tax, support the outfit by not hiding useful information.