The federal government yesterday assured Nigerians that those behind last Thursday’s armed robbery and killings in Offa, Kwara State would be arrested and brought to book.
Minister of Information, Alh Lai Muhammed gave the assurance during a condolence visit to the Kwara State governor, Alhaji Abdulfathah Ahmed at the government house, Ilorin.
He said the entire nation was ‘‘shocked and grieved’ by the dastardly acts committed in Offa during which 17 persons, including nine police men were killed.
The minister later visited Offa to commiserate with Olofa of Offa, Oba Muftau Gbadamosi Esuwoye II and the people of the town in the unfortunate incident.
He also visited the headquarters of the state police command in Ilorin to commiserate with the police commissioner, Lawan Ado over the loss of nine policemen to the bank robbery. He was also at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital(UITH), where he sympathised with the victims of the armed robbery attacks who were on admission there.
The minister was however quick to add that the state and entire public must learn from ‘‘the mistakes’’ of the incident with a view to improving on security architecture of the entire country.
‘‘What happened in Offa on Thursday shocked the entire nation and it is our prayers that the souls of all the victims will rest in peace and also that those badly injured would be healed and recover very soon.
‘‘I want to take this opportunity to also let you know that the entire country is grieving and sympathising with Kwara state and the entire people of Offa.
‘‘But there is also a silver light, despite the losses of the police, it is quite heart warming to know that some of the suspects have been arrested.
‘‘I spoke yesterday with the IG and he assured me that all the people responsible for the dastardly act would be arrested and brought to justice.
‘‘I hope also that we are all going to learn from the mistakes both the larger public and everybody and we are going to factor this into the larger security architecture in a manner that we will have a much more secured and safe state country’’, he said.
Responding,governor Ahmad thanked the ‘‘presidency for its intervention so far.’’
He particularly expressed delight with the promise made by Inspector General of Police to deploy an armoured personnel carrier (APC) that will be stationed specifically in Offa to prevent future occurrence of the incident.
He described the level of the crime perpetrated as ‘‘unexpected’’, a situation which he said was an indication that the country was in a ‘‘challenging situation.’’
The governor said government at this time must accept the fact that the nation was going through challenging time and redouble efforts towards improving on her security architecture, saying ‘‘this is not the time for blame game’’.
He advocated for effective community policing and improved synergy through effective communications particularly between the military and the police .
At Offa, Oba Esuwoye thanked the minister for the visit and solidarity with the people of the town.
He asked the minister to use his good offices in ensuring the deployment of two armoured personnel tanks (APC) to Kwara south axis in order to beef up security in the area.
Oba Esuwoye also called for the establishment of a squadron Mobile Police Unit in the town to compliment the efforts of the regular police in tackling crimes and criminality in Offa town, lamenting that the town had been attacked four times by armed robbers in the past 10 years.
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