The determination of the people of Osun State to protect themselves against attempted incursions is critical to all other efforts being put in place to stave off criminality in the state.
A former Special Adviser on Information and Strategy in the administration of former Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Semiu Okanlawon, stated this on Sunday against the backdrop of moves by the government to rid the state of criminals.
Recent cases of crimes such as kidnapping for ransom, Okanlawon stated, are alien to the state, noting that the people themselves must be ready to provide adequate information and be vigilant over happenings in their localities to be able to stave off crimes.
The former Special Adviser said the mechanism for state security, which began and fully fortified the state since the administration of Aregbesola, are still intact and well managed by the Gboyega Oyetola Administration.
Okanlawon said the incursion of some criminal elements in recent times requires full cooperation of the residents to ensure no part of the state is allowed to harbour criminal elements.
While commending the swift move by Oyetola to seek help from the appropriate security agencies, including the Nigerian Army, Okanlawon said local communities stand in good steads to identify suspicious moves and persons whose activities might be constituting threats to the collective peace of the state.
He said: “Residents have the duty to be vigilant and now be more security conscious. Under situations such as this, the police, army and other forms of security apparatus put in place by the government would carry out their duties but the onus is on the communities themselves to ensure that there is no hiding place for criminals to either plot or launch their wicked plans.”
The statement also called on associations of non-indigenes who have been resident in the state for decades and engaged in legitimate businesses to be more proactive at this time in order avert people with criminal motives to jeopardize their legitimate businesses.
Okanlawon said: “This state has been home to so many Nigerians from other parts of the country who have found this place to be their homes. The leaderships of those associations of non-indigenes have the responsibility to ensure that their kinsmen don’t harbor people of doubtful characters and intentions.”
Okanlawon reminded the residents that the Oyetola Administration is a continuation of the Aregbesola era, adding that nothing has changed in the overall security apparatus that ensured safety of lives and property before now.
He said: “People should remember that with the profile of Osun being the safest state in Nigeria, the impact of this was not lost on the economic outlook of the state.
“More businesses grew, many people relocated to the state and commerce thrived. All these put together made life more meaningful with high hopes of better tomorrow. These are the reasons Osun residents cannot afford to look up only to the government in making the state impregnable to crimes. They have roles to play. And those roles are critical.”