Insecurity in Kogi: Police Solicit Information From Omala Residents
POLITICS DIGEST – Amid worsening insecurity in Kogi State, particularly in the Eastern Senatorial flank, the Kogi State Police Command has solicited credible information that would assist security operatives in tackling the menace.
The Eastern Senatorial district of the State has in recent time come under serious security challenges, particularly in Omala Local Government Area, where traders have been kidnapped on two occasions while transporting their goods to Ikendearket in Bassa LGA.
The Kogi State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP William Ovye Aya who spoke on Saturday, called on the citizens to always pass credible information to police operatives.
Aya, who confirmed that traders were abducted on two occasions within two weeks in Omala, stated that if nothing was done to tame the tide, they would start recruiting the youths into the gang.
The Police Spokesman said on the phone that some indigenes cannot deny knowledge of those who were behind the abductions, insisting that they should be willing to pass information to the police before the situation degenerates further.
He said: “Kidnapping in Omala in Kogi East is quite unfortunate, but I want to say that some indigenes know those behind security challenges in the area and they should let the police know the happenings.
“It’s not possible for outsiders to come and kidnap traders without an insider conspiracy, but nobody has come up with hints. Stakeholders in the Local Government haven’t paid a courtesy visit to the Commissioner of Police to interface on security challenges in Omala. Police need information to work with.”
Speaking on the recent communal crisis that has sacked Bagana Community in Omala Local Government Area, the Police Spokesman maintained that it was a crisis that involved two communities over Chieftaincy title, noting that those who were involved in Bagana crisis were known by the elders who should offer useful information.
It was reported that Bagana Community was razed completely in the heat of the communal crisis about two months ago, with the residents taking refuge in other communities.
Reacting to the ugly development, a member of Omala Security Watch, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed that the Kogi State government pretended that nothing happened, as there has been no official reaction since then.
He called on Omala Local Government Council Chairman, Hon. Ibrahim Yakubu Aboh to take up the matter of kidnappings and communal crisis in the Local Government seriously before it got to an uncontrollable level.
Speaking with a member of the local vigilantes, who pleaded not to be mentioned, he explained that the local security was handicapped in rescuing abductees.
Confirming that ransom was paid, he said: “Ransom was mobilized, including purchase of a few brand phones and marijuana which was delivered to them for the release of the victims who are traders.
“Initially, the vigilantes were to carry out a rescue operation, but the kidnappers, while negotiating for ransom, threatened to kill all the abductees if we tried to enter the bush.”