Ethnic crisis: IGP deploys intervention and stabilization forces to Oyo

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, has ordered the deployment of Police Intervention and Stabilization Forces to Oyo after the recent crisis in the state.
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The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, has ordered the deployment of Police Intervention and Stabilization Forces to Oyo after the recent crisis in the state.

This was confirmed by the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba.

According to him, the deployment includes four Units of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), operatives from the Force Intelligence Bureau and an operational/surveillance Police helicopter from the Police Air-wing department.

The deployed units are charged with reinforcing and stabilizing security in the State, preventing further breakdown of law and order, protecting lives and properties and ultimately enhancing public safety in the state.

DIG David Folawiyo, who is in charge of the South-West, is to coordinate the operation and rally all relevant stakeholders to achieve the squad mandate.

Killings and civil disturbance has been the order in Ibadan, Oyo State after reports of inter-ethnic violence around the Ojoo axis of the state capital.

The violence reportedly began on Thursday when a cart pusher stabbed a cobbler with a knife, following a misunderstanding between the two.

A fight broke out between cart pushers and cobblers after the victim was confirmed dead in a hospital on Friday morning, as the cobblers vowed to avenge the death of their colleague.

Shops and houses were burnt in the ensuing disturbance which degenerated into an inter-ethnic clash with reports of hoodlums attacking themselves along ethnic lines.

Not lesser than three have been killed since the crisis began.

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A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.