Mr. Fatai Owoseni, Special Adviser on Security to Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, says news that so-called “Badoo boys’ were are operating in the state is a mirage and creation of the media, adding that the issue of incessant killings in the South West is exaggerated.
Some reports have it that the notorious ‘Badoo boys’ that reportedly terrorized Ikorodu, Lagos State last year, were now operating in Ibadan following some gruesome murders that recently occurred in Moniya area of the capital city.
But speaking during an enlightenment talk on security organised by the Ibadan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in Ibadan at the weekend, Owoseni, who had served as Commissioner of Police in Lagos and Benue, said most of the badoo story, in Lagos and Ibadan, as well as reported incessant killings in the South West, were exaggerations fueled by the media and disgruntled politicians.
His words:“It is our nature to denigrate Nigeria Police Force. No institution in Nigeria that has the number of lawyers and graduates that Nigeria Police has. I want to tell you that the issue of incessant killings was exaggerated because Nigeria is dysfunctional.
“Our political leaders, because of their failure, they decided to exaggerate things and colourate crimes politically and religiously. They are only looking for a fault line. They say religion is the opium of the people. They can easily gather people in the church and mosque to tell them lies and we believe it. We are gullible, the social media platforms have added to it.
“The major problem we have in the country are those elites. Once they are out of power and they are not able to manipulate the person in power, they look for how to run that person down. That is what is happening in Nigeria. It is not that we don’t have deteriorating security situation but is there any country where you have a perfect situation?
“The so-called incessant killing when it comes to Southwest is not as bad as it is being portrayed. Traditionally, we have our own people who are criminals.
“Don’t let us join the bandwagon of press people who probably don’t know the meaning of what they said. Because if you said incessant that means it happens constantly and regularly. No. One isolated problem can’t be regarded as incessant. We are not used to the truth in Nigeria. If we do full disclosure we are helping ourselves.
“The Badoo thing is a mirage. It is the creation of the media people. Go and look at our criminal law is there anything called Badoo there? Even in Lagos when the noise was much in Ikorodu, I can tell you, it is not that I’m condemning Ikorodu people. Somehow, Ikorodu is known for certain things.
“In the days of ‘essential commodity’ during the Shagari regime, if they know that essential commodities were coming from Apapa, once you drive down Odogunyan, that Army Barracks, it is gone because of ‘Eluku’ or whatever, you hear that somebody has got missing.
“So, when those incidents were happening in Lagos and people were talking about ‘Badoo’ if you watched when I was on television, I debunked it. We had murder cases, there is no doubt about that. Murder cases that have the coloration of ritual killings. For God sake, police can’t be everywhere. Where it happened are the houses that are remotely located. Police are not ‘babalawo’s.”
The former police boss however lamented the prevalent cultist attacks and hooliganism in the state, noting that cultism is particularly rampant among the youths including artisans who are not students.
According to him, 357 murder cases borne out of cultist attacks and hooliganism were recorded in the state between January and June, 2019.
Owoseni also decried the low financial allocation to the police, stressing that funding is key in policing but also adviced “all and sundry to take security serious because security is a personal task.”
Earlier in his remarks, the President, ICCI, Mr Ismaila Alapa called on the state government to put machinery in place to tackle the security challenge, noting that international investors are scared of investing in the state as a result of insecurity.