A statement issued on Monday in Ibadan by the state command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Olugbenga Fadeyi, appealed to residents to desist from making false distress calls as they were distractions.

Fadeyi said the Oyo State Police Command was conscious, capable, ready and willing to carry out its constitutional responsibilities of protecting lives and properties, maintaining the law and order as well as other extant laws in the state.

He said that the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Shina Olukolu, was concerned that the command was inundated regularly with calls of unverified, non-existent criminal activities, particularly at night.

“There is no doubt that some of the unpalatable and fear-inducing stories, videos and write-ups they probably have seen/watched on the social media, Whatsapp platforms and the newspapers may be responsible for some of these unverified distress calls mainly bourne out of fear.

“It must, however, be noted that the persistence of such unverified distress calls have largely served as a distraction and thereby derailing the focus and the concentration of security agencies’ reaction to genuine victims who are actually in distress,”Fadeyi said.

He said that the commissioner of police appreciated the communal efforts including those of the vigilance groups, hunters, landlords, youths and the entire citizenry’s efforts and collaboration to rid the society of criminal elements.

“The introduction of panicky measures of burning tires on the roads which is a critical infrastructure, the firing intermittently of gun shots under the guise of scaring criminal elements away, the beating of the gates of neighbours in a bid to force them to join the Vigilante groups as well as the uncontrolled acquisition of dangerous weapons by individuals is an open invitation to anarchy, chaos and inimical to the security architecture.

“Consequently, the Commissioner of Police wishes to appeal to all and sundry to be patient, show more understanding and get across to the security agencies via their EMERGENCY telephone numbers namely: 0705 5495 41, 0808 1768 614 and 615 (toll free) only when it is absolutely necessary,” he said.

The police spokesman said that these telephone numbers were active and being attended to on daily basis for 24 hours.

Fadeyi said the commissioner of police had also observed nonchalant attitude of citizens to the reality of COVID-19 as well as the disobedience to medical advice and the curfew imposed from 7:00 p.m to 6:00 a.m by Gov. Seyi Makinde.

He warned recalcitrant individuals to comply as the security agencies were ready and willing to enforce the curfew and other extant rules imposed on the state for the benefits of all and sundry in collective efforts to fight and defeat the pandemic.

“The enforcement is being monitored on a daily basis by the Commissioner of Police.

“The criminal elements in our midst will be given a good fight and brought to justice anytime, any moment, anywhere they commit an infraction against the law,”Fadeyi said.

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