The Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, has directed the Ondo State Commissioner of Police to accelerate efforts and mobilise all resources to rescue elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae, who was kidnapped on his farm on Monday.
It was gathered that the IG told policemen in the state that everywhere must be combed to ensure the release of the victim.
Arase’s instruction followed the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to the IG and other security agencies to ensure the speedy rescue of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Buhari, according to a statement on Wednesday by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, condemned the “callous and reprehensible kidnapping of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and elder statesman.”
The President assured Falae’s family, friends and other concerned Nigerians that the Federal Government would do all within its powers to ensure his swift release.
Buhari, who had requested constant updates from the police and other security agencies on efforts to find and rescue Falae, also denounced the recurring incidents of criminal abductions across the country.
However, the Force Public Relations Officer, Olabisi Kolawole, told our correspondents on Wednesday that the IG had acted immediately on the presidential order by directing the state CP to mobilise all resources and personnel towards the rescue of the statesman.
When asked if the force headquarters would deploy more men to the state, Kolawole said the Ondo State Police Command was up to the task of rescuing Falae from the clutches of his captors.
She said the police had been getting assistance and information from the community, assuring that the police would rescue the captive soon.
“The police are working hard to effect the rescue of Chief Falae. The IG has directed the command CP to mobilise all resources towards the rescue of the statesmen and I believe this has been done.”
Meanwhile, farmers in the state have threatened to wage a war against Fulani herdsmen in Ondo.
The farmers, under the aegis of Ondo State Agricultural Commodities Association, at their Stakeholders’ meeting in Alagbaka, Akure, on Wednesday also issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to secure the release of the elder statesman .
The Chairman of the association, Mr. Akin Olotu, said, “The abduction of Chief Falae is unacceptable to farmers in Ondo State and the South-West. We therefore give a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to secure the release of Chief Falae. If he is not released, the farmers in Ondo State will take an action that will have a national impact. We should not forget the Agbekoya war in the old Oyo State.
“This is a national issue, if they can come for a person like Falae, it means nobody is safe; that is why we are calling on the government to be proactive on the issue.
“The activities of Fulani herdsmen have become a serious problem in this state and nomadic system of cattle rearing in Nigeria is obsolete; it is not in the interest of anybody again.
“So our government should do something urgent about this.”
In the same vein, a former Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, has said the abduction of the septuagenarian politician was “absurd and barbaric considering the age and background of the former Minister for Finance.”
Kuku, in a statement on Wednesday, called on relevant security agencies to expedite action towards securing the release of the National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party.
Similarly, the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party in a statement, through its Director of Publicity, Mr. Ayo Fadaka, expressed worry over criminal incursion of the herdsmen into the state.
Fadaka said the PDP took serious view of the kidnap of Falae, adding that “this type of brigandage that is currently happening in the state must stop.”
The statement read in part, “We therefore use this opportunity to call on the law enforcement agencies to do all in their power to apprehend and bring to justice those responsible for this indecent assault on the person and status of Chief Olu Falae.
“We also want to emphasise that tackling these type of crimes by every state can only be possible if the much needed restructuring of our federalism is pursued with urgency as this will give every state the constitutional power to organise and control its own security as it obtains in other notable federalisms around the world.
“We urge those holding Chief Falae to release him forthwith and also call on the security agencies to upscale their act, locate and release Chief Falae immediately.”