Ahead of 2019 general elections, some members of the Oyo state House of Assembly, including the Speaker, Mr Olagunju Ojo, the Minority Leader, and five others on Tuesday defected to three different parties.
The Clerk of the House, Mr Paul Bankole, read the separate letters of defection by the lawmakers during the plenary session in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Speaker (Labour Party-Orire), Mrs Wunmi Oladeji ( Labour Party-Ogbomoso North) and Solomon Olukayode (Labour Party-Ogbomoso South) defected to All Progressives Congress (APC).
Gbenga Oyekola ( Labour Party-Atiba) and Peter Oyetunji (Labour Party-Ogo Oluwa/Surulere), on the other hand, defected to African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) respectively.
The Minority Leader, Mr Ademola Ige (Accord Party-Ibadan South-East II) and Mr Fatai Adesina (Accord Party-Ibadan South-East I) defected to ADC.
Meanwhile, the house has appealed to the Commissioner of Police in the state, Abiodun Odude, to make conscious efforts to put a stop to gang-related crimes and violence in Oyo town.
The assembly also urged the commissioner to deploy competent police units to tackle the dastardly activities of criminal gangs.
This followed a Matter of Urgent Public Importance raised by Mr Muideen Olagunju (Accord Party-Oyo East/Oyo West) during the plenary.
According to Olagunju, the dramatic upsurge in gang warfare within the town has resulted in residents living in fear as well as property damage and deaths.
“The acts of violence are traceable to battle for supremacy among bands of youths in certain black spots within the town.
“During these battles of attritions, the gangs engage in spates of physical attacks, maiming, property damage, looting and sadly, killings.
“More often than not, innocent citizens bear the brunt of these acts of violence especially in Agunpopo, Balogun, Apara, Apinni, Ilaka, Akesan Motor Park, Iseke and Tengbe.
“It calls for concern that in spite of the fact that Oyo town and its environs have four Divisional Police Headquarters, one Area Command as well as a unit of SARS, it appears the gangs are controllable with low rate of arrests and prosecution of offenders,” he said.
The Speaker directed the House Committee on Security and Special Duties to convene, charge and monitor relevant authorities to act swiftly to curtail violence.