By Demola Akinyemi
Offa robbery: ILORIN-The federal government on Sunday vowed that those behind last Thursday’s armed robbery and killings in commercial town of Offa, Kwara state would be arrested and brought to justice in order to serve as deterrent to others.
Recall that seven police officers and scores of residents were killed while the over two hours robbery on five commercial banks and one micro finance bank lasted.
Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed who gave the assurance when he paid a condolence visit to the Kwara state governor, Alhai Abdulfatha Ahmed at the Government House Ilorin also visited the people of Offa,where he told Olofa of Offa Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi in his palace that the Federal government would continue to improve on its security provisions that would ensure adequate safety for all and sundry.
The minister,also a kwara who claimed to represent the federal government during the condolence visits said the entire nation was ‘‘shocked and grieving’’ by the dastardly acts committed in Offa.
The minister was however quick to add that the state and entire public must learn from ‘‘the mistakes’’ of the incident with a view to improving on security architecture of the entire country.
The minister said, ‘‘What happened in Offa on Thursday shocked the entire nation and is our prayers that the souls of all the victims will rest in peace and also that those badly injured would be heeled and recover very soon.
‘‘I want to take this opportunity to also let you know that the entire country is grieving and the entire country is sympathising with Kwara state and the entire people of Offa .
‘‘But there is also a silver light, despite the losses of the police, it is quite hearth warming to know that some of the suspects have been arrested.
‘‘I spoke yesterday with the IG and he assured me that all the people responsible for the dastardly act would be arrested and brought to justice .
‘‘I hope also that we are all going to learn from the mistakes both the larger public and everybody and we are going to factor this into the larger security architecture in a manner that we will have a much more secured and safe state country’’.
The Minister,while in Offa,urged the residents to be more security conscious now more than ever and report suspicious person(s)among them to appropriate security office.
Responding during the minister’s visit to him,Governor Abdulfatha Ahmed thanked the ‘‘presidency for its intervention so far’’
He particularly expressed delight with the promise made by Inspector General of Police to deploy an armoured personnel carrier that will be stationed specifically in offa to prevent future occurrence.
He described the level of the crime perpetrated as ‘‘unexpected’’, a situation which he said was an indication that the country was in a ‘‘challenging situation.’’
The governor said government at this time must accept the fact that the nation was going through challenging time and redoubled efforts towards improving on her security architecture aying ‘‘this is not the time for blame game’’.
He advocated fro effective community policing and improved synergy through effective communications particularly between the military and the police .
The governor stressed that effective collaborations among the security agencies would no doubt result into effective security for the people.
In Offa,the Olofa of Offa Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi expressed concern that with the latest attacks on banks in Offa,there is no banks operational in the entire kwara south senatorial district.
The monarch therefore urged the federal government to provide two Armoured Personnel Carriers,One in Offa and the other in Ajase-ipo headquarters of kwara south to beef up adequate security in the area.
Olofa also urged stakeholders to ensure that all needed supports are given to the banks to return operations in Offa and the entire kwara south because doing banking transactions in ilorin from Offa and the affected areas would be most difficult.
He also called for increase in the police officers posted to kwara and indeed Offa,saying that the armed bandits operated for over two hours unchecked a development he said was very unfortunate.
He however commended the efforts of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed who had approved the construction of a bigger police station in Offa,while the only bigger one attacked in Owode area would now serve as an outpost station.