Police launch manhunt for killers
As Amotekun boss demands sophisticated weapons to tackle criminalities in S’West
By Dayo Johnson & Shina Abubakar
No fewer than seven persons were killed, weekend, in Osun and Ekiti states by gunmen suspected to be bandits.
Among the victims was a family of six reportedly killed when the gunmen stormed a farming settlement in Wasinmi village, Irewole local government area of Osun State, while the other was a passenger hit by stray bullets, as the gunmen fired at a moving commercial vehicle in Ekiti State.
Policemen, men of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, and Hunters Group of Nigeria were said to have been deployed in the bush in the area to fish out the killers.
Confirming the Osun attack, yesterday, in Osogbo, the state’s Commissioner of Police, Olawale Olokode, who spoke through his Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Yemisi Opalola, said the incident happened late Saturday night.
Olokode, who noted that police had commenced investigation into the incident, said the perpetrators of the evil act would be brought to justice.
The CP also disclosed that he had moved to the village with detectives to hunt down the perpetrators of the act.
He, however, said preliminary investigation ruled out a possible farmers/herders clash, adding that apart from launching manhunt for the suspects, police had begun discreet investigation into the circumstances behind the killings.
The CP appealed to the people of the state, particularly residents of Ikire and its environs not to panic but collaborate with the Police by giving timely information that would assist in arresting the culprits.
He described the incident as unfortunate and vowed that the police would apprehend the culprits to face the law.
In another attack in Ekiti State, a passenger was reportedly killed as gunmen shot at a commercial vehicle in transit between Ikere Ekiti and Iju, a border town in Ondo State.
The Ekiti PPRO, Sunday Abutu, who confirmed the incident, yesterday, said that the driver of the commercial bus and the passengers ran to a police station in Ikere Ekiti and reported that while they were on their way from Ondo State, the gunmen came out of the bush and started shooting.
The driver was said to have increased his speed to escape the attack but unfortunately, a passenger was hit by a bullet in the process and later died at Ikere General Hospital.
While calling for calm, the state Commissioner of Police, Tunde Mobayo, assured that the command in the two states would collaborate effectively to nab the perpetrators.
The commissioner had earlier in the week, held a town hall security meeting with communities across the state.
Meanwhile, the commander of Ondo State Security outfit, codenamed Amotekun, Adetunji Adeleye, has urged governments to remove limitations to the crime bursting responsibility of the corps in the region by allowing it carry sophisticated weapons.
Adeleye, who made the plea, weekend, said criminals were at advantage over security agents in terms of weapons in the South-West.
Speaking in Akure, the commander said the agencies needed encouragement from government to be able to rid the states of the activities of criminally-minded elements.
“The agencies are looking forward to acquiring more state-of-the-art equipment to combat insecurity in the states. There’s need to procure modern equipment to confront criminals.
“Amotekun is doing well in terms of remuneration of officers and payment of salary but calls for more government support.
“The state governor has just approved the recruitment of additional personnel and in terms of personnel, we are okay.
“Though, we in Ondo State have equipment but we are asking for more funding, so we can buy state- of-the-art additional equipment to combat crimes in the state.
“The collaboration with other security agencies has been yielding results through the knowledge and familiarity of the terrain by Amotekun officials who understand their own environment.
“We have a very robust relationship, we share intelligence with the Civil Defence, the Police, the Army, the DSS and we do operations together.
“There are interiors they don’t have the knowledge of, and if they have anything to do there, we take them there since we have our personnel across the 18 local government areas of the state.
“When we get to terrible terrains like in the riverine area, we have specialists and personnel who can stay under the water for 24 hours and we are always with them in whatever operation that needed to be done.
“The regular Nigeria Police Force cannot do it alone. Other security agencies must step in to secure the country. The Amotekun Corps are making sacrifices and they are ready to work with the armed forces.”