— Motorists, passengers stabbed by bandits.

Amotekun rescues victims recovered vehicles in foiled operation

— Over 70 vehicle owners held hostage

Dayo Johnson Akure

Four persons have been rescued by the joint operation of the Western Nigeria Security Network, WNSN codenamed Amotekun, in a foiled robbery operation along Ife/Ilesha expressway.

The joint operation was put in place by the South West governors for a hitch-free Yuletide in the region.

Many of the motorists and passengers were reportedly robbed and stabbed by the bandit numbering about twenty who blocked the highway in the early hours of Thursday.

During the robbery operation, over 70 vehicle owners were held hostage by the robbers who operated on the highway.

Speaking with newsmen in Akure, the chairman of the joint operation of the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun and Ondo state commander of the security outfit, Chief Adetunji Adeleye said that they received distress call by 1 am on Thursday.

Adetunji said ” during a joint operation by men of the Amotekun in Ondo and Osun states along Ife /Ilesha/Akure road. We are on patrol at about 1 am when we got a distress call that a robbery spree is ongoing along Osu junction.

“So our men rushed to the scene which is some few meters after Osu junction, we met over 70 vehicles parked on the road and we have to manouvered to the spot only to found that the robbers are actually at work and opened fire on our men immediately they sighted them.

“They exchanged fire with men of the Amotekun and we pursued them into the bush and we were able to retrieve this car, Toyota corolla, that was stolen from the owner and some other 46 vehicles parked at the spot.”

He said that the armed robbers “numbering about 20 operated on the Ife / Ilesha expressway unhindered in the middle of the night. We gave them a hot chase after they snatched vehicles, while other travellers out of fear parked their vehicles on the road.

” The Amotekun Corps rescued four occupants of a vehicle while the armed robbers had injured some of them, stabbing them after beating them before our arrival at the scene of the crime.

“One man was not as lucky as others, before we got there he had been badly beaten and macheted and we had to rush him to a hospital where they administered first aid treatment to avoid serious casualty.

Adeleye however, advised motorists to avoid travelling at night, noting that “despite our 24-hour patrol, I want to advise our people to avoid travelling at night where avoidable but I can assure you that we are always on the road.”

Speaking with newsmen, one of the victims, Mathew Olakanmi said he was travelling from Lagos to Jos, Plateau state, to deliver the vehicle when he ran into the armed robbers.

Olakanmi said the armed men stopped him on the road and started shooting sporadically but said he managed to reverse his vehicle from the spot to escape from them but said he ran into another member of the gang who have laid siege in the bush.

” The robbers threatened to shoot me and kill me and other occupants of the vehicle. I had to stop and surrender the car key.

“We were flagged down on the road by these men, I thought they are policemen only to discover that they are armed robbers.

“They tried to shoot me and I had to reverse about a kilometre before I ran into another gang.

“They took the car key from me and started beating us, they took all my documents and money and I escaped from the spot but other people in the vehicle are not lucky.

“They stabbed and macheted them and beat them up and took them as a hostage. I want to appreciate the Amotekun and South-West governors for this initiative”

Meanwhile, Adeleye has assured “the good people of Osun and Ondo states that we will stop at nothing in joining forces with other security agencies in ensuring that criminals are chased away from this area.
Vanguard News Nigeria

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