The Olubaka of Oka-Akoko, Oba Yusuf Adeleye(OON), has raised the alarm that criminals have taken over roads and forests in the area.
Oba Adeleye stated this during Oka Security Summit, organised by the community in Oka Akoko, in Akoko South-West Local Government of Ondo State on Saturday.
The traditional ruler urged residents of the town to always report suspicious movements, especially that of strangers within the community farms and forests.
He lamented that violent robbery and kidnapping in the community were on the increase and seriously threatening the security of his people and their property.
“Of recent, four of our farmers returning home from Elegbeka Camp were kidnapped. Also on the evening of Wednesday, there was another incident of kidnapping along Owo-Ikare Road around Agopanu and Waterworks area.
“These are warning signals that our roads and forests are not safe from these criminal elements.
“Therefore, I want to urge all of us here present to listen attentively to all our resource persons, and educate others that security in and around our community is the responsibility of everybody.
“We must provide adequate information to assist the security agencies to work upon.
“If you see something, please say something, particularly our traders from whom these criminal elements usually buy bulk purchase foods and other items from for their kidnap victims.
“To our farmers and hunters, for any suspicious movement of strangers within the community farms/forests, if you see something, please say something,” he said.
The traditional ruler also urged transport workers, especially Okada riders to always report any suspecting strangers, as they were mostly the first set of people to come in contact with them.
“In a nutshell, we must be conscious of our environment at all times. The role of our transporters (the NURTW and Okada Riders) must be closely examined,” the traditional ruler said.
In his welcome address, the Coordinator of Oka Security Summit, Mr Deji Ogunwale, said the theme of the summit was a precautionary measure against the activities of criminals in Okaland.
Ogunwale said the summit was not to lament over loses concerning security challenges, but to brace up and be tactically ready to fight “like soldiers” against insecurity at all places.
“The purpose of this gathering today is to sensitise ourselves toward security consciousness and also to find lasting and enduring solutions to incessant security threats in Okaland,” he said.
Also at the event, Oka-Akoko Divisional Police Officer, SP Olarewaju Adenibuyan, lauded the community for holding the summit, noting that it would complement the efforts of security agencies in the area.