To secure the release of six kidnapped schoolchildren, three teachers and their driver, Ondo State security outfit, codenamed, Amotekun, yesterday, deployed 100 of its personnel to Ekiti State.
Ondo Amotekun Commander, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, who said this while parading 31 suspected criminals arrested in the state, disclosed that Amotekun was acting on the orders of Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
The deployment came as Ekiti Council of Traditional Rulers urged Governor Biodun Oyebanji to empower them to secure their domains, a clamour the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, endorsed, arguing that community policing was the surest way out of the insecurity menace.
Also, Emure-Ekiti, the community where the six school pupils, three teachers and a driver were kidnapped on Monday evening, is not leaving anything to chance in efforts to rescue the victims, as elders in the community yesterday, launched a search party for the victims.
On a day the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams lamented that gunmen had infiltrated the South-West and were heading to Lagos, South-West Amotekun commanders restated their call for the establishment of state police to stamp out criminality.
Why we deployed personnel to Ekiti– Ondo Amotekun
Adeleye said: “Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa has ordered that we deploy Amotekun personnel to work with their counterparts in Ekiti to secure the release of the pupils and arrest killers of the monarchs.
“Some days ago, we had an unfortunate incident in Ekiti and the governor of Ondo State directed us to move in the interest of brotherliness to assist in the security situation in Ekiti State. We deployed 100 personnel to assist the Ekiti command.
“We’ve been there in the last 48 hours. Some arrests have been made and we will continue until the perpetrators of these dastardly acts are arrested.”
“I want to assure the good people of Ondo State that there is no problem. The state is safe. But, they must report any suspicious movement in their environment to us in time, so that we can be proactive and ensure that before it gets out of hand, this is nipped in the bud.
“We have a sudden upsurge of visitors coming in from different parts of the country, in the name of hunting. The state government had made it clear that anybody that will carry out any activity in the forest reserves must take permission,” he added.
It’s time to have state police
Adeleye, who is also the chairman of Amotekun commanders in the South-West said the solution to insecurity in the country especially in the South-West is the establishment of state police.
“With state policing, we will be able to go to the grassroots, and it will be easy for us to track down all these criminals in our society. We should not forget that Amotekun is both a conventional and unconventional security outfit. On the issue of weapons, once state policing is approved, there will be no limitation to the equipment they can use in combating crimes,” he said.
Empower monarchs to secure communities, Ekiti Obas tell Oyebanji
In like manner, the Ekiti Council of Traditional Rulers called on the Ekiti State government to empower the monarchs with adequate resources to tackle insecurity in their communities.
This was contained in a communique signed by its Chairman, Oba Ayorinde Ilori Faboro, the Olojudo of Ido-Ekiti at the end of an emergency meeting convened by Governor Oyebanji with the echelon of the state security agencies in attendance.
They condemned the killing of their members and the kidnap of school children while calling on the government at all levels to ensure the perpetrators are apprehended and brought to book.
They urged concerted efforts to rid Ekiti forests of bandits and kidnappers.
The communique read in part: “The Ekiti Council of Traditional Rulers was deeply saddened by the murder of two of its members, HRM Oba Samuel Olusola Olatunji, the Olumojo of Imojo-Ekiti, and HRM Oba David Ogunsakin, the Elesun of Esun-Ekiti and the abduction of school children and their teachers in Emure-Ekiti same day Monday January 29, 2024.
“Council calls on Governments at all levels to ensure the perpetrators are apprehended and made to face the wrath of the law in no distant time.
“Council further calls on the Federal Government to deploy more security personnel to Ekiti as the state is generally under-policed. Council demands that the State Government should empower traditional rulers with adequate resources to police and secure their domains.”
Emure community launches search party
Emure-Ekiti community elders and the Elemure in Council after an emergency security meeting at the palace of the traditional ruler of Emure-Ekiti, Oba Emmanuel Adebayo, decided to set up a search party comprised of some chiefs, traditional hunters and some community security outfit to search the forest around the scene of the kidnap and adjoining forests for the school pupils and their teachers.
One of the prominent chiefs said they are currently inside the forest to search for the kidnapped victims.
Speaking with Vanguard in a telephone conversation, the chief said, “We are presently inside the forest, I can’t talk to you now.”
NUT wants govt to prioritize perimeter fencing of all schools
Meanwhile, the Ekiti State chapter of the NUT has called on Governor Oyebanji to prioritise perimeter fencing of schools across the state as part of security measures for lives and property in schools.
Speaking with Vanguard, the NUT Chairman, Daodu Bamidele, condemned the recent kidnapping of six pupils, three teachers and a driver of Apostolic Faith Group of School in Emure Ekiti.
“We appeal to the state government that the issue of security in the school environment should be taken as a priority. The government has been taking giant strides in making sure that most of our schools are fenced. We are equally demanding that perimeter fencing of other schools should be given priority so that teaching and learning will be under a very conducive environment and not an atmosphere of fear and trepidation,” he said.
We can’t continue this way, says Ooni of Ife
Decrying the rising insecurity in the country, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi in a statement by his Media Aide, Moses Olafare, charged the Federal and state governments to take the bull by the horns and rid Nigeria of insecurity.
He added that the time was ripe for the government to involve traditional rulers in securing the country, reiterating his belief in community policing as the best way out of the present insecurity in the country.
Describing the wave of insecurity, especially kidnapping as “a pure sacrilege and a deliberate display of criminal audacity to undermine the government’s security control capacity,” he said: “Government must stop at nothing to ensure the perpetrators are arrested and made to face justice. We cannot continue like this. Several of our school children are still languishing in the undetected incarceration of these heartless terrorists. A party state chairman in Lagos State was a victim recently.
What about the recently abducted schoolchildren in Ekiti State? Six sisters in Abuja not too long ago with one of them killed. Similar cases across the country. Who is safe in this country again? Enough is enough.”
Gunmen’ve infiltrated S-West, relocating to Lagos — Gani Adams
Meanwhile, Iba Gani Adams has alerted leaders in the South-West that gunmen had infiltrated Ogere Park along the Lagos -Ibadan express road and were now relocating to Lagos State.
He, however, vowed that the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, would not allow the repeat of the Jos massacre in Lagos.
He charged South-West governors to collaborate with OPC to curb all forms of insecurity within six months, saying the group was well prepared for the task.
His words: “It is of great concern also that the insecurity scourge has reared its ugly head in Yoruba land and the situation is getting worse by the day.