‘WE ARE COMMITED TO PROTECTING YOU,’ AMOTEKUN REASSURES OYO CITIZENS
The Commandant, Amotekun Corps, Oyo State, Col Olayinka Olayanju (retd), has reassured citizens of Oyo State that the corps is committed to protecting them at all cost. The Commandant gave the assurance following reports that bandits who were being dislodged from Zamfara State by the ongoing military onslaught are heading southwards. He said the outfit’s well trained personnel were patrolling boundaries of the state aggressively to prevent bandits and criminals in whatever hues from relocating to the state.
While commending the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Governor Seyi Makinde for providing the necessary material and moral support to the corps that has set it on a firm pedestal; the Commandant said, “We got intelligence reports that bandits and hoodlums maybe heading southward as a result of military activities in Zamfara State. I want to reassure Oyo citizens that we are aware and our men are already on the lookout for the bandits, other criminals and strange faces, especially at our boundaries.
“We are at alert and our men are carrying out operations regarding this at Irepo, which is the boundary with Ogun and Kwara states and the Republic of Benin, to make sure that the bandits do not relocate to our state. They will be stopped. Our men will pick them up. We won’t allow criminals to relocate here. We are carrying out confidence building patrols at Irepo, Olorunsogo, Oorelope, Iwajowa, Ibarapa Central and North LGAs” He stated.
Col. Olayanju also pointed out that the corps is working in tandem with agencies within the state and South-west Amotekun commanders to ensure peace and stability so that citizens can go about their lawful duties. He said since its establishment last year, Amotekun has brought relative peace and stability to the state compared to the same period the previous year. “There has been a considerable difference with where we are now and where we were two years ago. Through our security strategies, we have been able to bring to the barest minimum incidences of suspected herdsmen attack in Oyo State. I want to commend the people of Oyo State for standing firmly behind Amotekun and giving us their unalloyed support. Without their support we wouldn’t have gone this far,” the Commandant noted.
Beyond the external threats coming through the border from other states, the commandant stressed that Amotekun has also been contending with local threats from criminals and cultists and overwhelming them. He stated that they receive complaints daily from citizens and they act promptly and effectively. He noted the case of one informant of Isale-Oyo in Oyo town who passed information to the corps about a group of hoodlums terrorising the neighbourhood. “Our men acted on the intelligence received and we were able to apprehend some of the criminals and in the process recovered two guns from them. Such information has been helpful to us toward containing criminal and deviant behavious.”
Furthermore, two serial Church burglars; Oma James, Male, 41, and Agbada Orin, 45, were arrested in Ilora community Afijio Local Government during one of their operations. The duo have been breaking into churches and stealing electrical equipment and selling them. Luck ran out for them in one of their operations on the 17th June when the Amotekun Corps in Afijio Local Government arrested the suspects and recovered all the stolen equipment. The suspects were handed over to the Police for prosecution.
On the fight against cultism, the commandant said the corps has made inroad in this regard. “Beyond banditry and armed herdsmen, we are also checkmating cultists. We recently apprehended some Eye Confraternity members who were attacking the house of one Alhaji Owolowo. They were caught in the act by the Atiba Amotekun Corps with the support of the Oyo East, Oyo West Amotekun Corps and members of Atiba Police unit. Twelve (12) men – Oniwinde Kunle, Peter Gbolahan, Femi Oyewole, Olayemi Quadri, Folaranmi Tunde, Owodunni Bolaji, Toyib Bello, Isiaka Samad, David Boluwatife, Ayinde Bamigbose, Joshua Olamide, Adedeji Abdullahi – were arrested. Two of them who sustained injuries were treated at a hospital in the locality. Two locally made pistols, one live cartridge, an empty shell and three axes were recovered from them. They have been transferred to the Atiba police station. The suspects are presently in the Abolongo Prisons, Oyo.”
Meanwhile, residents in the state have commended Amotekun for the strides it has made in just one year. They charged the corps not to rest on its oars while charging politicians not to play politics with security issues because it is a collective responsibility that requires the support of all.
The idea of a collaborative security outfit among the six states in the South-West (Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti) came out of the summit held in Ibadan on 25th June 2019, following a spate of kidnappings, banditry and armed robbery in the region. The insecurity put considerable pressure on the South-West governors at a time many farmers were being forced to abandon their only means of livelihood and villagers were deserting their homes due to incessant attacks. Held under the auspices of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, the Director General, Mr. Seye Oyeleye, had assured before the meeting that the outcome would provide concrete ideas on how to secure the region. That idea birthed the Amotekun Corps.