Fulani herdsmen tighten grip on Delta, Ogun communities, kill 3, abduct Police woman…as Delta CP Hafiz, redeploys South-South officers out of state

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By Emma OBIAMIWE, Senior Investigator Correspondent, Asaba.

 SUSPECTED Fulani herdsmen have continued their onslaught against defecenless persons in Delta and Ogun states killing no fewer than 3 persons and abducting a Police woman Sergeant in both attacks. Sources while 2 Vigilante operatives were gunned down at Okpanam, a community near the state capital, Asaba, a middle-aged man said to be a commercial bus driver was shot dead along Abeokuta /Aiyetoro/Imeko-Afon road while a yet to be identified Police woman attached to Aiyetoro Area Command was abducted and had yet to librated.
According to sources, the incidents happened on Wednesday night. A youth leader in Okpanam, Mr. Cyril Nwokoro, who disclosed this in a chat with CrimeWorld said, “One of our dependable vigilantes, popularly called Emeka Chosen, received a call at about 9. 25p.m last night that someone had been kidnapped; so following the call, he mobilized and took two other vigilante members along with him and they went there on a motorcycle only to be ambushed and killed.  When they got to the area, the bush path behind Customs checkpoint, along the Asaba-Benin expressway, unknown to them, the killers laid ambush for them. As they rode into the bush path, the gunmen shot at them, and the bullet hit Emeka and one of his colleagues on the bike, while the bike rider managed to crawl into the bush. It was the bike rider who also sustained bullet wound that managed to make an emergency call to other vigilante members that same night.”

Sources hinted that the invasion of these cattle herders of Okpanam came barely 24 hours after the Commissioner of Police Delta State Command CP Hafiz Inua transferred all the South-South senior Police officers out of the state to far North while they were replaced by their Northern counterparts. The action of the CP had since been condemned by well meaning Deltans who say it as a calculated plot to entrench the notoriety of herdsmen in the state unchallenged.
The Delta State Command’s spokesperson, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, confirmed the incident adding, “The information we got is that someone was kidnapped, and the vigilante group in Okpanam were alerted and they pursued the kidnappers. But because they were not armed, the kidnappers laid ambush for them and shot two of them dead.”

For some time now, Fulani herdsmen had laid siege to Okpanam and other adjoining communities in the state, killing, raping and maiming hapless residents unchallenged.

Similarly, in Ogun State, the story is not any different as the lawmaker representing Egbado North/Imeko Afon Federal Constituency of Ogun State Hon. Olaifa Aremu has also raised the alarm over the killing in  Ofa of a commercial driver by some suspected Fulani herdsmen along Abeokuta /Aiyetoro/Imeko-Afon road. Aside killing the Commercial bus driver, the marauding Fulani herdsmen also kidnapped a female Police officer attached to Aiyetoro Area Command while they injured one other person within four days. The lawmaker who described the attack on residents of his Constituency as dastardly said it occurred between Sunday and Wednesday. Aremu in a statement on Thursday, called on security agencies in the state to device more proactive measures to end Fulani herdsmen attacks in the communities. He stated that some suspected Fulani herdsmen stabbed one Segun Ileyemi on Sunday and has been hospitalized adding that the commercial driver was shot dead on Monday while transporting passengers on the Abeokuta – Aiyetoro road by the suspected Fulani herdsmen. Drawing the attention of the state Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun to the plight of the people in the community and the entire state in general, the law maker said, “I am sad to formally bring to the public notice of an unacceptable renewed onslaught of Fulani herdsmen on my Constituents of Egbado North/Imeko Afon Federal Constituency in Ogun State. While my people like others globally are grappling with the troubling effects of COVID – 19 pandemic, no fewer than three cases of attacks were recorded on the Abeokuta – Olorunda – Aiyetoro/Imeko Road in the last four days; all in the hand of these tormenting Fulani herdsmen. One Segun Ileyemi was attacked around Olorunda on Sunday 3rd May in an attempt to rob him of his belongings. He was stabbed severally as he is still receiving treatment on his hospital bed at the General Hospital, Ayetoro.  Another Passengers Commercial vehicle on its way from Abeokuta to Ayetoro was also attacked two days ago while the driver was shot and died on the spot. It is gloomy to further note that a Policewoman attached to the Area Command office, Ayetoro was kidnapped same day the commercial driver was shot dead with the officer’s car left by the roadside while the occupant was kidnapped by the men of underworld. “I am aware that her whereabouts and those holding her hostage are still being tracked by the necessary operatives.
It is no longer news that the dastardly acts of the Fulani Herdsmen in my Constituency of Egbado North/Imeko Afon is legendary as records are available at various offices of security agencies but for how long will this continue?  I plead with the security agencies to device better and more proactive measure to put an end to the operations of these neighbours turned enemies as they mostly lay siege on our roads waiting for my constituents to either rob them of their belongings or kidnap them out rightly. I am aware of your efforts to improving the strategy to save lives and property; however, a lot are still calling for attention in Egbado North/Imeko Afon Federal Constituency, particularly in the areas of Security and Road rehabilitation as these armed robbers and kidnappers mostly take advantage of the near impassable roads to attack our helpless people.”
The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer in the state DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi confirmed the incident stressing that investigations into the incident had long begun. He said, “I am aware of the situation. We are investigating, but, we have not arrested anybody. There is no society that is free of crime; we would do everything within our power to ensure that everybody across the state is safe. We are not relenting on our efforts in keeping the state safe and the perpetrators of these particular incidents will not go unpunished. They will definitely be arrested because no such crime had ever happened in Ogun state and the perpetrators will not be arrested and this is not going to be an exception.”

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