Suspected militants that have been tormenting communities in Ogun State yesterday prevented a convoy led by Deputy Governor Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga from accessing a part of Ebute-Ibafo in Obafemi Owode local government.
In the entourage were Bridgade Commander, 35 Artillery Army Bridgade, Alamala Barack, Abeokuta, Brigadier – General Mohammed Danqalis, the Director of the Department of State Service(DSS), Ogun state Command, Mr Kabiru Sanni, Deputy Commissioner of Police(Operations), Mr Bello Makwashi, Secretary to the State Government Taiwo Adeoluwa, Commisdioner for Information and Orientation, Dayo Adeneye, the Baale of Ebute – Ibafo, Chief Afolorunsho Balogun, the Olu of Imusin, Oba Taiwo Adebunmi Bamgbose and five other traditional rulers.
As the team approached the creek through which the militants usually follow to escape after attacking the Ebute – Ibafo community, the militants shot at them sporadically from the creek. The soldiers and the police in the team returned fire. The trip was aborted.
Secretary to the State Government Adeoluwa urged the Federal Government to urgently constitute a military task force like the one in the Niger Delta to tackle the militants.
“This level of team led by the deputy governor cannot access a part of our state. It means without mincing words, the Federal Government needs to get involved in this.
“This is clearly beyond the capacity of the police. This is something which we believe in Ogun state, a major task force, military operation task force like the one we have in Niger Delta is necessary and desirable now.
“We all can see, we were in Elepete, Igbo Olomu, Imagbon, Imuti, nothing compared to the violence there. You all heard the shooting, this is something that should be a source of worry to everybody and we think the Federal Government should come to our aid,” Adeoluwa said.
Earlier during a visit to other communities under the militants’ attack, Mrs Onanuga appealed to hundreds of fleeing indigenes and residents of the five communities to return home.
She said measures had been put in place to protect them from further attacks and killings by suspected Niger Delta militants.
In the last one week, five of Imusin’s 27 communities in Sagamu Local Government Area of Ogun state had come under grave attacks by the suspected militants, resulting in the death of over a dozen villagers and destruction of their properties.
The affected communities visited are: Imagbon, Elepete, Igbo – Olomu, Imuti and later Ebute – Ibafo.
Addressing the Olu of Imusin, Oba Taiwo Bamgbose, and a handful of his people at Igbo Olomu, one of the scenes of the killings of several of the villagers on June 17, Mrs Onanuga assured that the killers would be brought to justice.
But in a twist of fate, while the Deputy Governor was still addressing the distressed villagers to convey the government’s message of hope and sympathy, information soon came in that a member of the community, Sarafa Olayinka, had just been abducted by the militants and taken to the creek.
Also, the Baale of Ebute – Ibafo, Chief Folorunsho Balogun, while still narrating his community’s ordeal in the hands of the militants to the state government’s representatives earlier, said he too had received a message that his subjects – Alhaji Odugbesan and his wife, had been abducted by the militants.
Chief Balogun said the militants invaded his community three days ago, killed people, attacked a bakery and carted away loaves of bread.
He also said some beautiful women were abducted from the community.
According to him, even domestic animals – goats and chickens-were not spared during the onslaught as many of them found roaming the streets were shot and taken away by the militants.