• News - South West - Ondo
  • Updated: June 15, 2023

Ondo Communities Protest Increased Killings, Kidnappings

Ondo Communities Protest Increased Killings, Kidnappings

Due to incessant attacks, killings and Kidnappings by suspected gunmen, communities in Ose local government have asked the state government to put an end to the violence.

This call was made by community members who protested at the office of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Akure on Thursday.

The aggrieved residents lamented how the gunmen had been terrorising their communities in Ijaba, Imoru, Molege, Arimogija, Ute, and Okeluse, unchallenged.

They explained that their protest was triggered by a recent attack on an illustrious son of Ijaba community, Ohiremen Isaac Odeh, who was kidnapped on his way to his farm with his son, identified as Solomon.

Addressing journalists on behalf of the protesting community members, the Prime Minister of Ijaba community, Sunday Ogoh, said Odeh was marched into the bush by the gunmen but was later found dead, after his family paid a N400,000 ransom.

Ogoh explained that the sad incident and continuous attacks had destabilised the community, stressing that many residents now live in palpable fear due to threats from the attackers.

“In the last two years, we have lost over 20 community members to the incessant attacks. Aside from Mr Odeh, we lost one of our brothers, Bola Adelegbe to the attacks by the gunmen.

“As a result of this, we are appealing to the state government to urgently come to our aid. They should give us a strong military base that would be manning our roads to reduce this incessant kidnapping and killings in our communities.”

While noting that there was a need for the state government and the whole world to know what is going on in the affected communities, Ogoh said that the incessant attacks and kidnapping by the gunmen had forced farmers to abandon their farms.

“As we speak now, we can’t even visit our farms because of these attacks. These gunmen have taken over everywhere. They always hide by the farm road and swap on our people and abduct them for ransom.

“One of their hideouts is the tick forest in Okeluse, which they use as their den. Anytime they kidnap, they will always ask for ransom and if you don’t give them the money within two days, they will kill the victim. We have been experiencing this for the last two years now.

“We have written to the state government on several occasions but we are not getting the response we want. So, we want security provided for us because we are tired,” he said.

The son of the deceased and a member of the community, Solomon Odeh, also narrated how he was kidnapped alongside his father.

He explained that the gunmen tied him up with a rope and murdered his father after a ransom was paid.

“I was later released, but not until my father was killed after paying N400,000 as ransom,” he added.

Reacting to the attacks, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), in the state, Funmilayo Odunlami-Omisanya, said the security agents are after the perpetrators.

“The police are on top of the situation in the affected communities and we are already after the perpetrators. I can assure you that, they will soon be apprehended,” she said.

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