The Iba of Kishi, Oba Moshood Oyekola Lawal (Arowoduye II), has disclosed that efforts of local vigilante members and security agents have started yielding results as they have started dislodging suspected militants from the game forest in the community.
Yesterday, Aare Gani Adams alerted the world to the presence of suspected terrorists in the forest located in the town, revealing that they were attacking and kidnapping resident. The development has thrown the town into panic and confusion.
Oba Lawal, Thursday, told Newspeakonline that there was no need to panic about the situation because the joint efforts of local vigilante and security operatives led by the Nigerian Army have successfully dislodged the criminals from the reserve.
He said they engaged the criminals in crossfire but that they (the bandits) were overpowered. He also said the joint task force did not record any casualty during the crossfire.
His words: “There is no cause for hypertensive fear. Our local vigilantes are wonderful and as I am writing now, they have pushed them to Igboho route and some soldiers have joined the forces. Honestly, the bandits struck through Agboola farm, and after intensive crossfire they were forced out from that axis. No death casualty from the side of our dwellers. We shall be on top of it. Necessary steps have equally been taken. We need to apply caution and not paint our ancestral home as land of terror to the outside world. We shall in-sha-Allah be victorious on all internal and external aggressors.”
Adams, in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, said the development poses great danger to the security of the entire South West area.
He said children, the aged and women are the most hit by the violent activities of the armed groups.
“I have received numerous reports from Kishi, North West of Oyo State. The reports range from ceaseless kidnapping, rape and threat to lives of Yoruba people in the Oke Ogun area with Kishi as the present hub of terrorist attacks. It’s my responsibility to alert the public and also the relevant authorities,” he said.
The Aare Ona Kankanfo expressed worry that the region is gradually becoming a haven for bandits and terrorists masquerading as herdsmen. He warned that the situation must be nipped in the bud to prevent the South West taking the ignoble part of the North East and the North West regions of Nigeria, where violence has taken a firm root.
He said what appears like the gathering of armed groups in the area will affect the stability of the entire South West region.
Adams said Oyo State has the largest land mass in Yorubaland with an area of 28,454 square kilometers and listed it as the14th by size among the 36 states of the Federation. He said the occupation of Oyo State by terrorists will strengthen their infiltration of the entire South West.
He said the area retains a traditional route that links Sokoto State and also borders Ogun State, South of Kwara State and the Republic of Benin and in the East by Osun State.
Adams said the area harbours the old Oyo National Park which is 2,512 km2 of land covering Northern Oyo at latitude 8° 15’ and 9° 00’N and longitude 3° 35’ and 4° 42’ E which stretches to Kwara State.
He said the occupation of the land by armed groups is an assault on Yoruba heritage and civilisation, saying that part of the forest host the sacred terbanacle of ancient Yoruba Alaafin whose graves were located in parts of the forest.
Adams added that recent intelligence report at his disposal indicate that the terrorists are now visible at the Old Oyo Games Reserve at Sooro village in Kishi town, Irepo Local Government of Oyo State.
He said: “I have confirmed intelligence reports that the historic Kishi town has been ravaged by terrorists.
“Killing and kidnapping of over a hundred people is frightening and worrisome.”
He further stated that he has raised the alarm for the second time in two weeks.
“The records are there.The recent Intelligence report from Kishi is too frightening because terrorists have taken over the area, with the number of victims growing by the day. We need to react to this senseless killings because of the timing and exigencies. I have sent the report to the Oyo State governor, Eng.Seyi Makinde. I have also alerted the Director General of Amotekun in Oyo state. I have also informed the Alaafin of Oyo, His imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, through a message to Alaafin’s Personal Assistant, and I have informed the Okere of Saki,” he said.
The Aare Ona Kakanfo said his action was to tell all those concerned about the security situation in the area to respond decisively.
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