As the fight against insecurity continues in Nigeria, residents of Oyo State have commended the Amotekun Corps for the bold initiatives it has taken in contain kidnapping for ransom, banditry, cultism, armed robbery and other forms of criminality in state. In separate occasions, the residents applauded the outfit for its proactive responses to distress calls and the synergy it has adopted in collaborating with agencies within the state and South-west Amotekun commanders to ensure peace and stability so that citizens can go about their lawful duties.
Sarafa Ajayi of Pakoyi area Oyo West Local Government, whose life was saved by operatives of the corps, was filled with encomium for the well trained men of Amotekun. Ajayi, who went for a time out at Akibest, a fun spot in the area, sustained gunshot wounds on her left shoulder and left buttocks following a violent clash between rival gangs of Eye Confraternity, a violent cult gang in the vicinity. The shootout between two rival gangs, Aye and Alora, attracted the attention of the Oyo Amotekun Corps who were on their usual patrol. The Corps was able to restore sanity to the area by arresting some of the cultists and handing them over to the Police. Operatives also rushed the victim to the hospital.
“I want to sincerely thank Amotekun for saving my life,” Sarafa Ajayi said, “If Amotekun had not arrived when they did I wouldn’t be alive today. Despite the fact that I lost a lot of blood as a result of the gunshots, their promptness in taking me to the hospital saved my life. I was given two pints of blood in the hospital. I also thank the Doctors and God almighty for saving my life.”
A few days after the incident, the corpse of one Rasheed Ikorodu, a suspected cultist was discovered in the Pakoyi Compound. Two suspects, Ahmed Sustain and Tawakalit Rasheed were arrested by the Corps in relation to the murder and were later handed over to the Ojongbodu Division of the Nigerian Police for further investigation and prosecution.
Another resident, Olarewaju Gbadamosi, who was mugged and his personal belongings stolen from him was full of praises for Amotekun for being on ground to help him. “I was walking toward the bus stop at night when three men accosted me and demanded I give them my mobile phone and laptop. Seeing that I was outnumbered I gave them the phone and laptop, but one of them hit me with a metal and I started bleeding. I started shouting from pain and my shout attracted a patrol team of Amotekun who came and rescued me. They also apprehended the criminals. I thank members of the patrol team for also conveying me to the hospital for treatment and also for retrieving my phone and laptop.”
A Saki based informant also commended the corps operatives for their civility and prompt response to distress calls. Narrating an event that took place in his part of town, Badmus said rival gangs of suspected cultists engaged in a free for all which later morphed into a looting spree. “At that point I called Amotekun to report about the breakdown of law and order in the area. Within twenty minutes, Amotekun operative arrived and they were able to bring peace to the area. They also arrested some of the suspects and handed them over to the police. I am confident that with Amotekun we can begin to live in peace here.”
Alhaji Oladega Ismail of Iseyin Local Government Area whose large cassava farm was ravaged by cattle applauded the bold move made by Amotekun to forestall the breakdown of peace in the area following activities of herdsmen. “I got an urgent call from my foreman that Fulani herdsmen and their herd of cattle were on my farm eating up my cassava. I immediately rushed to the farm and what I saw was devastating. All my crops were uprooted and eaten by the cows. We called Amotekun who arrested the herders. They paid a mere N130,000 for their action. Though a symbolic gesture, I believe it may deter others in the future. I thank Amotekun for their intervention. They gave assurances that this would not happen in the future because of their regular patrols”
Other Iseyin farmers whose farm produce were destroyed by cattle also commended Amotekun for wading in and ensuring that the herdsmen were remorseful about their actions. Mr. Reuben was compensated with N100,000; Mr. Ewedele was paid N250,000 for the devastation to his farm while Mr. Ademola Jases received N50,000. Though they all agreed that the money they received can never compensate for the loss they sustained, they were nonetheless glad that the herders were forced to make some restitution for their actions, a feat they said was done with impunity in the past. They commended Amotekun for the way the corps made the Fulani herders know that their actions were reprehensible and cannot be condoned in Oyo State.
It would be recalled that the Commandant, Amotekun Corps, Oyo State, Col Olayinka Olayanju (retd), 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 of Oyo and Kwara states, 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.” He stated.
Col. Olayanju also pointed out that the corp is working in tandem with other sister security agencies in the state 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.