By Adekola Afolabi
Alarmed by the violence and destruction unleashed on Omolege, a serene agrarian community in Ose Local Government area of Ondo State by unknown gunmen, the state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has vowed that the perpetrators would not go unpunished.
Similarly he promised that the arsonists when arrested will be treated like criminals assuring that such a dastardly incident would not reoccurred or be tolerated in any part of the state.
Akeredolu stated this yesterday when he visited Omolege where some gunmen allegedly numbering about 50, suspected to be Fulani herdsmen killed three people and razed down several houses in the community overnight.
He charged security agents to fish out the perpetrators, their sponsors and collaborators, assuring the community that such incident will not be allowed in any part of Ondo State.
During the attack which took place on Thursday’s night, the community head was also killed, while other villagers took to their heels.
Akeredolu, who commiserated with the people over the death of their loved ones, particularly the community head, said no government would be happy with the unwarranted killings of the people.
The Governor visited the scene in company of the state Commissioner of Police, Oyediran Oyeyemi; Commander of Amotekun Corps, Adetunji Adeleye; and members of the State Executive Council.
Akeredolu, while describing the attacks on the community as unfortunate, vowed that concerted efforts would be made to ensure that such attack does not reoccur.
He charged the people to be prepared, nothing that the herdsmen are becoming too problematic. We are not sleeping. You can see Police and Amotekun here. With this one they have done, we will ensure that it is their last evil act here.
“Those behind this are criminals. Those supporting them are all criminals too. Anyone who commits crime will answer for it. The Police and Amotekun with other security agencies will set out and bring them to justice. We will treat them like criminals.
“Both the Police and Amotekun have briefed me that they were being shot at. But for their boldness and courage, the criminals would have over powered them.
“I want to assure you, don’t be scared. Three people died here. But we are still on their trail. They have ran to Edo now. But for the houses that were razed down, government will bring relief materials. We will rebuild the ones razed completely, ” Akeredolu said.
Earlier, the Akarigbo of Ute Land, Chief Felix Olabode, narrated how the ugly incident happened.
He said:”I was home when we heard that some gunmen came here and killed people here. We came here immediately, we met a dead body. These buildings have not been razed.
“When we alerted the Police, the DPO came and we didn’t know that those people were still around. Not less than 30 minutes after the Police evacuated the dead bodied, the gunmen came back and razed these buildings down.
“They used guns to scare people away, and then brought their cows to graze on people’s farm and drink water. When they are leaving too, they also use guns to scare people away and left. We have seen the level of damage. People have left here. We are begging the government to come to our rescue.”
The Coordinator of the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) in the area, Folorunso Olofe disclosed that the gunmen were always attacking the people with AK 47.
“This has been happening for long. They are always coming with AK 47, they were more than 50 . One Amotekun officer was hit with a bullet during the attack. They came and killed the Baale. Police came and evacuated the dead bodies and not up to 15 minutes, they came back and razed this place, ” he narrated.
According to the villagers, the gunmen attacked the community following the refusal of the residents to allow the herdsmen to graze on their farmlands.