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Incessant Bullion Vans Attacks

DAYS after the robbery at a new generation bank at Ilara-Mokin, there have been incessant attacks on bullion vans in the state.
THE Ilara-Mokin attack led to the untimely death of a promising journalist, Olubumi Afuye who was gunned down in his prime by the robbers.
EMBOLDENED by their success in the town, the state in the last one and a half months has been under the onslaught of dare devil armed robbers who unleashed wanton mayhem on people of the state .
WE recall that a gang of robbers in July launched a vicious attack on a bank bullion van coming to Akure from Ondo town. The robbers numbering about 15 failed in their operation as combined security operatives thwarted their move, but left three policemen injured.
ALSO, another set of robbers attacked another bullion van along Akure/Owo highway, shooting a policeman in the process.
In addition to these, three people, including two policemen and a civilian were killed when another armed gang attacked a bullion van in Ore, headquarters of Odigbo Local Government area of Ondo State. The robbery happened around 3:00pm when the armed robbers opened fire on the bullion van forcing the driver to stop before they were shot dead. In total, four policemen and three civilians were so far killed in the various attacks within one and a half months.
WE observed that in all the attacks no arrest has been made by the police in the state. Pathetically, we recalled that in The Hope Editorial of Wednesday July 28,2021, we recommended that to prevent future occurrence, security agencies should depend more on the use of technology instead of resulting to crude force.
We also called on the state government too to resuscitate the use of Armoured Personnel Carriers, APC, across the state to aid security agencies quick response to emergency.
WE also charged Mr. Governor to arrange a security summit for banks’ officials operating in the state and sensitize them on how to fortify their facilities and prevent future attacks.
WE are therefore calling on the state government to look critically at these recommendations, afterall security is a sensitive issue. Also, we are reminding the state government that after the blood chilling armed robbery in Ilara-Mokin, three bullion vans had been attacked and the police seem to be helpless in stopping the trend, these must have emboldened the robbers to lay siege on the state to carry out more attacks.
WHY the focus on bullion vans in the state? We suspect that it may have both economic and political undertones. The armed men may want to have more access to fund to continue carrying out their nefarious activities. They may also want to weaken the economy of Ondo State, make the state ungovernable and drive investors away. With continuous attacks on bullion vans are being attack, the economy of the state will be affected and thereby reducing the state’s economic power.
ON the political angle, the constant attacks may be to paint the state in a bad light thereby damaging the image of the state and the current government.
Success of continuous robbery attacks in the state could be as a result of internal collaborators. The snag of it all is that the robbers have now focused their attention on the hitherland considered as soft targets. This has led to the closure of many banks in the affected areas. And this has far reaching effects on the economic situation of the communities and the people who engage in one form of commercial activity or the other in the rural areas out of employment. It may further lead to more hardships for bank customers in such areas, since most communities don’t have access to internet banking.
THE Hope therefore call on the State Security agents to uncover the criminals and their sponsors terrorizing the state. Though, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mrs Funmilayo Odunlami has said that the police were on the trail of the assailants, we want the police to do more than trailing, they must spread their tentacles to effectively combat crimes, and arrest the hoodlums behind the persistent attacks on banks bullion vans .
ABOVE all, we urge local communities to be vigilant and promptly report strange movement in their areas to the police. They should also constitute themselves to vigilante groups to monitor every suspicious movement in their communities.

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