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Oba Akoko violence: Gov sets up panel

By Chris Chimezie
Shocked by the degree of violence in Oba-Akoko town on Saturday, Ondo State Govenor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has ordered a panel of inquiry to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the riot.

Akeredolu gave the directive when he visited the beleaguered town with top government officials to assess the situation.

Oba-Akoko in Akoko South West went up in flames during a fracas on the House of Assembly election.

The governor who was visibly unhappy at the level of devastation of police station, exhibit vehicles at the station and a barrack, wondered why the perpetrators embarked on “such height of criminality and law lessness.

He called on Police and other security agencies to enforce government directive to restrict internal human and vehicular movements in the town.

At the palace of Oloba, Governor Akeredolu regretted that despite the several phone calls made to Oba Nurudeen Adegoroye to prevail on his people to maintain peace and order, the people rebuffed sense of reasoning.

Akeredolu who was visibly angry at the situation, said all the perpetrators would be made to face the full wrath of the law and reaffirmed that the order earlier placed on human and vehicular movement in the town continues.

“People traveling can be allowed to move out, but we must take precautions and have as many of those involved in this arrested, they will face the full wrath of the law.

“Please let our directives be complied with to the letter. Nobody moves in and out of Oba for the time being until further notice,” he said.

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The Governor who stressed the importance of peaceful co-existence among people of the state, restated his zero tolerance to all forms of criminal activities.

The traditional ruler who expressed regrets over the incident said all appeals and efforts made to pacify the youth not to foment trouble before, during and after the election fell on deaf ears.

Earlier, the State Commissioner of Police, CP, Andie Undie, briefing the Governor on the ugly incident, thanked him for visiting the Oba-Akoko Police Station to access the level of destruction orchestrated by irate youths of the community.

According to him, election had virtually been concluded and youths who were politically motivated illegally blocked the highway to prevent the Police and INEC officials from moving with the results to the local government Collation Centre.

“Surprisingly, they did not end up at the highway, they mobilized into this Police Station and caused many damages, but so far, we have effected some arrests and deployments have been made to the town to restore peace and order to the community”, he said.

Among properties destroyed by the youth included; police patrol vehicle, some other vehicles belonging to police officers as well as the DPO’s lodge and other private properties in the community.

The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), ASP Mayegun Adewale who conducted the governor and the Commissioner of Police round the station and other strategic places in the town said the hoodlums were not only youths.

He said the sporadic shootings by the criminals showed the calibre of firearms with them and the fact that they were prepared and well coordinated for the ugly incidence.

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Narrating his experience, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Security Matters, Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo, said he got an information that Oba-Akoko youths were planning to snatch electoral materials which included ballot boxes among others coming from Ose-Oba axis.

He further explained that the security personnel had to embark on a fierce security operation to dislodge the miscreants before the electoral officials and materials used in the election could be rescued to the Collation Centre in Iwaro- Oka.

Oba-Akoko, one of the major towns in Akoko South West local government area of the state is now a ghost town following the violence that erupted in the area, as community was deserted and the few people that locked themselves inside were seen peeping through the windows of their houses.

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