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Security Adversaries Rise Again In Ondo State

Bank robbery attacks are one of the few insecurity challenges faced by members of society. This challenge does not only affect members of the society but is also a concern to the government and all security agencies it affects.

A case study of this menace is a state in western Nigeria, Ondo state founded in 1976 known by its slogan as Sunshine state. Ondo state shares a border with Ekiti to the north; Kogi to the Northeast; Edo to the East, Delta state to the Southwest; Osun to the northwest; and the Atlantic Ocean to the South.

Akure Robbery Attack Of 2010

One of the most unforgettable robbery attacks in the state was the Thursday, June 17, 2010 robbery attack at the popular Oba-Adesida in Akure, the state capital. It was a moment of sadness and tears in the state as banks were robbed and residents lost their loved ones to the incident. If you should ask a resident of Akure about the attack, such will have a lot to say about the sad incident.

Owo Robbery Attack Of 2015

Five years after the 2010 Akure bank robbery, it was Owo, a well-known local government in the state that serves as one of the economic hubs of the state. On the 26th of March, 2015, men of the underworld invaded the ancient town of Owo and carry out their attacks on banks in front of Olowo’s palace, Mobile roundabout/Ijebu and Oke-Ogun axis of the town led to souls lost including that of a bank manager who refused to ‘cooperate’ with them.

The 2015 Owo robbery attack led to the economic shutdown of the town for two months. Commercial banks had to shut for two months as a result of the occurrence.

This resulted in Owo residents travelling to nearby towns in the state before they can get money from their bank account and this consequently caused inflation on goods and services.

Robbery cases in the state have become worrisome as residents of the state have been gripped with fear and tension over the incessant attacks. Aside from those cases cited, there are other robbery cases in Ikare, Ile-Oluji, Ose, and many more.

Ondo State Recent Robbery Attacks

The recent attacks on banks in both Ilara-Mokin, Ifedore local government, and the Yaba area in Ondo town of the state have become a concern for all. The residents of Ondo state now live in fear as no one knows where will be targeted next.

The July 15th bank robbery in Ilara-Mokin led to the demise of Ondo Journalist, Olubunmi Afuye, a bike man and a policeman, as reported. A week after that, another robbery attack happened at a bank in the Yaba area of Ondo town but no life was lost, according to findings

Media Expert Advises On Being Proactive

In an exclusive interview, the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ondo Chapter, Comrade Adetona Aderoboye, described the recent bank robbery attacks in the state as a call for concern while demanding that perpetrators of such evil acts be apprehended and brought to book.

“The resurgence of bank robbery particularly that of Ilara-Mokin which claimed the life of about four persons including Olubunmi Afuye leaves a sour taste in the mouth.”

The NUJ helmsman emphasised the importance of security, urging the government and security agencies to be more proactive in carrying out their tasks and intensify their efforts in gathering intelligence.

“For this to have happened at this hour, we are now calling on the government. We want them to up their game and do all that is necessary to ensure that there would not be a repeat of this kind of incident.”

Speaking about the late Olubunmi Afuye, whose life was cut short by highway robbers, Comrade Aderoboye describes the late press officer as a well-behaved and promising personality in the council. “The Ondo state NUJ council members are deeply mourning the loss of Olubunmi Afuye. He was a promising young man who knows his onions. A man that all of us love because of the way he comports himself, well behaved and well known,” he said.

On the topic of security for media men and residents in the State, Aderoboye likened journalists to the goose that lays the golden egg, which must be protected. He stated that the fourth estate of the realm covers events daily even in a disturbed environment, which shows the relevance of what Ondo state journalists. 

“Journalists in Ondo state should be given adequate security anywhere we are covering our assignments, our job as media men are full of hazards. Every day we face a lot of risk in the cause of carrying out our constitutional duties. It is only the media men that have the responsibility of holding the government accountable to the people and we have been interacting with the government and security agencies to provide security measures for journalists in the cause of performing their responsibilities.”

Amotekun Should Do More

The Chairperson of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Ondo State, Mrs Doris Olumoko lamented over the poor level of security not just in Ondo state but Nigeria as a whole. 

“It is really sad we are not safe anywhere. We now need to start calling the government on their feet. Security agencies and government should start thinking of measures to curb this. There is a high level of insecurity in Nigeria.”

While responding to the death of late Bunmi Afuye, her pain could be felt in the phone conversation as she prayed for the family and loved ones the deceased left behind. However, she commended the Amotekun Network and other security agencies for their efforts so far and urged them to focus on restoring peace and security to the state.

The Goal Of Collective Responsibility

The Dean of Students’ Affairs, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Owolewa, believes the security men have their ways and are capable of dealing with robbery attacks.  

The Dean said: “It is not strange as long as the security men are doing their best and are capable of handling the situation.”

According to him, it is a short and long time of action that should be taken as he advises security men to be up and doing. “Security is not a task of security men alone. Everybody is involved. The people of Ondo state should provide information that would help.”

Procurement Of Modern And Adequate Equipment

Professor Olumekun in Adekunle Ajasin University agrees that security is not just a responsibility of the government but also a task for citizens to provide information.

“Everybody is afraid now because the security situation is so slack. It is the responsibility of the government to provide security. The citizens are to provide information but the responsibility lies on the government and we are expecting the government to do what is expected to do for us.”

The Professor, while reacting to the attack noted that he sees the insecurity of the state as the same level of insecurity being experienced across the nation where no one is safe and everybody is afraid. He, however, advised the government to provide enough manpower and equipment for security agencies to fight crimes in society.

Amotekun And Police To Adopt Technological Training

The BBC reporter in the state, Shola Ilesanmi, described the death of Bunmi Afuye as a tragic and traumatic experience for him, noting it was a personal loss to him and the professional body. 

“We are brothers, we spoke several times about our plans on what we wanted to do, during Masters, PhD, and our careers, we had a lot of lofty plans on our career but hearing the news about his demise brings trauma to me that my own very good friend died tragically.”

The former Ondo State Radiovision Corporation (OSRC) reporter noted that the issue on the ground is beyond just having police on the street, that what is key is their ability to respond appropriately. “If there is a robbery on this street today, I doubt if people will call the police because they know the police will not come and they won’t come because they are handicapped.”

He acknowledged that the Governor is trying with the creation of the State Police, Amotekun Corps, but also disclosed that Amotekun has its limitations in terms of possession of ammunition and operational logistics. He advised the government to further equip the Amotekun corps, with more people on board, and also to work on technological ways to fight crime.

Using Intelligence Gathering 

The current Ondo State TV reporter of the year, Richard Ilesanmi disclosed that having a robust intelligence security gathering by collaborating with people at the grassroots level is the solution to end crime and criminalities in the state.

“They need to do more intelligence gathering among the people, and if there is any information, they can easily call them to give them vital information.”

He advised that the security personnel need to relate more with people and be accessible. And also emphasized the need for government to do more to encourage the security personnel.

“There are occasions where people give police information and at the end of the day, that person will turn out to be the first suspect, so this should change. It’s not enough to carry a gun on an empty stomach, their morals will not be boasted, and also they will put a call through to them and most of them will give excuses like they don’t have fuel in their vehicles.”

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