Nigerians are furious over the killing of two traditional rulers and the kidnapping of six elementary school students in Ekiti. The country’s insecurity is becoming more and more of a problem.
According to The Nation, the monarchs were killed on Monday in the Oke-Ako Community in the state’s Ikole Local Government Area.
Six students, three teachers, and the bus driver were abducted on the same day as they were returning from school along Eporo-Ekiti road.
It was learned that at approximately five o’clock in the evening, a school bus carrying them was diverted by alleged abductors, who then snatched them up and fled in another car.
The kidnappers demanded a ransom of N100 million last night, or N10 million for each victim.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the president, issued security men to secure the release of the pupils and arrest the killers of the monarchs.
The kidnapping and killing of the monarchs was denounced by Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Lekan Balogun, Ekiti State Governor Biodun Oyebanji, Senate Leader Opeyemi Bamidele, Minister of Solid Minerals Development Dele Alake, Speaker of the Ekiti House of Assembly Adeoye Aribasoye, and Yoruba Leaders of Thought (YLT).
Tinubu orders the arrest of gunmen and the quick rescue of victims of kidnapping.
Tinubu ordered the pupils, their teachers, and the driver to be rescued as well as the quick arrest of those responsible for the deaths of the two traditional rulers.
The President called the murders and kidnapping “mindless and brutal” in a statement provided by Ajuri Ngelale, his Special Advisor on Media and Publicity.
As he expressed his condolences to the families of the monarchs and Governor Oyebanji, Tinubu guaranteed that the security architecture of the country was getting the necessary attention.
“President Bola Tinubu received the news of the killing of two traditional rulers in Ekiti State, the Onimojo of Imojo-Ekiti, Oba Olatunde Samuel Olusola, and the Elesun of Esun-Ekiti, Oba David Babatunde Ogunsola, with grief,” reads the statement from Ngelale.
“President Tinubu vows that the perpetrators will not elude justice and denounces this senseless and heinous bloodletting.
“On this extremely painful development, the President extends his condolences to the families and subjects of the traditional rulers, Governor Oyebanji, and the people of Ekiti State.”
“In the same spirit, the President orders the prompt rescue of students and instructors abducted in the Eporo-Ekiti region of the state.”
Five people are reportedly under arrest for kidnapping in the Iju/Ikere boundary, according to the state Police command.
It gave the names of the suspects as Usman Jelili, Mohammed Bande, Abubakar Aliu, Suleiman Abdulah and Isah Abdullahi.
Spokesman for the command, Sunday Abutu, said in a statement that the arrest was made by a combined team of Police, Army, Amotekun, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and hunters.
He explained that during interrogation, “the suspects claimed to be herdsmen but it was later discovered that none of them has a cow and no cattle was found in the forest where they were arrested.”
Two motorcycles, a cutlass, a dagger and four telephone handsets were recovered from them.
The suspects were not linked to the latest incidents.
Oyebanji: Do not despair
Governor Oyebanji urged residents of the state not to despair as efforts were in top gear to rescue the victims unhurt.
The governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Yinka Oyebode, described the incident as callous and unacceptable.
Oyebanji said that security was being stepped up across the state to flush out criminals.
Bamidele, Alake, Ekiti Speaker, Olubadan task security agencies
Senate Leader Bamidele, Solid Minerals Development Minister Dele Alake and Ekiti State Assembly Speaker Aribasoye urged security agencies to fish out the killers of the traditional rulers and rescue all the abducted persons.
Bamidele condoled with the people of the affected communities and the entire state over the killings.
He said: “I promise to work with Governor Oyebanji to come up with legislative measures that will enhance effective policing of all communities in the state and beyond.
“The killing of traditional rulers is a sacrilege. We will not fold our hands and allow criminal elements to desecrate our traditional institutions; destroy lives and property in the state and push the state in palpable fear.”
Alake said: “The tragic incidents in Ekiti State, again, speak to the challenges of insecurity in our country, which the President Tinubu-led administration is working very hard to surmount.
“On behalf of my family, I send our condolences to Governor Oyebanji; the government and people of Ekiti State, especially the families and subjects of our departed kings.
“I urge the security agencies to fish out the assailants and ensure they face the full wrath of the law until justice is served.
“In the same vein, I call on the Police high command and the State Security Service to rescue the primary school pupils from Emure-Ekiti who were kidnapped on their way from school at Eporo-Ekiti.
“There is no doubt that this is a very distressing moment for the people of Ekiti State and Nigerians in general, but the Federal Government under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu will continue to work very hard to improve the security situation in our country.”
Speaker Aribasoye said it was saddening that “some agents of darkness” have resolved to create undue fear and tension in the state.
“This twin ugly incident is a siege. This looks to me like a plot to unsettle this peaceful state. This will not stand, God will intervene and the law will prevail,” he said.
The speaker announced that an emergency plenary of the Assembly would be held today to address the developments.
Oba Balogun, who also asked security agencies to do more, said the killing of the Ekiti monarchs was disturbing.
He, however, praised the security agencies for the reported feats they recorded in the last two weeks
Also yesterday, YLT described as unacceptable the Monday incidents and challenged security agencies to step up their game.
Ekiti govt, Southwest PDP clash
The Southwest chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the state government clashed over the murder of traditional rulers.
While the PDP blamed insecurity in the state on Oyebanji, the state government accused the opposition party of lacking empathy.
The PDP, in a statement by its Zonal Publicity Secretary, Sanya Atofarati, said Oyebanji has failed in administering the state, especially in the area of insecurity.
The party added that it was disappointing that life had lost its value under the APC-led government.
“Nigeria has now become a terrible nightmare,” the PDP lamented and called on the governor to resign if he could not secure the lives and property of the people.
But, the state Commissioner for Information, Taiwo Olatunbosun, described the PDP as a disillusioned party seeking recognition.
Olatunbosun cautioned the opposition party against playing politics with the crucial issue of security of lives and property.
He also admonished the party “to be serious and patriotic for once.”
The commissioner said the governor would not resign because he has the mandate of the Ekiti people to preside over their affairs.
Southwest Speakers back demand
The Southwest Conference of Speakers called for multi-level policing.
They spoke after visiting Makinde to commiserate with him on the January 16 explosion in the Bodija area of Ibadan.
Ekiti Speaker, Mr Olubunmi Adelugba, said the visit was part of their consultations with Southwest governors on security, regional integration and development.
He said: “It is time to have state police by moving policing from exclusive list to concurrent list, where every state can take control of security situation in their respective states.”
“It is also important for us in the Southwest to have harmonised legislation, particularly in the area that we have common challenges and common issues.”