By Kolawole Olayinka Abeokuta
Ogun State Government has said it will investigate the circumstances that led to the killing of three students of Ojumo Community High School, Ihunbo in Ipokia Local Government Area, with a view to prevent a recurrence and bring the perpetrators to book.
This was contain in a press statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Kunle Somorin, said Governor Dapo Abiodun received with rude shock, the incident which resulted in the death of the three students with others sustaining various degrees of injuries, caused by a vehicle driven by an official of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) while chasing suspected smugglers.
The Governor noted that, it was painful that young children with promising futures lost their lives in such a manner, praying that the Almighty God would grant the families the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
In the heat of this incident, Governor Abiodun pleaded with the people of Ihunbo and its environs to be calm and patient, advising Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service to always apply caution during operations.
According to the Public Relations Officer for Customs Area Controller, Ogun Area 1 Command Abdullahi Maiwada said Monday, 07th October, 2019 at about 1.30pm Officers of Nigeria Customs Service Ogun Command on routine patrol arrested a vehicle (Mercedes Benz ML) suspected to have been smuggled into Nigeria. In the process of conveying the said vehicle driven by an Officer of the Service fully escorted by official patrol vehicle, an okada man conveying a passenger crossed their path.
In a swift response Maiwada said, by the time driver trying to avoid collusion with the okada rider, he lost control and rammed into some group of people coincidently on a market day of Ihumbo Community. Unfortunately one of the victims a twenty years old student of Ojumo Community Secondary School by name Opeyemi Odusinan instantly died and three people sustained various degrees of injuries.
Meanwhile as at the time of filling this report, two of the injured have been discharged with only one Sunday Adeniyi (Adult male Nigerian) receiving treatment at General Hospital Idiroko.
Also the Command wishes to register their deep heartfelt condolences to the family, school and friends of this young and promising child who lost his life in this unfortunate circumstances. We strongly commiserate with you in this trying moment and it is our prayer that God will give you the fortitude to bear this irreparable lost. The Command is also working assiduously to carter for the injured and to cushion the effect of this unintentional tragedy.
It is however important to condemn some mischief makers who hijacked the situation and attacked Customs vehicles within sight in a community known for upholding peace and rule of law.
Meanwhile, Normalcy has since been returned with the intervention of Police, Military personnel and other sister security agencies.
Also, members Federal House of Repredentative Abuja, Representing Egbado South/Ipokia Federal Constituency Hon. Kolawole Lawal Mobolorunduro MHR, also condemed the killing of Nigeria students for the sake rice or others smuglling items.
The Adele Oba of Oke Odan said he was shocked when he recieved the killing of some innocent school children by men of the Customs and excise in Ihunbo yesterday.
I totally condemn this killing which was an irresponsible and criminal act. I therefore call on the leadership of the department of Customs and Excise to bring the perpetrators to book. There is no excuse neither is there any justification for this barbaric and unwarranted killing.
He said, it is quite sad that the department seems to be rewarding our hospitality as a host border community with incessant and reckless killing of our people and this must stop. We are a peaceful community and our lives are sacrosanct. The law enforcement agents within our community must respect this and be cautious at all times.
It is high time that the department retrains its officers and men in the modern and globally accepted best practice of border control as done in other countries which value the life of their citizens. There are better and more efficient ways to go about their statutory duties other than the use of force at every opportunity.
While he commiserate with the parents, family members of the deceased. I also share in the grief of the entire Ihunbo community and Ipokia Local Government.