By Temitope Adedeji, Akure
The Ifon Community in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State has expressed displeasure over high the profile killings in the area with special reference to the gruesome murder of Hon. Dele Isibor, the All Progressives Congress(APC) Secretary of the Local Government.
Speaking with Weaternpost during an emergency meeting that took place in the community townhall in Ifon, the Coordinator of Progressive Minds, Hon. Olaniyi Eni-Olotu said the killing of Isibor, which occurred last weekend, was coming when the area was yet to recover from the murder of the Olufon of Ifon, late Oba Israel Adegoke Adeusi on the 26th of November, 2020 by yet to be identified gunmen at Elegbeka village while returning from a meeting in Akure.
Eni-Olotu lamented that the community was thrown into another round of pandemonium 13th June, when kidnappers struck again along Imoru road in Ifon town, shooting sporadically at the vehicles plying the route.
According to Eni-Olotu, the indiscriminate shooting led to the death of Isibor, having sustained severe injuries from the gunshot, while four people were kidnapped by the gunmen.
He noted that the influx of heavily armed herdsmen from other neighbouring states into the forest reserves and farmland in and around the community is making life miserable for farmers and the inhabitants of the area.
The armed men were said to be terrorising the area and responsible for the kidnapping and armed robberies occurring in the community lately.
Eni-Olotu said: “it is so sad to note that the Police Divisional Headquarters in Ifon as well as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ifon office have no functional patrol vehicles which constitutes a major challenge for the security agencies in doing their job effectively and efficiently.”
While commending the Ondo State government for all the numerous developmental projects carried out in Ifon so far, the community pleaded for special consideration to be given to Ifon indigenes for recruitment into the Amotekun Corps, as they are more familiar with the terrain and work more to fight insecurity confronting the area.
The community also pleaded for the intervention of the President, Inspector General of Police and the government to fish out the killers of Oba Israel Adegoke Adeusi and Dele Isibor in order to bring them to book without further delay.
“We also appeal that for the provision of patrol vehicles for the security agencies in Ifon to enhance their smooth operations of securing the land, also through heavy deployment of security operatives, especially to the forest reserves.
“All illegal occupants of the forest reserves and farmlands must be chased out without further delay,” he added.
One of the community leaders, Mr. Sunday Amudeli, who spoke at the meeting said that Ifon community had been in the news for over a year as a result of insecurity and other wrong reasons either about killing or kidnapping.
Amudeli further stated that Ifon occupies a strategic location, serving as a boundary between Edo and Ondo states.
His words: “A Mobile Police Station is needed as a matter of urgency or an establishment of a military barracks or a naval base. The community is conducive and is ready to provide the land for stability, peace and to maintain law and order.”
Meanwhile, Pastor Phillip Ajakaye, who is the Ose Local Government PFN chairman, said that Christians have put heads together to pray because the community needs the intervention of God.
“Ifon community needs serious attention, with the Living God on our side, the intervention of the government and individuals we will succeed, ” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Youths, Abdullahi Ekere said that they do not want to take law into their hands, that is why they are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, the IGP, the military and the state government to provide effective security in the area.
While speaking in an interview with journalists, another Ifon indigene, Mr. Adeola Adedipe said that information reached them that two people came to buy food in large quantity, enough to feed ten people and as they were going, another person joined them in the bush.
Adedipe said the people were traced to know what they wanted to do with the food they bought.
“They got to a certain place in the forest and blew whistle. We saw another man came out from the bush. But when they realized we were tracing them, they moved their bike and they were fully armed with weapons,” he said.
Narrating further, he said they continued to trace and engaged them in a fight, adding that in the process, his partner was stabbed in the neck and arm but one of them was apprehended and handed over to the military.
He, however, said that the man was later released him for unknown reasons by the military.
Hon. Saliu Omotoso, a community leader and Secretary of Ifon Security Committee, called on the government to come to their rescue by giving the youths and hunters room to compliment efforts of the security agencies.
“We enjoin all our brothers and sisters to let us join hands together to support the police so that they can checkmate these criminals,” he said.