By Ibrahim Khalil
The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Bamidele Alabi, has paid operational visit to 32 Artillery Brigade Operational Base at Emure, Ekiti State, on Friday, 2 February, 2024.
Lieutenant Colonel Polycarp Okoye, Ag. Deputy Director Army Public Relations 2 Division Nigerian Army in a statement on Sunday said the visit was necessitated by the recent killing of two traditional rulers and kidnap of school children within the area. On Monday, 29 January, 2024, three traditional rulers in Ekiti State who were returning from a security meeting at Erelu – Ekiti, were attacked by gun men.
He also said Two amongst them, David Ogunsukin, the Elesun of Esun – Ekiti and Olatunde Olusola, the Onimojo of Omojola – Ekiti, were killed, while Oba Adebayo Fatoba, the Alara of Ara, escaped.
He further said Investigative reports, revealed that the perpetrators of the heinuous crime, were armed criminal gang, numbering about 6 and armed with 1 AK 47 rifle, 1 Pump Action Gun, a single Barrel Gun, Matchetes and Sticks.
Similarly, he added that on the same day, a kidnap incident took place in Ekiti, involving five students and some staff of Apostolic Faith Secondary School, Erelu in Eekiti State.
“The school is mixed with both boarding and day students. At the end of the day’s academic activities, the kidnapped victims were moving to Eperu, a settlement bordering Emure Ile in Ondo State, when some armed men intercepted their bus.
“Nine persons were abducted; amongst whom were, five students, two teachers, one driver and a bus assistant – caretaker.”
Briefing the GOC during his visit, the Commander, 32 Artillery Brigade, Brigadier General JR Lar, said that troops of 32 Brigade, in conjunction with the Police, Department of State Services (DSS), and other paramilitary agencies, including the local vigilante team, have been raiding the bushes, conducting search and rescue operations, clearance operations and intensifying efforts to trail the kidnappers.
He assured the GOC that efforts are in place to ensure that all persons connected to the killings and kidnap incidents are arrested and handed over to appropriate authorities.
“The State Assembly and Council of Obas, recently made resolutions prohibiting individuals or groups from residing in the bushes. This informed the current collaboration of the Police, NA and other security agencies, to clear the bushes of all illegal occupants and criminal elements”, he said.
General Lar said that the operation will continue and all efforts to achieve good results will be sustained.
The GOC applauded the efforts of the Brigade Commander and his team while urging them to intensify efforts towards capturing the criminal elements and restoring normalcy in the area.