Community Leaders of Ifon Local Government Area of Ondo State have lamented the spate of incessant kidnappings in the community.
The Chiefs stated this during a press conference on Friday in the town, marking the first year after the murder of the monarch of the community, Oba Adegoke Adeusi.
Late Oba Adegoke Adeusi 1, joined his ancestors on Thursday, 26 November, 2020, after he was kidnapped and killed by armed men on the highway right within his domain at Elegbeka village, a few kilometers from Ifon.
Speaking on behalf of the chiefs, the Ogwadogbon of Ifon and President of Ifon Development Union, Olufemi Awani said the community has unfortunately become a red spot for armed criminal gangs.
He said: “The spate of insecurity in the land is widespread, if not nationwide. However, he who feels it, knows it and we are under constant threat of bandits, armed robbers and kidnappers. We call on the government to save our souls.
“Only last Monday, 22nd November at the same Nigercat Quarry Junction at Elegbeka, a prominent businessman at Ifon and the Head of the Igbo Community, Eze Donatus Okereke was abducted by gun wielding kidnappers.
“Sometime in early July, one of our prominent sons and an APC stalwart — Dele Isibor — was attacked by armed bandits in broad daylight on Ifon-Imoru road close to the local government Secretariat. He gave up the ghost about two weeks later as a result of the “gunshot wounds sustained during the attack.
According to him, “We as a people have come to accept the inevitability of death as the way of all mortals, but there remains the throbbing pain in our hearts: Who killed the Olufon? This all important question has remained unanswered for the last one year! We are not unaware of the fact that solving this type of riddle can be quite painstaking but the stoical silence from all quarters on the matter over the past year is very worrisome and distressing to say the least.
“We have no doubt in the ability and the capacity of the security agencies especially the Police Force to unravel the ‘mystery’ if only properly addressed. We demand justice in this matter but then, justice delayed is justice denied. It is in the light of the foregoing that we as a people on this first anniversary are again making this clarion call to government at all levels and their security agencies in particular to step up efforts at bringing the perpetrators of the heinous crime to book.”
The chief said apprehending the killers of Oba Adeusi and bringing them to justice will definitely assuage some of their pains, enhance the healing process and also serve as deterrent to other criminally minded people in the society at large.
“We therefore passionately appeal to the authorities, the Police in particular — not to consign the gruesome murder of the first class monarch to the dustbin of history of unresolved.
“Again, one year on, the Olufon Stool has remained vacant with its detrimental consequences on the town and its people. We had hoped for a speedy process in filling the vacancy given the manner of transition of Oba Adeusi and earlier assurances from the government but all hopes have become forlorn.
He called on the state government to expedite action so that the community can have another monarch in no distant time.
“This is causing unease in our land as there seem to be no plausible explanation for the delay. On our part, we have commenced the first step – nomination of warrant Chiefs, in lieu of kingmakers, following the due process for approval by the state government. However, we have waited in vain for the approval let alone getting the nod for the next ruling house to nominate candidate(s) for the vacant stool for the consideration of the kingmakers. The delay on the part of government has given room to speculations, innuendoes.
“We therefore call on the Ondo State government to expedite action on the selection of a new Olufon. Ifon community is desirous of having a Kabiyesi soonest”, Olufemi added.
Reacting, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Funmilayo Odunlami said the police are still trailing the killers of the monarch.
“Information has it then that he was shot and I can assure you that investigation is ongoing concerning the issue. We have a Divisional police station in the community, highway patrol men and other security architecture to ensure adequate security.”