Residents of Ifon Community in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State have lamented over incessant killings in the area with a special reference to the gruesome murder of Hon Dele Isibor, the All Progressives Congress(APC) Secretary for Ose Local Government.
Speaking to Journalists during an emergency meeting which took place in the community town hall 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 sudden killing 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 in another round of pandemonium on the 13th of June, 2021, when kidnappers struck again along Imoru road in Ifon town, shooting sporadically at all the vehicles plying the route last weekend.
He said, the unfortunate incidence led to the killing of the APC chieftain, Dele Isibor, having sustained severe injuries from the gunshot and four people were kidnapped by the gunmen, noting that the influx of the heavily armed herdsmen from other neighbouring states into the forest reserves and farmland in and around the community now 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 (NSCDC), 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 under the leadership of Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredol (SAN) for all the numerous developmental projects carried out in Ifon so far by his administration, 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.
However, 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.”
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 in the state, serving as a boundary to 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 Buhari, the IGP, 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 an 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.
His words “We did trace them immediately so as to know where they will branch. They got to a certain place in the forest and blew whistled we saw another came out from the bush. But when they realized we were tracing them, they moved their bike and they were fully armed with weapons.
“We later tracked them, wrestled with them and we were able to get the bike rider. At the verge of it my partner was stabbed in the neck and his arm but one of them was apprehended and was handed over to the military officer who later released him for reasons known to them.”
Hon. Saliu Omotoso, a community leader and Secretary of Ifon security committee, said that the community 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.”
While reacting to the issue, the Police Public Relations Officer PPRO in the state, DSP Tee-Leo Ikoro, sympathized with the family of the deceased, adding that everyone knows that the country is going through a new phase of security challenges.
“The police are not magicians, it is the people that will give them information.
His words, “Concerning the issue of the monarch that was killed last year, an investigative team is carrying out an investigation as ordered by the Commissioner of Police.”
He enjoined the community being the boarder town to be at alert and always report any issue that they are not identified with, adding that the entire country needs attention and the police need more people to help.
While stating that logistic is a major problem of the police, Ikoro pleaded that the people can help them in any way they can.