The Ondo State government has evacuated 42 suspected invaders, who were arrested recently by men of the Ondo State Security Network, Amotekun, at Okitipupa, the headquarters of Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state.
The invasion of the men who said they were in the state for security training created tension in the community following the alarm raised by the residents, calling the attention of the Amotekun corps to the development.
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Speaking on the arrest of the invaders, the state Commander of Amotekun in the state, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, said the 42 men were arrested following their inability to explain their mission in the state.
According to him, the suspected invaders who hailed from Kano and Jigawa states claimed that they were invited to the state by an agent who will engage them as a security guard to monitor and guide pipelines in the state.
Adeleye said, “In the last three days, there have been issues relating to the invasion of the state by alleged Fulani men. Our intel showed us the influx of some people, especially to the Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state. So, we monitored and we found out that they converged in front of the army barracks in Okitipupa.
“They were there for a couple of hours and at that point, we tried to find out what their mission is, but because they couldn’t give satisfactory explanations, we moved them to our local office first in Okitipupa to try to debrief them and from the debriefing at Okitipupa, we had to move them to the state headquarters for proper debriefing.
“When they arrived, we profiled them and we found out that they were primarily from two major states, Kano and Jigawa states. The mission that they claimed they came for was not too clear and upon profiling, we found out that the majority of them didn’t even know how they got to where they got to.
“All they were told was they were going for training. Training for who, by who or whatsoever, they do not know.
“Speaking on the sponsors of the youths, Adeleye said “from the detailed investigation, we were able to narrow it down to their sponsors.
“The sponsors happened to also claim that they belong to an NGO, that they contracted out the training to a consultant who was supposed to train their men. They said they were going to train them as security guards.
“But as part of our discreet investigation, we found out that the so-called consultant had been arrested in Delta State and I confirmed from the Delta State Police Command as of today that he was still in their custody. So, we intend to release them, we will release all these ones and ensure that they are taken back to their states.”
He explained that they decided to release them because “right now we look at them as a security risk to the state, and at this point, we invited the sponsors, the head of the NGO and chairman of the board have also offered an explanation.
“But we feel that we should let the people of Ondo State know that there is no crisis in Okitipupa Local Government Area. The way it was portrayed as if some hoodlums or militants had taken over is not true.
“We want to reassure the good people of Ondo State that we are firmly on the ground in conjunction with other security agencies and that there is no problem. People should go about their businesses normally.
“We are not leaving any stone unturned and we have ensured that our intelligence unit had covered the entire state and we’ll alert the public on any wrong move. We intend to provide escort to lead them out of Ondo State back to wherever they came from.”
Meanwhile, the state government has urged the people of the state not to take the law into their hands and should not hesitate to report any strange movement in their community.
Speaking on behalf of the state government, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation in the state, Donald Ojogo, commended the Amotekun corps for handling the situation maturely and professionally.