The Ondo State Government has ordered the return of the 45 youths who were arrested in Okitipupa, the headquarters of Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state, to their states of origin.
The youths were said to be apprehended in a trailer by men of the Ondo State Security Network Agency also known as Amotekun on Thursday evening.
When interrogated, the northerners were said to have come to the state for a military training in the army barracks in Okitipupa, but the soldiers in the barracks reportedly rejected them as there was no signal to that effect.
Speaking on the matter 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.
He said, “The security situation we found ourselves in the last 72 hours was a very precarious one. If not that it was discretely and professionally handled and well managed by officials of government, particularly Amotekun Commander and SSA on security, the situation would have degenerated to the extent of lynching and jungle justice.
“What government is trying to do today (Sunday) is to ensure that the way they came to the state, they will leave the state safely, peacefully and unhurt, so that when they get to their various states, they will also testify to their state government and their people that the movement that brought them to Ondo State was an unclear one and the state government had to protect them and move them back to their state.”
He warned government officials from speaking on security issues, saying, “I have the instructions and the directive of Mr Governor to use this medium inform everybody, particularly, government officials, that any security situation we found ourselves, the first point of contact must be security agencies.”
While parading the illegal travellers in Akure, the state capital, the Commander of the Amotekun Corps, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, said the men claimed they came for private security training.
He explained that the explanation provided by the men and women were not satisfactory to the state government.
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 would engage them as security guards to monitor and guide the pipelines.
He stated, “In the last three days, there have been issues relating to the invasion of the state by alleged Fulani men. So, we monitored and we found out that they converged on the 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.”
Speaking on the sponsors of the youths, Adeleye said from detailed investigation, the corps was able to narrow it down to their sponsors.
SOURCE: PUNCH NIGERIA