From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
A mass protest rocked Ogbomoso, Oyo State, on Monday over rising cases of kidnapping for ransom, killing of victims after ransom payments, and violent crimes across the five local government areas in the zone.
The protest, organised by the Ogbomoso Consultative Council and Ogbomoso Community Youth Forum, was triggered by the kidnapping and killing of a final year student of Fine and Applied Arts, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Racheal Opadele by her abductors last week Tuesday. She was kidnapped and killed alongside a hotelier, Gbenga Owolabi, by their abductors.
The protesters had converged on Takie Square, Ogbomoso. They moved from the meeting point to Sekooni, Oke-Elerin, Oja Jagun and ended the protest at Soun Ogunlola Town Hall, Ojaagbo.
The participants in the protest, which halted vehicular movement for hours, carried placards with inscriptions such as: ‘Enough is enough for kidnapping and killing’, ‘May God console the deceased families,’ ‘Ogbomoso is not conquered’, ‘We cannot continue with kidnapping’, and ‘Oyo and Federal Governments, come to our aids’.
The protesters also sang solidarity songs, calling on the government at all levels, relevant stakeholders and their ancestral fathers to do the needful over the insecurity challenges, turning the peaceful Ogbomoso into a danger zone.
Speakers during the rally included Aale of Oke-Elerin, Oba Samuel Babatunde Amao; Zonal Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Ogbomoso, Venerable Sunday Adegoke; and representative of Chief Imam of Ogbomoso, Sheik Yunus Ayilara. They stated that the peaceful protest was to organised to put up a joint security task force to improve the security architecture in Ogbomoso.
President of Ogbomoso Community Youth Forum, Rev Peter Olaleye, said: “Our ancestors are brave and bold. They were never conquered by any war, not even the dreaded Fulani war. We will never allow any intruder to take over our land; enough is enough.”
Some of the protesters asked the government to fish out the killers of the hotelier and the LAUTECH final year female student as well as abductors of the other people in Ogbomoso.