Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
Following the incessant killings being experienced in Ekiti State in recent times, the state police command has begun mass raid of black spots across the 133 towns to dislodge criminals.
Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bello Ahmed, gave the directive, on Tuesday, sequel to the shooting of Mr. Bunmi Ojo, former Personal Assistant to former Governor Segun Oni and other victims in Ado-Ekiti.
Ojo, who was a National Commissioner on the Board of Federal Character Commission (FCC), was killed on Friday night around Adebayo Area of Ado-Ekiti metropolis by unknown gunmen.
Another yet-to-be identified persons were simultaneously killed in Ikere and Ado-Ekiti, on Monday, which fueled suspicion that cultists and desperate politicians might have hijacked the space.
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The police boss, who spoke through the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, disclosed that the raid , which began on Tuesday, was targeted at ridding the state of criminals.
He said some police began the raid operation on hotels and drinking pubs, on Tuesday, where scores of suspects were arrested.
“We have been raiding even before the July 14 election, but we intensified efforts for mass raid when the killings were becoming incessant. We need to curb such unwholesome situation and this will continue until normalcy returns.
“We are quite aware of the fact that when raids are conducted, some innocent people we be arrested and that was why our men normally screened the victims to know their identities. But many of those arrested were suspected cultists and our people should not exhibit fear”, he said.
However, the a former Chairman of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Barr. Samuel Agbede, has clarified that nobody was killed during the violent clash between members of the union on Tuesday.
Agbede also absolved himself of complicity in the crisis, saying he had refused to partake in the running of the union when he resigned on July 20, 2018 as the State Chairman of the union.
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Members of the RTEAN embarked on violent protest following the arrest of one of their leaders and former state’s Chairman, Mr. Rotimi Olabiwonnu, by the police.
He said a caretaker committee, led by Mr. Olalekan Amusan from RTEAN headquarters, in Abuja, has been in charge of the union since he bowed out, saying those trying to forcefully take over leadership roles should be arrested , rather than linking him to the crisis.
The RTEAN boss said he decided to quit willingly as the State Chairman when it was obvious that the group loyal to Olabiwonnu (aka Mentilo) was allegedly desperate to hijack power and cause mayhem, which he feared could lead to death of innocent souls.
According to Agbede, “I was shocked and embarrassed to learn that my name was mentioned in the leadership tussle in RTEAN.
“If I was interested in position, would I have resigned as the State Chairman? I valued my name and integrity and that was why I took that step.
“What led to the crisis was the arrest of Mr. Olabiwonnu by the police following attacks by his group on three members of the Caretaker Committee suspected to belong to another camp .
“It was those that were attacked that reported to the police leading to Olabiwonnu’s arrest . It was this arrest that made his supporters to be destabilising the town, so I have no hands in it”, he said.