Following the killing of a final year students of Fine and Applied Arts, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Racheal Opadele by her abductors on Tuesday last week, the joint security taskforce in the state, codenamed, Operation Burst, and operatives of Amotekun Corps, on Sunday stormed forests in Surulere Local Government Area of Ogbomoso in search of criminals terrorising the political zone of the state.
The gunmen had on July 28 abducted Racheal in a hotel, where she worked as a receptionist to get occupied, pending the time the strike embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), since February 14, 2022 would be called off. She was abducted alongside the owner of the hotel, Mr Olugbenga Owolabi.Both of them were killed by their abductors after collecting N5million ransom. Though the person that took the ransom to the kidnappers at a designated spots on Ogbomoso-Ilorin Road escaped with gunshot injury, the commercial motorcyclist, Idowu Ajagbe, who took the man to pay the ransom was also killed by the kidbappers.
Sources said the operation was successful as some of the suspected criminals, including kidnappers, were arrested. Some of the gunmen were said to have engaged the security agents in gun duel, after which some of the suspects were neutralised. Arms and ammunition were also said to have been recovered from fbr hideouts of the gunmen.
As gathered, one hotel reportedly being used as a meeting point by some criminals were also said to have been angrily destroyed during the operation. The hotel, sources said, was founded by a retired security agent.
The operation also led to the recovery of some guns and bullets carefully concealed in a makeshift shop of a tea vendor, called ‘Mai tea’. The makeshift shop was said to be used as armoury by some of the criminals.
The Commandant of Amotekun Corps in Oyo State, Colonel Olayinka Olayanju (retd), confirmed to journalists on Sunday night that the operations was carried out. He described it as a clearance operation that is still ongoing in Ogbomoso and it’s environs.
The rate of kidnapping in Ogbomoso zone has, however, attracted the attention of prominent indigenes and youth of the community, who have decided to stage a protest on spate of insecurity in Ogbomoso on Monday August 8, 2022.
A former military governor of Oyo State, Major General Oladayo Popoola (retd), Justice Afolabi Adeniran and Dr Saka Balogun, who are natives of Ogbomoso are expected to lead the protest.
The President of Ogbomoso Community Youth Forum, Rev. Kayode Olaleye, in a statement made available to journalists on Sunday, read in part: “In view of the deteriorating security situation in Ogbomoso zone, as evident in recent waves of kidnapping for ransom and killing of victims, the Ogbomoso Consultative Council led by Major General Oladayo Popoola OFR (retd), Justice Afolabi Adeniran (retd) and Dr Saka Balogun in consultation with the elders of the community and in conjunctions with the youths (under the aegis of the Ogbomoso Community Youth Forum), will be holding a rally to create awareness on the fear-inducing phenomenon.”