Tunde Thomas, Lagos And Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Daughter of the leader of the pan Yoruba socio cultural organization, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, Mrs Funke Olakunrin was yesterday shot dead by suspected kidnappers in Ore, headquarters of Odigbo Local Government area of Ondo State.
Saturday Sun gathered that the deceased was coming from the Lagos end of the Benin/Ore road when her car was attacked by the kidnappers who were suspected to be Fulani herdsmen. Mrs Olakunrin was 58 while Pa Fasoranti is 93.
The Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the state police command, Mr Femi Joseph who confirmed the incident, said the suspects were kidnappers who also engaged in armed robbery. He added that the incident happened between Kajola and Ore, adding that Mrs Olakunrin was the only one killed in the incident.
He said three vehicles including a luxurious bus belonging to Young Shall Grow Motors were attacked by the kidnappers, adding that the passengers in the luxurious bus were travelling from Imo State to Lagos. However, he said the police have rescued three of the victims, adding that one Gerald Igboroka was yet to be found by the police.
Joseph disclosed that “from the information available to us, the suspected kidnappers who were 16 in number ambushed the three vehicles at Kajola. The three vehicles were said to be going to Lagos and they were all attacked. They shot one Mrs Funke Olakunrin and she was confirmed dead immediately,” he added.
The PPRO who said the police are on the trail of the kidnappers, assured that the victims would be rescued in no distant time.
He informed that none of the suspected kidnappers has been arrested, but efforts are on to arrest others, saying that the police have already condoned the location.
Meanwhile, Yoruba leaders have called on the Federal Government to fish out the killers of the daughter of Afenifere leader, who was murdered by suspected herdsmen yesterday. Expectedly, shock and outrage, have continued to trail the killing which many Yoruba leaders described as an affront on Yoruba land. In its reaction, the apex Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere which the deceased nonagenarian father leads condemned the killing which it described as not only atrocious but also a sad news for the entire Yoruba nation.
While decrying the killing, Afenifere spokesman,Mr. Yinka Odumakin lamented that herdsmen have become a nuisance and threat to Yoruba in their own ancestral land. “This is the last killing they are going to carry out on our land. These herdsmen first started by kidnapping Chief Olu Falae on his farm. Now they have murdered Papa Fasoranti’s daughter. Enough is enough, this is the last killing they are going to carry out on our land.”
Describing Funke’s killing as sad and tragic, Odumakin recalled that Pa Fasoranti had earlier lost a daughter,Bunmi in 1983.‘’It sad that Papa Fasoranti now advanced in age at 93 is losing another daughter under Buhari’s government again. Very sad indeed’, he declared.
Expressing shock at Funke’s killing, the Yoruba Council of Elders called on the Federal Government to institute a high powered probe panel to unravel the killing.
According to YCE Secretary-General, Dr. Kunle Olajide, the killers must be quickly apprehended and put on trial.
“Funke’s killing by suspected herdsmen is highly provocative. It is like these herdsmen are now taking their battle to Yoruba land but they must be checkmated. These herdsmen want to set Nigeria on fire. Yoruba leaders and elders will not fold their hands while lives of Yoruba are being wasted. For those in authority, they should act fast by apprehending Funke’s killers as failure to do so may have consequences. We want peace and unity in Nigeria but these herdsmen are creating problems which may have a boomerang effect’’,Olajide declared.
While saying that he hoped that the killing wasn’t sponsored by some forces, Olajide said if that should be the case , that it will amount to a direct assault on Yoruba nation. He further called on the governors in the South-West to immediately ban open nomadic grazing across the region.‘’Our governors must now wake up and do something urgently to address the menace of herdsmen in the South-West. They should ban open nomadic grazing through legistlation’’,he said.
Leading Afenifere chieftain, Senator Femi Okurounmu also decried the killing. He urged security agents to quickly fish out the killers, and prosecute them.