Students, residents prime targets as cultism, robberies rise in Ogun
Many residents of Ogun State are worried that insecurity seems to be festering across the state.
It’s like some people of questionable character and criminals have sworn to give peace a good chase for whatever it is worth in the state.
In the last three months, the state has had to grapple with senseless cult killings and armed robberies that have left many dead and traumatised.
The resurgence of cult clashes in different parts of Sagamu in September led to the loss of about nine souls as confirmed by the police but the residents said that those that died from the bloodletting could not be less than between 15 and 20.
The clashes were said to have been between two cult groups; the Eiye confraternity and the Aiye. Agbowa behind Ewusi Palace, Makun, Ijagba, Ajaka, Isale Oko, and Sabo were listed as the centres of these mindless killings.
An anonymous resident of Sagamu, who spoke with our correspondents, lamented that the town was usually on the edge whenever these cultists decided to have their free reign hence people took extra caution so as not to be victims of stray bullets or caught in the cultists ‘ crossfire.
While there was a bit of quietness in October, when the warring cultists resumed their hostilities in November at least five people were killed.
Three of the young men killed were picked up from the pool of their blood around Agbowa, Sagamu, and were pronounced dead at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, where they were rushed to for medical treatment.
In October, the terrible news of four students of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, who were robbed and raped by gunmen suspected to be armed robbers, hit the airwaves.
The four students were living in a private hostel at the Abapawa, one of the adjoining communities to the university.
These marauders were not satisfied with making away with the students’ valuables, they defiled them subjecting them to inhuman treatment and mental torture.
This barbaric action had infuriated the students of the school causing them to embark on a protest which caught the attention of the state government.
The Deputy Governor, Noimot Salako-Oyedele, who was at Ijebu Ode attending the town hall meeting on 2024 budget preparation for the Ijebu Division had hurriedly left the place to calm down the fray nerves of the students.
Salako-Oyedele directed that the four students molested be taken to the OOUTH in Sagamu for comprehensive medical care.
The Deputy Governor was joined by the Commissioner for Education, Science, and Technology, Prof Abayomi Arigbabu, and the Commissioner of Police, CP Alamutu Abiodun to sympathise with the students with a promise that the perpetrators would soon be fished out but almost two months later, the criminals are still walking freely among us.
Giving an update on the incident during the briefing held to herald the university’s convocations the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Oluwole Banjo, said it was so terrible that the innocent students could be so dehumanised by the hoodlums.
Banjo explained that the school however had it on good authority that cultists fleeing from Sagamu were flooding the neighbouring communities and they must have been behind the attacks on the students.
The dust over the armed robbery incident at TASUED had yet to settle down when there were reports of yet another deadly attack on students of Gateway ICT Polytechnic, Saapade living in host the communities of Ipara, Isara and Ode Remo all in Remo North Local Government area of the state.
A few weeks ago, the students staged a protest calling on the authority of the school to find solutions to the problem of incessant armed robbery attacks during which two of them were shot at.
While the students were still counting their losses and believing that the security agents and government would be proactive enough to prevent another attack, the daredevil armed gang struck again a few days later attacking students living around the Larufi area, Ode Remo, killing one and injuring nine others.
A resident of the area, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed to our correspondent that the students protested at the palace of the traditional ruler of the town, the Alaye of Ode Remo, Oba Amidu Oso; early Saturday morning to register their grievances.
One of the students told our correspondent that the gun-wielding hoodlums invaded the students’ hotels around 3 pm and unleashed terror on them.
A senior lecturer at the polytechnic who also confirmed the attack said only six students were shot but one of them died.
The situation pitted the students against the state government forcing them to pass a vote of no confidence on Governor Dapo Abiodun.
The President of the institution’s Student Union Government, Olatunji Idowu Alexander, in a statement said, “Sequel to the incessant robbery attacks on the student of the Gateway ICT Polytechnic Saapade, the Student Union and students’ leaders were tired of … unattainable promises, miscalculated and undue priorities on insecurity by the administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun and the security apparatus within the axis of Ipara, Ode and Isara.
“As the student union body, we expect that the institution which is just a few minute’s drive to the governor’s residence should be dear to the heart of the Governor in providing adequate security in the environment.
“We have lost confidence in the deliverables of the administration as it concerns students’ safety.”
The management, however, announced the closure of the school due to the tension generated by the incessant attacks.
The memo signed by the acting Registrar of the polytechnic, Mr J O Popoola, partly reads, “I have the directive of management to inform all students in the polytechnic that all physical lectures have been suspended on campus for the next two weeks with effect from Monday, 4th December 2023.’’
The height of the growing insecurity was reverberated by the news of the killing of Mr Taiwo Oyekanmi, a director of finance and Accounts attached to the Governor’s office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
The 51-year-old chartered accountant from Ifonyintedo in the Ipokia Local Government Area of the state was gunned down by some hoodlums on the Kuto flyover Bridge on November 29.
Oyekanmi, in the company of two others, was said to be returning from banks with about N112m allegedly meant for the logistics.
The gunmen were said to have double-crossed the homemade bullion van Oyekanmi and two others were using to convey the huge cash after which he was brutally shot. While others survived the incident, the Director was pronounced dead at the State Hospital, Ijaye, Abeokuta.
Governor Abiodun had however vowed that he would fish out Oyekanmi’s killers and he would not leave any stone unturned while at it.