Bandits now fleeing Ekiti to Ondo, Amotekun raises alarm

The Amotekun Corps in Ondo has raised the alarm over the influx of bandits fleeing Ekiti following the heavy deployment of security agencies, including the Nigerian Army in the neighbouring state.

The corps commander, Adetunji Adeleye, who addressed journalists in Akure, Ondo State capital, said the bandits are leaving Ekiti through the forests.

Mr Adeleye, who warned that Ondo would never be a haven for criminals, said the corps arrested 43 suspected kidnappers within a week. 

“So, I want to trace this (upsurge) to the heavy presence of security personnel in Ekiti, and I want to believe that they are being driven to Ondo State, but we want to tell you that Ondo can never be a haven for criminals,” Mr Adeleye said. 

Mr Adeleye’s claim comes amid the killing of traditional rulers and kidnapping of students by armed bandits in Ekiti. This situation has heightened security in the neighbouring state.

According to the commander, local arms and ammunition recovered from the suspects were enough evidence that the bandits were not relenting despite the series of arrests made by the security agencies in the state. 

Mr Adeleye said Ondo Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa had supported and asked the security outfit to sustain the tempo, especially in preparation for the funeral of former Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

On the recent kidnapping between the border communities of Ondo and Kogi states, Mr Adeleye disclosed that the Amotekun Corps has also deployed its men to join the security task force in combing the forest reserves in Akoko and Ayere towns. 

He said the security challenges in the border towns resurfaced because Kogi and Edo failed to integrate local security in addressing the perennial kidnapping and banditry in the axis. 

“As of yesterday (Sunday) morning, a combined team of security men in the Nigeria army, police from Kogi and the Amotekun from Ondo have also joined hands together to fish out perpetrators of the last kidnap around Akunu/Ayere axis in Kogi/Ondo,” he added.