Ondo State Security Network Agency codenamed Amotekun on Monday paraded 43 suspects arrested for various criminal offences across the state within one week.
This comes a week after it paraded 149 suspected criminals with guns, charms, cutlasses, swords, catapults loaded in trucks, from different black spots across the state.
The Ondo state Commander of the Corps, Mr Adetunji Adeleye, while parading the latest suspects at the Command’s headquarters, in Akure about half of the 43 suspects are suspected kidnappers.
Specifically, he traced caused to the heavy presence of security personnel in Ekiti following the recent kidnap of five pupils of Apostolic Faith Group of Schools, Emure Ekiti, and four staff members, and the killing of two Ekiti monarchs by gunmen.
His words: “Today, we have 43 suspected criminals picked from across our various operations across the 18 Local Government Area of Ondo State. The astonishing thing about our parade today is the sudden upsurge in the suspects that we have on kidnapping.
“About half of the 43 are suspected kidnappers that we have reasonable reasons to question. We actually have over 50 suspects, but those that we have reason to question why they were where they were, and what we found of them. I want to trace this 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 State can never be a safe haven for criminals.
“We have risen up to the challenge and all of them that we have picked in kidnap scenes, during kidnap, and during attempt to kidnap with credible victims around to identify some of them, are the ones we are parading today.”
Adeleye said others suspects were arrested for illegal possession of firearms, housebreaking amongst others.
“This week, we have a sharp decline in the number of housebreaking because we have commenced foot walk especially on Sundays when people have gone to church and during working hours when people are at work. We now walk and trek around the metropolis which I think this is one of the reasons we have a decline in the number of shop breaking.”
As against the backdrop of the sharp decline of herders destruction of farmland, in the northern part of the state, he said the state recorded an increase in the number of herders farmers clashes in areas facing security breaches.
“We still have issues with security challenges on our borders especially the Kogi/Ondo border, Edo/Ondo border. We are working on it and collaborating. As at yesterday morning, a combined team of security men, specifically army from Kogi and Ondo, Police from Kogi and Ondo, and Amotekun from Ondo, joined hands together to try to fish out the perpetrators of the last kidnap around Akunu/Ayere axis in Kogi/Ondo.
“The actual thing that you saw on social media happened in between those two communities and we have been raising alarm that in places that we don’t have the grassroots local security that we can work with, we have been having issues, but we are happy, however, that they joined and collaborated with us and the search still continues.
“We have been able to go this far because the governor specifically gave a directive to fish out all these perpetrators of evil, especially along the border, and he further gave a directive to all security agencies to ensure that this week and next week, that we will be honouring our late governor, the father of Amotekun in the Southwest, that there must be no security breach. All hands are being put in place to ensure that people come in happily and freely to celebrate the exit of an icon that all of us know”, he added.
Fidelis David in Akure