The Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has called on the South-West governments to turn the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Operation Amotekun, into a strong regional outfit to protect the region from the incessant attacks by the kidnappers.
Afenifere also urged the governors to collectively approach President Muhammadu Buhari, along with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to let them save their people from being enslaved by bandits.
In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Comrade Jare Ajayi, the group said the frequency and ferocity of kidnapping in the area these days were engendering so much concern on the territorial expansion of terrorists.
A source reported that many travellers were kidnapped on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in the past weeks and were later released after payment of ransoms running into millions of naira.
The statement stated that, “Drones and relevant security equipment must be purchased and deplored to quickly snuff life out of the monster that is threatening to consume us.
“Everything must be done to ensure that normalcy returns and that Nigeria does not become another region where terrorists hold sway. South-West governors should do more.”
It added that available reports had it that, “Suspected Fulani bandits attacked travellers on October 27, 2022, abducting five persons and killing several others. Two days after, on October 29, seven bandits in Irele Ekiti-Oke Ako Highway in Ajoni Local Council Development Area, Ekiti State, abducted four travellers.
“One of the survivors of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway kidnapping, 22-year -old Aminat Taiwo, said that the ‘kidnappers were more than 30; they covered their faces. They were putting on army and police uniforms.’ She later added that they shot victims whose relatives could not pay the demanded ransoms.
“On Tuesday, November 8 this year, gunmen dressed in military uniforms again attacked commuters travelling on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The gunmen reportedly stormed the road near Sagamu Interchange, Lagos, and started shooting at passengers in the 18-passenger inter-state bus.”
The group lamented that rather than confronting this monster headlong, those at the helms of affairs were acting as if they were helpless with a lot of energy concentrated on the 2023 elections.