The Ondo State security network codenamed Amotekun Corps, on Monday, raised the alarm over the sudden upsurge in kidnapping in the State, linking the development to the heavy presence of security personnel in the neighbouring Ekiti State.
The State’s Commander of Amotekun Corps, Akogun Adetunji Adeleye, who disclosed this, however, warned that the state can never be a haven for criminals.
Adeleye spoke while parading no fewer than 43 suspected kidnappers arrested in the state in the last one week.
Addressing journalists during the parade of the suspects, Adeleye informed that the Corps arrested the 43 suspected criminals from their various operations across the 18 Local Government Areas of the State.
According to him, “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 have over 50, but those that we have reason to question why they were where they were, and what we found of them around the things of kidnap across the state, are these 20 you are seeing today.
“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 haven for criminals.”
Adeleye further informed that, “We have risen to the challenge and all of them that we have picked in kidnap scenes, during kidnap, and during attempts to kidnap with credible victims around to identify some of them, are the ones we are parading today.”
While saying some of the suspects were arrested with local arms and ammunition, Adeleye said the suspects were not able to justify what they wanted to do with the arms and ammunition found on them.
“This week, we have a sharp decline in the number of housebreaking because we have commenced walking, 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 is one of the reasons we have a decline in the number of shop breaking.
“Against the backdrop of the sharp decline of herders’ destruction of farmlands, in the northern part of the state, we have an increase in the number of herder-farmer clashes and these are the areas where we have security breaches.
“We still have issues with security challenges on our borders, especially the Kogi/Ondo border, and Edo/Ondo border. We are working on it and collaborating.
“As of yesterday morning (Sunday), 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 the 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 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, we will be honouring our late governor, the father of Amotekun in the South-West, 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.”