To unravel the spate of kidnappings and killings in Ajaawa, headquarters of Ogo-Oluwa local government area of Oyo state, the Oyo State House of Assembly (OYHA) has summoned the Assistant Inspector General in charge of the Nigeria Police, Zone 11 Command, Osogbo, Olasupo Babatunde Ajani; Oyo State Commissioner for Police, Ngozi Onadeko; Area Commander, Owode Police Command, Ogbomoso; as well as the DPO Ajaawa Police Divisional Headquarters.
This is just as it directed the Oyo state governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde to set up a panel of enquiry so as to get at the root of the orgy of violence that has engulfed the agrarian community leading to kidnappings, killings (including of an alleged police officer), arson, controversial arrests and desertion of the town.
The crisis also elicited an invasion of the homes of the executive chairman of the council, Hon Seun Ojo and traditional ruler of the community, Oba Thompson Adeyeye Oyetunji (Alajaawa of Ajaawa, both narrowly escaping capture. However, the secretary of the Oba, Mr. Wole Adunola, and a vigilante operative recruited by the chairman, were not as lucky as they were taken away to Abuja. Over a week now, they are yet to be released.
The modus operandi of the police in the town has raised a lot of worries, with many condemning the nocturnal nature of the invasions by plain clothes security operatives most times, on the pretense of coming to make arrests.
“And when they come instead of making the arrest they will start shooting sporadically. In a town kidnappings and murders had taken place in recent past without police unraveling the dastardly act or making any arrest people are bound to resist such unwholesome attacks by plain clothe policemen in the dead of the night,” the council boss, Hon Ojo remarked.
However, the Public Relations Officer of the State Police Command, Adewale Osifeso blamed the youths of Ajaawa, noting in a statement that they were attacking policemen.
The police alleged that some youths on Tuesday 28th June attacked some policemen who came to the community.
This has prompted the state lawmakers to raise the matter during its plenary, to ask Makinde to investigate the matter.
During their plenary last Tuesday noted that this was necessary in order to ascertain involvement or conspiracy of policemen in the matter.
The Assembly while noting that there were series of kidnappings and killings in Ajaawa in the last two months perpetrated by yet to be identified persons, added that many residents have deserted the town.
It further revealed that the recent incident happened on Monday 28th June, 2021, and in the process, they shot sporadically wounding many people and leaving two people dead.
“Unconfirmed eyewitness accounts also said nine other persons were whisked away by the police. Many terrified people took refuge in the bush in the dead of the night.
“As we speak, the entire Ajaawa community including schools, local government office, markets and farms are now deserted because many people have relocated to the neighboring communities for fear of more attacks.”
The House then resolved and urged Makinde to intervene in the matter.
It also advised Makinde to intervene in the release of those who were wrongly arrested.
“Set up a panel of enquiry to unravel those behind kidnappings and killings and the involvement or conspiracy of policemen in the whole saga.
“Enjoin His Excellency to intervene in the tussle between the youth and the police in the area to forestall future occurrence.
“Call on our amiable governor to identify the families of those who lost their lives in the invasion with a view to condoling with them and providing succour for them.
“To urge His Excellency to intervene and ensure the release of those arrested and are still being detained by the police in Abuja up till now,” they added.
Meanwhile, in telephone chat with Majority Leader, OYHA, Hon Sanjo Adedoyin, he said the officers summoned by the House including the AIG in charge of Zone 11 Command, Osogbo; Oyo State CP; Area Commander, Owode Ogbomoso; and the DPO Ajaawa, “are invited to tell the whole world what led to the invasion of Ajaawa in commando style and to explain on whose authority the invasion was carried out.”
Hon Adedoyin did not however mention the date the men are to appear in the House.