Kidnapping: Head of Hunters Oyo storm Ogbomoso 

Kidnapping: Head of Hunters Oyo storm Ogbomoso

Ayoola TAIWO

The Oyo state commander of the Nigeria Hunters & Forestry Security Services (NHFSS) Comrade Olanrewaju Tahoeed Odewale, came on a working visit to Ogbomoso Tuesday to bolster up his men in the ongoing fight against terrorism and banditry.

Commander Odewale Oyo state commander of NHFSS recalls that Ogbomoso zone has come under the siege of kidnappers in recent time with two of the victims killed by the abductors after they collected a ransom of N5m. The motorcyclist who carried the ransom bearer to the criminals was also killed. In all, four kidnap cases occurred between July and September with five victims and two casualties as stated – Gbenga Owolabi and Rachael Opajobi.

State commander (middle) and others on the podium

Speaking at the event held at Ijeru Baptist Basic School Tuesday, Commander Odewale said he was visiting units of the voluntary organization across the state in order to check the preparedness of his men in the fight against criminals.

The NHFSS commander averred that hunters, due to the nature of their profession, are best suited to tackle the menace of kidnappers and other criminals who especially operate at night, noting, “Hunters are night ‘crawlers,’ our activities occur mainly in the night and this is the time criminals mostly operate.

A parade in honour of the state commander

“More importantly, we are conversant with the forests and know them inside out because that is our area of operation and so we are best positioned to track the bandits, terrorists and kidnappers, whatever name you will call them.

“We know the layout of the forests, we know the hidden places, we know the structures and the dwellers and so when strangers settle in any part of the forest we know quickly and can respond appropriately. That is the reason hunters need to be supported in the fight against criminals.”

Commander of NHFSS Ogbomoso South Rotimi Adigun a.k.a. Bintin

Odewale stated there is an ongoing process for government to take over the organization saying they needed such recognition to perform maximally.

He charged the local government commanders of the organization to lead by example in going into the forest to tackle criminals and to desist from merely sending their subordinates, “you should lead from the front.”

Giving a history of the body he said they are bonafide local hunters but that the nomenclature was adopted to reflect its national spread and a wider scope, “We first were called Nigeria Hunters Group before it was changed to Nigeria Hunters Council when the Federal Government began to take interest in it and the bill on its being taken over by the Federal Government reached the Senate they changed the name to the present one NHFSS. He said the bill had been passed.”

He also urged members on continuous training as security agents adding that he wanted to be hearing news of arrests of criminals by his members in Ogbomoso zone, “I have not heard the news that you went to a war and apprehended any criminal in Ogbomoso zone, something I personally achieve. So, you commanders you must buckle up.”

Speaking with newsmen after the event Odewale appealed to Oyo state governor Engr. Seyi Makinde to assist the organization just as he called on his men to take training seriously informing, “there should be weekly training, there is monthly state training and once in a year national training in Abuja, which he disclosed would come up between November 4 and 7 this year.

Members from across the five local governments attended the meeting.

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