EXCLUSIVE: How I got nickname ‘Bintin’ -drowned paramilitary officer, and other revelations

EXCLUSIVE: How I got nickname ‘Bintin’ -drowned paramilitary officer, and other revelations

It is no more news that ‘Commander’ Rotimi Adigun a.k.a. Bintin Laye (shortened Bintin) is dead; he died gallantly like a true warrior Tuesday (May 16, 2023) after he got drowned along the course of the popular Ora River that traversed Ogbomoso north-west while pursuing a student simply identified as Alade of SS 2 class of one of the secondary schools at Sunsun area. The boy reportedly ran into the river just behind a bridge over the river, behind the Baptist Beulah Centre of the Ogbomoso Baptist Conference, and Bintin, hot on his heels chased him right into the river through a narrow point. That was the last of him seen alive. Bintin corpse was scooped out Wednesday by men of the Oyo state Fire Service at a pool just ahead of the narrow spot they stormed in. That day the aura of invincibility that seemed to have been woven round him faded; he had always extricated himself from tough spots but alas this day the gallant Bintin could not sidestep waterloo.

The recovery of his body was a moment filled with emotion and suspense. The instant his body already distended in the torso and stomach regions came into view after being drawn by a gripper tied to a yellow rope and reality dawned ‘the man of war’ had indeed passed away a shriek cry broke out in sympathy. “So, Bintin is dead after all,” many were shocked, though there were those, indeed in the majority, who were overwhelmed with ecstasy, the many deviant present and former secondary school students, who probably had fallen “prey” to his relentless raids.

School heads were his “clients” (or was he their client?), distress calls constantly went out to him to come to their aid in dealing with these aberrant students. “And quickly he would respond as a one man warrior or with his squad,” a principal anonymously told ogbomosoinsightonline.com. “And he always broke and overpowered these students handing them over to their school authorities, meting out punishment on his own or passing them over to the police depending on the severity of the matter.” Yet, he performed this dangerous function on a voluntary basis. He started as a member of the War Against Indiscipline and Corruption Brigade before crossing over to the Nigeria Hunters and Forestry Security Service (NHFSS), where he emerged the Ogbomoso South local government coordinator. He was passionate about this self-imposed mission, which incidentally and mysteriously led to his death in accordance with the Yoruba adage – Iku ogun ni pa akinkanju… (a brave warrior dies of warfare…)

Bintin in full combat gear

When his corpse was brought out of the river, surprisingly, he tightly gripped a red cable, one of his tools in whipping erring students into line, and one he was believed to be holding when he dashed precipitately into the river but why it did not slip out of his grip in desperate attempt he must have been caught in to swim to safety remains a mystery. Indeed, he was in full combat gear and combat posture. Meanwhile, as a police patrol van conveyed his remains enroute the morgue, his traducers jeered hopelessly some pelting the vehicle with stones ostensibly to express their displeasure at his strict, firm and steadfast anti-indiscipline battles, so unruly were they that the police in a critical moment when blocked by another surging mob of students had to shoot into the air to scare them and sped away.

Bintin’s bloated corpse

The man Bintin?
In September 2022, he was in the office of the The Insight/ogbomosoinsightonline.com for a chat, which bordered on the effort to get the bill for the establishment of NHFSS assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari after having been passed by the National Assembly, and then on his life story. However, that story about his life was never published but in the mood of the time it is felt it should be published.

“I am from Abidogun Akata Daodu compound, Ogbomoso South local government,” he had begun. He said he joined the WAIC Brigade in 1999. He attended St. Ferdinand Grammar School, Ogbomoso, for his secondary school education. He informed he planned to further his education.

Meanwhile, he once lived in Ilorin, capital of Kwara state, with his aunt, where he earned the nickname “Ekun” (Leopard), according to him, on account of his bravery in scuffles.

“We lived at Iyana Ojuekun at Adangba in Ilorin. I assisted my aunt to hawk wares. But some rascally boys would always waylay me to forcefully take my wares and money. One day my aunt flared up warning me against ever succumbing to the gang again.

“That fired me up and the next time they tried it I was ready for them and so was able to beat them off. I was hailed endlessly and I was given the nickname ekun. I was tough from childhood, I didn’t suffer fools gladly, I detested acts of misconducts such as theft and other forms of indiscipline. My appearance sent jitters down the spine of bad boys in those days, that ekun is coming. When I returned to Ogbomoso, that nickname resurfaced but I now changed it on my own to “Bintin laye Ese Mefa Ni,” which was elided to “Bintin.”

At his return to Ogbomoso he disclosed he found himself moving close to Oluode Onpetu and from that time his personality and mission began to really unravel. WAIC Brigade enticed him because he found its objectives aligned with his vision of fighting indiscipline. “Money was not my motivation, WAIC Brigade is a voluntary organization,” he stressed.

The boy’s corpse

In the WAIC corps he rose steadily to the top in his local government. The posts he held included WAIC police, provost head, parade commander, acting local government commander, substantive local government commander, Oyo state parade commander and area commander Ogbomoso zone (2015 to 2022), when he joined NHFSS and subsequently emerged commander of the group in Ogbomoso South.

Experience fighting deviant acts among students
He said he had had several nasty experiences fighting indiscipline among students. Not only among students even in WAIC role of movement restriction during monthly sanitation. He revealed he once was hit by a fast moving car during a monthly sanitation programme at a road block his team mounted in from of Ogbomoso South local government secretariat.

He started what he called “Operation Stay in School” in 2001 and by 2003 his strong handedness began to be felt among belligerent students and his name began to send jitters down their spine. He stated he knew many students abhorred his actions and was quite aware he was often marked for elimination. “But I have always survived by the grace of God, they never got me.”

After apprehending an erring student

The bad ones in different schools he had gone head to head with since 2001 and always kept them at bay. He stated there was a time students in a particular school (name withheld) held a frantic meeting in which they resolved to harm him and so proceeded to produce his image in a poster where it was explicitly stated ‘we need his arm, leg and so on.’ “But the moment I appeared to them they scampered into safety. I was never physically attacked or overpowered by students; they always run away from me. There was a time they were placing terrible curses on me, reciting incantations. They called me on phone that if I was Bintin I should proceed to a particular location and I dared them by going but they did not show up. God always is there for me. Before I leave home I put God first.”

There had been time news had circulated that he was captured by students but it never was true. He however affirmed that many of such students after finishing become his friends and repay him with gifts saying he believed they were being driven by youthful exuberance and are often propelled to engage in superiority battles between schools.

During a train

On his new fancy, the NHFSS, he was excited that the organization would soon be taken over by the federal government and eagerly waited for that period. He gleefully reeled out information about the organization informing it transformed from Ijade Ode to Hunters Group of Nigeria, Hunters Council of Nigeria before finally adopting the name Nigeria Hunters and Forestry Security Services on the advice of the federal government. By this last change of name the group, with professional hunters as members, would be able to perform functions as combating kidnapping and banditry, fight crimes generally, patrol of forests among others. But he was not destined to witness the period if it would ever come.

Last mission: ‘He was reluctant to go’ – Source
A source revealed he was unwilling to respond to the distress call that led to his demise. “His phone rang about six times, it was from a school but six times he refused to answer the call. He was certain it was to seek his assistance in dispersing another set of deviant students. But he rebuffed the calls until someone now encouraged him to answer. He consequently went to relieve the school. He alone went on the mission,” it was affirmed.

As usual when he appeared the students fled in different directions, he reportedly chased deceased student Alade through a marshy part, and the boy dashed straight into the river, and then he (Bintin) slipped. But it is suggested he probably did not expect the boy to head straight into the water and when he saw that daring move he probably wanted to safe him to avoid the backlash he knew would ensue that he chased a student to death in a river hence his darting after him moreover when he was a good swimmer. Some even claimed he knew the father of the boy, a traditionalist, and so was familiar with the boy too. Different claims whose veracity could not be immediately confirmed. Ultimately, the two dashed into the river. It was a dash of no return. And so the “gallant officer” Commander Rotimi Adigun Bintin died in action! In the meantime it is being insinuated in some quarters that he fell to the diabolical machinations of students who felt he was too overzealous. Snippets of news from across secondary schools in the city revealed some students are also jubilant that their scourge is finally neutralized.

Despite the pathetic ignorance displayed by the narrow-minded multitude after the retrieval of his body, many others mourned his passage. Ambassador (Dr) Kehinde Alula Int’l, a former colleague in a Facebook post Wednesday wrote: “So sad to announce your death. Akikanju okunrin lo. Rotimi Adigun (Bintin Laye). I’m proud to work with you in the same organization – War Against Indiscipline and Corruption (WAIC). Ogbomoso school principals and entirety of Ogbomoso will miss you. I can never forget you in my life. May your souls rest in peace!”

‘Bintin Laye Ko Ju Ese Mefa’ (Life is of no consequence, not more than six feet), in a queer turn of event, his usual refrain has again been demonstrated by his sudden, shocking, celebrated passage. Loved and hated, he did his bit and receded beyond, rest in peace, Gallant Officer!

Questions and more questions
Why was he still holding a cane when his corpse was recovered? He was bloated but the student’s was not even though the boy spent more hours in water! Why was he in combat posture even after death? Many inexplicable situations.

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