TENSION has gripped residents of Oke Odan township in Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State following the killing of six persons by trigger-happy customs Officers while pursuing smugglers.
The incident occurred on Sunday, May 1, around 6:30pm at Alakara Bus-Stop, Oke Odan, when Customs officials were pursuing some suspected rice smugglers in a long convoy coming from Igolo, a border town between Nigeria and Benin Republic, and heading towards Sango in Ado Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State.
A statement by Yewa Connecting Minds made available to Realnews also revealed that all those killed were not smugglers, but innocent people, carrying out their legitimate duties in their shops and kiosks.
Witnesses identified those killed as three children, a motor mechanic, panel-beater and a secondary school leaver, simply identified as Ade.
The incident came barely five days after the kidnapped of Senator Veronica Iyabode Anike Anisulowo who was abducted late Wednesday in Sawonjo/Imasayi area of Yewa North local government Ogun state while returning from her farm, people of Yewa are still under a sober reflection before another tragedy came in caused by Officials of Nigeria Customs.
Ekunola Gbenga Abraham. coordinator of Yewa Connecting Minds, YCM, said they were not ready to sweep the killing under the carpet.
He alleged that the killing of villagers was becoming one too many on the part of the customs who fire directly at villagers and later claim that the victims were shot at because they are smugglers to cover their tracks.
YCM demanded that the Comptroller General of Customs should hand over the killer officer to the Police for peace to reign in the area stating that they were ready to put an end to the unprovoked attack on villagers by customs men who would always claim that their victims were smugglers.
“Enough is enough of this wanton killings. We want the Comptroller to hand over the killer to the police to investigate the matter,” he said.
The YCM condemned what it described as the desperate attempt to exonerate the real culprits behind the killing in the area, saying the development is alarming and criminally intended to shield the officials of Customs who committed the atrocities from justice.
The group said it is lending its voice to the demand for the prosecution of all those involved in the heinous act by the appropriate security agencies
Abraham warned that shielding the perpetrators from justice would encourage more killings as they would be encouraged to consider their murderous acts as normal.
“I am appealing to our people go about their legitimate businesses without fear of disruption from any quarters. I also call on our member to remain calm in the face of provocation, we have confidence in the government and justice shall be done,” he said.
— May 2, 2016 @ 16:45 GMT