By Ahmed Ajikobi
The Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Kayode Egbetokun on Saturday, denied concerns that the command appeared helpless regarding the incessant attacks by bandits and armed robbers along the Ilorin/Ogbomosho highway.
The route which has claimed many lives particularly at Ote, has become notorious for activities of the bandits who usually have a field day with travellers during most of their operations.
The latest casualty was a fast-rising Yoruba Nollywood actor, Juwon Awe, who was killed by armed bandits in Ote on Monday. According to his colleague, Ibrahim Chatta who broke the news on Instagram, Awe was murdered by three Fulani and a Yoruba armed bandit while journeying from Ilorin with a female actor, Toyosi Adesanya.
The news of his death has thrown the Yoruba movie industry into mourning with popular actors and actresses like Odunlade Adekola, Jaiye Kuti, Lateef Adedimeji and Fausat Balogun expressing shock over the incident while condoling with late Awe’s family.
In an exclusive chat with Pilot Crime on telephone, Egbetokun said it is wrong to accuse the command of not doing anything about the incessant attacks along that axis adding that the Police will soon fish out the perpetrators of the latest incident.
The police boss said his men are always on top of its game adding that, there is no robbery attack or killing that occurred in Ilorin that police will not do anything about.
“It’s wrong for anybody to insinuate that police is not doing anything about Ilorin/Ogbomosho robbery attack. We have launched manhunt for the perpetrators of that crime. I’m very sure that very soon they will be tracked down and dealt with accordingly.”
“We have put in place measures to prevent the reoccurrence of such incidents in that area”, he added.
He however, charged members of the public to always report any such incident that occurred in that area and other areas in the state to the police command.
“If such is happening and you didn’t report them to us, how do you want the police to act? The police are not magicians that know everything. If there is killing anywhere, people should report to the police to take immediate action. The insinuation that it’s been happen regularly (around that area) and nothing has been done it’s not true”, he noted.
The suspected herders reportedly blocked the road, shot and killed the deceased in the process.
In her response, the actress, Toyosi Adesanya said they were on their way to Ilorin for a movie production when the bandits struck, adding that she escaped by a whisker.
“We can’t continue like this. The poor boy’s life was just taken away like that. We can’t continue to be held to ransom by some bandits. The FG should come to our aid.”
The Kwara State Police Public Relations Officer, Ajayi Okasanmi, who had confirmed the incident then said “The commissioner of police has ordered an investigation into the matter. It is a very unusual occurrence in Kwara State and the command is not taking it lightly. Sadly, a life was lost and we are on top of the matter. We gathered that the victims are actors. We have also involved local vigilantes, who are combing the bushes in addition to police efforts”.