It was a black Tuesday evening in Ilesa, an ancient town in Osun State, when armed men killed at least nine people.
WITHIN NIGERIA gathered that four persons identified as ‘Hausas’ were shot dead in Idasa, a notorious neighborhood in the town, after an Ave cult leader identified as ‘Igwe’ was killed and one of his hands chopped off.
It was also learned that another person identified as Desmond was shot and killed in Sabo, while a young bread seller later identified as ‘SK’—a member of the Eiye cult—was shot dead while packing his goods during the attack.
A source also disclosed that another person yet to be identified was killed while running helter-skelter during the attack.
This is coming barely two weeks after a group of Ave boys allegedly shot a member of Eiye on a motorcycle along International Breweries Road.
Describing the incident as a tragic one, Sola, who is a resident of the town, decried the inability of security agents to apprehend these criminals, especially those who had committed such acts in the past, to serve as a lesson for others.
“It is terrible that people, especially traders, cannot extend their working hours due to low patronage because they fear being shot and killed by a group of armed men. It is more terrible because it’s a repeated act that shows the neglect of community leaders, security agencies, and the government, he added.
A criminologist and resident of Ilesa who prefers anonymity while reacting to the tragic incident disclosed that three people were murdered in cold blood and many suffered injuries in July last year.
‘When this similar event happened in July, there were several meetings to avert reoccurence, but here we are today, mourning the loss of six young people who should be useful in nation-building. It simply means that none of the recommendations from previous deliberations were upheld. They were all discarded into the bin’, Sodiq added.
According to the criminologist, the king and governor met with security agencies, but they have not been able to provide solutions.
“These individuals promoting these attacks are not ghosts. They live within the town. It is a shame that the police and other security agencies, including community leaders, could not apprehend these criminal elements.”.
We recorded six casualties. There are four Hausas and two residents who are not cult members. They were killed in cold blood by the same people who perpetuated the July killing. He stated that there must be an end to this madness.
The criminologist further added that there are no functioning operational vehicles to aid the mobility of officers, and the level of intelligence gathering is very low. The community leaders need to bridge the gap, and the police must be deliberately ready to fulfill the necessity.
These young people are in possession of rifles and pump actions. Where did they get it? Who are their sponsors? Where are the perpetrators of the July killings? We cannot continue to treat crime with kid gloves and expect positive change. How responsive are the community leaders in assisting the police and other sectors in the recovery of these arms and ammunition? The criminologist inquired.