The Amotekun Corps in Ondo says it needs collaboration of security outfits in neighbouring states to conquer the menace of kidnappers operating from adjoining forests.
Adetunji Adeleye, commandant of the Amotekun Corps, stated this on Wednesday. He said the Ifon axis in Ose Local Government of the state is now prone to kidnap cases due to the boundary it shares with neighbouring Edo state.
“The robbery and kidnapping cases, along the boundaries of Ondo, which is Edo and Kogi states, is becoming a worrisome situation,” Mr Adeleye told journalists during a parade of arrested suspects.
Mr Adeleye said that the Amotekun Corps was being faced with the challenges of the difficult terrain of the forests, with its link to Edo and Kogi.
He revealed that the kidnappers often escape into the thick forest and eventually cross into Edo and Kogi States after launching attacks on the federal roads in Ondo.
“What happens most of the time is that when we drive them (kidnappers) out of Ondo state, they go to Edo and later come back (to launch an attack), still we are not deterred,” he said.
According to him, the Amotekun Corps has now strategised and re-doubled its relationship with other security agencies to nip the incessant kidnap cases in Ondo in the bud.
“This is the reason why the security agencies, Amotekun, Police, Army, SSS have been working and engaging in series operations.
“And lately we have a collaboration with the Edo team, while we are waiting for Kogi to join us (Amotekun),” Mr Adeleye added.
The development came following the kidnapping of some funeral guests, on Saturday, at one of the ‘hot spots’ in the Ose LGA of the state.
No less than eleven of the guests returning from the burial ceremony at Ewatto in the Esan area of Edo were waylaid by the suspected gunmen and marched into the thick forests.
The guests, mostly members of the video and photography association, were driving in a Toyota Coaster bus when the bandits laid an ambush while shooting into the air to scare other motorists on the road.
The kidnappers have demanded a ransom of N10 million naira from the families of the abducted victims while the state government has also vowed to ensure it works with security agents to ensure their safe release.
Mr Adeleye alleged that some of the arrested suspects are “informants” working with the kidnap syndicate terrorising innocent travelers transiting the Ose LGA axis.
He said the suspects whom he simply identified as Haruna, Shuaibu, Aloma, and Saidu, are the ones getting the bandits’ perishable items in the town while also returning them to the forests.
“These men are the ones also working with the kidnapper, and what they do mostly is that they serve as their informants and they are also the ones who help the bandits to charge their phones in town and return them to them. They also help them to get food in town and take them to the forests,” Mr Adeleye said.
The four suspects were among eighteen other suspects paraded before reporters for robbery, cultism, burglary and vandalism.