Some people in Oyo State have had different feelings about the constant attacks and kidnappings on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
Some of the people who talked to DAILY POST said that the police and other regular security agencies should do more to keep the road safe, but others said that the recently formed Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), also known as Amotekun, the vigilantes, and other local security groups should help stop the problem.
The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which starts at Berger in Lagos and ends at Iwo Road in Ibadan, is about one hundred and twenty kilometres (120 klm) (120 klm).
The road is one of the busiest in the country. It connects the states of Oyo, Ogun, and Lagos.
It is how people from most parts of Nigeria get to Lagos, which used to be the country’s capital.
But this year alone, there have been a number of attacks along the expressway.
The gunmen, who usually dress in military uniform, use the opportunity to abduct travellers.
In January this year, no fewer than two cases of kidnapping were recorded along the road. During one of the kidnappings in January at Abule Onigari, a commercial driver named Oluwatosin Aruwajoye was killed by the people who took him.
Also, on January 8, they took five passengers hostage and shot another person in the thigh, Ibrahim Tiamiyu.
On Sunday, January 9, 2022, an actress named Bimpe Akintunde and her daughter narrowly avoided being kidnapped in the same place.
The incessant attacks and abduction on the road in January this year attracted the attention of security agencies to move to the area.
This brought some sense of relief for travellers plying the road between January and October this year.
Kidnappers change locations and take a UI professor and the daughter of the Oyo monarch.
Users were still happy that things were back to normal on the road when they heard that some travelers had been taken. This took place in October.
DAILY POST says that on Friday, October 28, 2022, several travelers were taken.
Some of those who were abducted included a former Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) of University of Ibadan, Professor Adigun Agbaje.
Agbaje was freed after a ransom of an unknown amount of money was paid to the people who had him.
On that day, they also took a few other travelers, including Princess Temilola Oyediran and some students.
Our reporter heard that Princess Oyediran, one of the daughters of Oba Sunday Oladapo Oyediran, Onpetu of Ijeru kingdom in Oyo State, was freed after a ransom was paid.
It shows that terrorists from outside our country have come here – Akintoye
Banji Akintoye, a professor of history, said that what is happening on the road is proof that foreign terrorists have taken over Yoruba land.
Akintoye is the leader of Ilana Omo Oodua, a group that wants the Yoruba race to be able to decide for itself.
The man who used to be in the Senate from 1979 to 1983 spoke at the Ilana Omo Oodua congress in Ibadan, which is the capital of Oyo State.
Akintoye said that what was happening had shown that the country was in serious danger.
He said, “The Fulani have brought in foreign terrorists, and they are now on our land.
“Demand change, demand improvement. Our country is in grave danger.”
When people spoke up, they had different reactions.
In the meantime, some people in Oyo State have said different things about what has happened.
Hon. Afeez Adeleke, who was in the Oyo State House of Assembly from 2015 to 2019 and represented the Iseyin/Itesiwaju constituency, asked the security agencies to do more to stop the recent kidnappings on the road.
Adeleke said that he was sure that the security agencies knew what to do if they wanted to do their jobs.
He said that the government of the State (Oyo) should also encourage and motivate the security agents to do their jobs.
Adeleke said, “Well, thank you for giving me this opportunity to express my opinion as regards to kidnapping in Ibadan-Lagos Expressway, as well as Oyo State.
“All I can say is that I think the Executive Governor of Oyo State and the security agencies should do more to stop these evil things and catch the people who do them in the State.
“I have no doubt that security agencies know what to do if they are serious about doing their jobs. Let the State government encourage and push all of its citizens to help them do what they need to do on time.
A graduate of the University of Ibadan who asked not to be named said that she has decided not to travel on the road until further notice.
She said, “I have not used the road in a while but reports about insecurity there are very scary and I might not be using the route till the kidnappings have stopped. Don’t put my name, ‘biko’”.
Another resident of the State, Mr. Biodun Adebayo, urged the government to allow men of Western Nigeria Security Network, also known as Amotekun to go to the area and chase out the kidnappers.
He said, “From my point of view, I think the government should let Amotekun go up and down in that area, or at least tell him to do so.”
Oyo, Ogun police commissioners restructure security apparatus, visit Lagos-Ibadan expressway
The police commands for the states of Oyo and Ogun said that they had reorganized their security systems.
The two commands made this disclosure on Thursday.
During a visit to the road on Thursday, the police commissioners of the two states, Adebowale Williams (Oyo) and Lanre Bankole (Ogun), said that they were going to do something about the constant attacks and kidnappings along the road.
Adewale Osifeso, who is in charge of public relations for the Oyo command, said in a statement on Thursday that the security architecture of the two States has been changed.
“The security systems of both commands were also changed on purpose with the help of police commands from neighboring states. This was done to deal with criminals who want to use both states as a place to hide after being caught.
“In light of the above, the good people of Oyo State are asked not to panic or get angry, as adequate deployment of tactical and operational assets would be seen swarming the axis and starting joint intelligence-led surveillance, aggressive patrols with neighboring states, combing forests with local hunters and vigilantes, and stepping up permanent visibility police measures along the busy highways.
“In addition, private and public users of the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway are encouraged to go about their day to day activities without any form of fear of molestation or harassment from unscrupulous elements as adequate security measures in its topmost capacity are on ground,” he said.