Fresh facts emerged on Saturday that herdsmen have converted the Ondo Government reserve located in the Odigbo Local Government Area into a militia camp.
This indication buttressed the widespread claim that killers of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, 58-year-old daughter of the leader of pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, were herdsmen who sneaked out of the reserve to rain bullets on the vehicle she was travelling in.
Olakunrin was killed on Friday as the gunmen ambushed vehicles on the highway and abducted some commuters. Her maid reportedly sustained some gunshot injuries during the attack.
Killers of Fasoranti’s daughter have their base in the forest, say villagers
A former senator who represented Ondo South Senatorial District at the Senate, Boluwaji Kunlere, said hoodlums had been operating around where Olakunrin was killed for a long time.
He said this in an interview with one of our correspondents in Lagos on Saturday.
Kunlere said, “I beefed up security in the area when I was in the Senate. I gave 13 Hilux vans to the police divisions in Ondo South Senatorial District and gave motorcycles to the Department of State Services for surveillance.
“I think the police do not have the manpower to ensure adequate security in the area. The expressway (Benin-Ore-Sagamu Expressway) is where the major problem is. The spot (Kajola) where they killed Baba Fasoranti’s daughter falls between Odigbo and Okitipupa Local Government territory.
However, the Ondo State Government has denied that some killer herdsmen had taken over its forest reserves.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr Donald Ojogo, said the government had invested much on the security in the state.
He added that though intelligence report could not be revealed to the public, government investment on security had been yielding good result.
He said, “It’s not a thing of excitement for the government to divulge to the public measures being put in place to tackle this menace. There are no killer herdsmen residing in our forest reserves.
“As you know, insecurity is almost a nationwide issue that requires everything to curb it. On our part in Ondo State, a lot of investments have been made in this regard. All the same, such are not for the public. It will, therefore, be unfair for anyone to conclude that nothing has been done to checkmate the menace. As you are aware, we have our limitations, but those limitations will not be allowed to discourage us from doing what is appropriate at all times.”