A senior worker at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Adegbenro Adebanjo, has lamented that his wife and son were allegedly attacked by suspected herdsmen on their way to Abeokuta, Ogun State.
He explained that the attack occurred when some armed men used a trailer to lay a siege to the Ikoyi town of the Ibadan-Ife Expressway and shot continuously at buses and commuters on the road.
While many vehicles were said to have rammed into one another during the attack, drivers and commuters scampered for safety, which reportedly left many injured.
PUNCH Metro had reported that some armed men kidnapped a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof. Yinka Adegbehingbe, while travelling from Lagos to Ife on the same route.
Adebanjo, who spoke for his family, said the assailants demanded money and other valuables of travellers and beat up those who did not cooperate.
He said the police, who stormed the scene of the attack, forced the assailants to retreat.
Adebanjo said, “My wife and son boarded a commercial bus at Akure around 4pm and were going to Abeokuta; they were en route to Ibadan when the incident happened around 6.45pm on May 5 on the Ilesha-Ife-Ibadan Expressway. A trailer loaded with some men suddenly blocked the road at Ikoyi town. The men, who spoke Hausa, jumped out and started shooting continuously. Mayhem ensued as vehicles rammed into one another, while occupants exited through windows and other openings in desperate dash for safety in the bush.
“They pursued those who fled deep into the bush, beating them and shooting continuously to show that they meant business. Some minutes after, help came through the police, who engaged the marauders in a shootout and succeeded in forcing them to beat a hasty retreat. If not for God’s divine mercy, maybe two members of my family would have become casualties of the growing insecurity in the land.
“I am speaking up to call the attention of the relevant authorities to what happened; the country’s security architecture needs a surgical operation. I am calling on the security agents in the state and the Federal Government to work together to ensure that Nigerians are safe on the road and wherever they are. This is not about politics or ethnicity, but about the safety of everybody.”
The Osun State Police Public Relations Officer, Folasade Odoro, denied the report, adding that security was watertight in the state.
Odoro said, “It is advisable you don’t create unnecessary panic for travellers as the command has a watertight security on all highways, including Operation Puff Adderin every nook and cranny of the state.”