Kidnapping: Truckload of Northern Travellers, Guns, Others Intercepted in Ondo, Says Amotekun

The Amotekun Corps in Ondo State says it intercepted trucks loaded with 149 men coming from the North with guns, cutlasses and bags of Indian hemp.

They were intercepted on Tuesday at the black spot mapped for different cases of kidnapping, banditry and armed robbery in the state by the local security outfit.

Amotekun Commander, Adetunji Adeleye, who disclosed their arrest to journalists in Akure, said the suspects were arrested following a tip-off about the influx of people into the Ondo forest reserve.

“Majority of these people who claimed that they were coming into the state as hunters were arrested around the black spots where we have robbery operations and kidnappings in the local governments where they were nabbed,” said the commander.

Adeleye added, “They surprisingly and carefully concealed and kept their weapons, bags of Indian hemp and cutlasses under their vehicles and they claimed that they were coming from various parts of the country.”

The arrest came amid worsening insecurity across the country, with recent killings and kidnappings in Èkìtì and Kwara.

Adeleye said, “The pertinent question we are asking them is: why are they hiding their guns. If they are genuine hunters, why not come out openly?

“But one begins to wonder why they would come from the extreme parts of the country to hunt in a village, in a forest they have never been to before in Ondo State.”

The Amotekun commander noted that Nigerians had the right to go anywhere in the country, but they did not have the right to go with weapons.

He explained that as hunters, “we had expected that they would have made consultations to find out their limitations,” stressing that in the Ondo forest reserves, the government “is very clear that if you are a hunter and want to go into the forest, you have to register, so that the government, the kings and the hunters will know that you are there.”

Adeleye expressed concern that the northern travellers might be potential criminals.

“We have strong reasons to believe that they are the people that turn at night to kidnappers, armed robbers and commit various crimes, especially in the bad portions of the roads and in the forest reserves of the state,” Adeleye stressed.

Credit: GazetteNGR