Sequel to the kidnapping and murder of an hotelier, Mr Gbenga Owolabi, and Rachael Opadele, a 500 level student of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), and two other persons last week, residents of Ogbomoso town in Oyo State yesterday staged a peaceful sensitisation rally to call the attention of the state government to the increasing state of insecurity in the town.
Gbenga Owolabi, a United States of America- based hotelier was abducted with Rachael and after collection of N5m ransom the kidnappers still killed them, thus sparking protest.
The peaceful protest which was championed by Ogbomoso Consultative Council and Ogbomoso Community Youth Forum started at Takie Square, Ogbomoso, and moved round the town and later converged on Soun Ogunlola Hall.
A former military governor of Oyo, Major General Oladayo Popoola (rtd); Justice Afolabi Adeniran (rtd) and Dr Saka Balogun had been in the vanguard of finding solution to the incessant security challenge in the town.
Some of the protesters displayed placards with various inscriptions such as: “Come to our rescue before we start self defense,” “Allow us to defend our- selves”; the last kidnapping must be the last”; “a kidnapping: awe must not continue like this.”
At the rally, traditionalists, members of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Agbekoya, Vigilance and other groups said they were ready to give it whatever it takes to stop the criminal activities in Ogbomoso and its environs.
Representatives of the traditional Heads (Mogaji) and chiefs addressed the crowd, saying, they were taking necessary steps on the matter.
They also urged residents to cooperate with the OPC, Amotekun and other indigenous security agencies in their efforts to combat crimes in Ogbomoso.
Some of the personalities who addressed the crowd also included Imam Ile Yoruba, Retired AIG Sheu Babalola, Retired AIG Ajani, Lamiju Alao Akala and others.
In their remarks, they said efforts were going underneath to improve on the security of lives and properties in the town while urging residents to be security conscious and report any suspicious movement to the appropriate authority.
President of Ogbomoso Community Youth Forum, Rev Peter Olaleye, while addressing the teeming crowd at Ogunlola Hall said: “Our ancestors are brave and bold; they were never conquered by any war, not even the dreaded Fulani War. We will never allow any intruder to take over our land. Enough is enough.”
Also speaking, a resident and Historian, Adewuyi Adegbite, “Government should equip the police, engage the traditional rulers to monitor their communities. They are the closest to the people and like in the past, they can easily identify any foreigner or intruder into their community through their subjects.