The information has gotten to our desk concerning the conflict between residents of Tapa, Ibarapa North, and Amotekun Corps Operatives.
Colonel Olayanju Olayinka, the Commandant of the Oyo State Western Nigeria Security Network, granted us an interview, where he revealed the events that led to the dispute; he said the Amotekun Officers were en route to answer a distress call of abduction when they got hindered on their way, by youths who barricaded the high way, because they were hosting a carnival.
He reported, “On Tuesday night, boys in the community were holding a carnival on the major road leading to Igangan from Tapa. At about 8.30 pm, the Amotekun operatives responded to a distress call of attempted kidnap of a woman along the Igangan axis. On getting to the barricaded road, an argument ensued when the community boys asked operatives to use the alternative route.”
The Commandant said, the operatives kindly questioned them, asking them why they were going against the no-carnival rule and that it was important for them to pass through the barricaded road. The residents retorted, saying the government had issued a statement that carnivals could hold till 10 pm, that they were not breaking any laws. The Commandant noted that it was in the process of trying to make way for the operatives that a fight broke out.
The Commandant said, “During the argument, hoodlums who were at the carnival opened fire at the Amotekun officers, spraying bullets at their truck and a gun battle ensued. The Amotekun operatives responded, and, in the process, two residents at the carnival were caught in the crossfire, one of the Tapa boys and another boy from Aiyete who was on a bike. At the same time, some Amotekun officers were gravely injured.”
Things returned to normalcy around 11 pm after the intervention of Operation Burst Operatives, who came to control the whole situation.
However, as Col Olayinka disclosed, the community boys took the law into their hands. They went on a rampage this morning (Thursday), demolishing houses and properties of Amotekun operatives and their families who reside in Tapa.
“Othe of the operative’s house was vandalized and burnt; his car and wife’s shop was also burnt. The Office of the Corp in the area was also vandalized.”
However, Operation Burst again had to step in to deescalate the situation and they were able to save some vehicles in the office from being burnt by the hoodlums. These vehicles are currently in the custody of Operation Burst.
The Amotekun Commandant reported that the corps has consolation visits to the two bereaved families and paid homage to the Kabiyesi. Further stating that Corps operations in the area have also been suspended for two weeks to ease tension.
This account opposed the one that has been in circulation in online newspapers alleging that Amotekun Operatives caused the real clash when they approached a Carnival ground and commanded the youths to stop their carnival. In enforcing their command, an argument erupted, which made the youths irate, and they began pelting the officers with stones. In return, the Amotekun Officers opened fire on them, killing three people and injuring many more. The above state report is false according to the Amotekun Command.
Col Olayinka said the importance of their work in Oyo state is evident in his testimony where he stated, “it would be noted that the DSS and Operation Burst in that area praised the Amotekun corps for their usefulness adding that this was just an unfortunate incident which would be a dent on the pristine record of Amotekun in the area.”