Oyo Affairs has received exclusive information regarding the clash between some residents in Tapa, Ibarapa North Local Government Area and Amotekun Corps operatives.
In an interview with Oyo Affairs correspondent, the Commandant of the Oyo State Western Nigeria Security Network, Colonel Olayanju Olayinka, revealed that the operatives were on their way to answer a distress call about an abduction when they stumbled upon some youths holding a carnival on the road. The road was barricaded, thereby blocking movement.
He said, “On Tuesday night, boys in the community were holding a carnival on the major road leading to Igangan from Tapa. At about 8.30pm, the Amotekun operatives were responding to a distress call of an attempted kidnap of a woman along Igangan axis. On getting to the barricaded road, an argument ensued when the community boys asked operatives to use the alternative route.”
According to the Commandant, the operatives challenged them, asking them why they were disobeying the no-carnival rule and that they needed to pass through the road which was barricaded. The residents responded that the government had issued a directive that carnivals could hold till 10pm, so they were within their rights. The Commandant noted that while trying to get the youths to allow the officers to pass through, a fight ensued.
Colonel Olayinka 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 bike, while some Amotekun officers were gravely injured.”
It took the intervention of members of the Operation Burst to deescalate the situation and return things to normalcy at about 11pm.
However, as Col Olayinka revealed, the community boys went on a rampage this morning (Thursday) destroying houses and properties belonging to Amotekun operatives from Tapa and that of their families.
“One of the operative’s house was vandalised and burnt, his car and wife’s shop was also burnt. The Office of the Corp in the area was also vandalised.”
However, Operation Burst again came to the rescue and was able to save some vehicles in the office from being burnt by the hoodlums. The vehicles are currently with Operation Burst.
Meanwhile, according to the Amotekun top man, the corps has visited the two bereaved families and paid homage to the Kabiyesi. Corps operations I the area have also been suspended for 2 weeks to calm frayed nerves.
This report runs counter to that which had appeared in some online papers alleging that trouble started when Amotekun Corps operatives went to a carnival ground in the area to tell the youths to end the carnival. In the process of trying to stop the carnival, there was an argument between the youths and the Amotekun, which made the youths to start stoning the officers. Eventually, the Amotekun operatives started shooting directly at them, killing three people in the process and leaving many injured.
Testifying to the importance of the work the corps is doing in Oyo State, Col Olayinka said, “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.”