OPC members storm Ikorodu to battle suspected militants

The Olu of Imushin, Oba Taiwo Adebunmi Gbamgbose, addressing the crowd. Inset: The charms they came with.

•Issue ultimatum on insecurity

AFTER a series of attack on the Imushin community of Ogun State by criminals using the creek as their hideouts, over 5,000 members of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC Reformed) bombarded the community on Tuesday, to confront the suspected militants.

They reportedly came from Lagos and Ogun states in more than 107 buses and cars.

They visited the Olu of Imushin, Oba Taiwo Adebunmi Gbamgbose, at his palace.

Nigerian Tribune gathered that while the security agents that were deployed in the community seemed not to be enough, the Imushin community had to call on the group to intervene in the matter.

It was learnt that the president of the OPC Reformed, Dare Adesope, wrote a letter to the government on July 19, giving it a 14-day ultimatum to find a lasting solution to the issue of the militants in the community.

The ultimatum expired on Monday.

Nigerian Tribune also gathered that the OPC Reformed was at the palace on Tuesday to seek the king’s permission to step into the situation.

Nigerian Tribune was told that, when the group got to the palace, the monarch told them that the government was yet to give him the approval to go ahead with their assistance.

Adesope, who confirmed the visit to Lagos Metro, during a telephone conversation, said the recent military action against the militants might have been influenced by the ultimatum that was issued to the government.

“The 14-day ultimatum that we gave the government expired yesterday (Monday), so we decided to see the Kabiyesi, to get a feedback on the letter.

“We have stayed action based on the advice of the traditional ruler that he needs to get a clearance letter from the government before we can act,” he said.

The leader said his men had been carrying out survey and monitoring what was going at the communities, adding that they came with full squad on Tuesday to scare the criminals.

“We don’t want war in our land, we are for peace, that is the tag that we carry. We beg the Yoruba people not to fight the Ijaw people in their area. We have our way of identifying the criminals among them.

“When we make arrest, then, we hand them over to the law enforcement agency. We don’t take law into our hands,” he added.

A palace source told Nigerian Tribune that the OPC Reformed did not come with any other weapon except their charms.

“We were the one who called on the OPC Reformed to help us. They are local security and we believe they can help us.

“When they came, the Kabiyesi thanked them for their concern, but, he told them to relax till the government approves their stay.

“In fact, they were prepared to go into the creek to face the militants with their charms.

“One of them said they can transform into different kind of things; lion, anaconda, snake, tree and rock whenever they are on their juju charm,” he said.

The Olu of Imushin, Oba Gbamgbose, appreciated the effort put in place by the government to ensure full security and peace in the community.

“We appreciate the federal, state and local government of Lagos and Ogun states for their visit and assistance.

“I appeal to the residents who ran away to please return, because there is now maximum security in the community,” he told Nigerian Tribune.