Akeredolu, Fayemi, Mimiko, Afenifere condole with Fasonranti over daughter’s death
Sympathisers have continued to throng the home of the leader of Pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, in order to commiserate with him over the death of his daughter, Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, who was killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen on Friday.
Olakunrin was shot dead by the hoodlums around Kajola village on the Benin /Ore expressway while returning to Lagos from Akure with some of her domestic staff.
Recalling her last moment with him, the 94-year-old man father of the deceased, said she saw her daughter last on Friday morning when she came to bid her farewell.
Fasoranti said “she came to me around 9 am to bid me farewell. I only heard in the evening she is no more. The President called me to commiserate with me but I told him to halt these killings in our land.”
Speaking on the ugly incident, the driver of the deceased, Tayo Ogundare, explained that the men who attacked the vehicle came out from the bush along the road armed to teeth.
He stated that the men who were masked started shooting sporadically, aiming to stop them and other vehicles from escaping from the scene.
He said he had to manoeuvre and reverse the vehicle to escape from the attack which occurred just after the Ore toll gate, saying the gunmen kept shooting at the car till some of them managed to escape into the bush.
He, however, said the deceased was unlucky as she was hit by the bullets but said Olakunrin gave up the ghost at the hospital due to gunshot injuries.
He explained that some other domestic staff of Olakunrin were also in the vehicle including the housemaid, Vivian Justice and a member of the family of the deceased, Boluwaji Iwajomo.
Speaking during his visit, the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, described the murder of Mrs Funke Olakunrin as an ugly incident, stressing that it is undoubtedly a death too many.
Akeredolu who cut short his trip to Lagos State, to condole with the foremost Yoruba leader and his family over the painful loss, was accompanied by his Chief of Staff, Cheif Gbenga Ale, Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Engr. Ade Adetimehin and other members of the State Executive Council. He also condoled the husband of the deceased, Mr. Idowu Olakunrin.
Akeredolu, who expressed his worry over the incident, said that some measures must be taken to prevent future occurrence of the ugly incident and promised that government will brief the media adequately about the steps and measures to be taken very soon.
He said “all of us are worried and there are some measures that have to be taken and we must prevent this.
“We must take whatever steps we want to take to tackle this issue of insecurity in order not to allow this happen again.
“It is a personal loss to all of us. For now, it is like we are mourning a relative that has just passed on.”
The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, also described the killing of Olakunrin as a tragic loss not only to the family of the Fasoranti’s but to the Yoruba nation and the country as a whole.
He said that the Federal Government would be beckoned upon to do something very urgent about the insecurity challenges in the country.
“I know Mrs Olakunrin very well, as a matter of fact, she was with me three days ago before heading back to Lagos.
“So, it is a personal loss and tragic situation for us and we all own a duty to tackle this issue headlong in order to rescue our people from this situation,” he said.
Also, the former governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, said the death and killing of Olakunrin is a wake-up call to government at all levels on the need to confront the challenge confronting the country.
Mimiko said: “This is despicably disturbing and this is another very challenging situation in our country. We must collectively rise to this challenge
“It a general problem of the security challenges that we have in this country. I think this is another challenge that we must collectively rise against.
“I have doubt in my mind that incident like this would task the very fabric of our nation and would also require very profound political will.
“We must leverage technology and we must definitely get to the root of this matter in the interest of our nation and in the interest of the economy.
“There is no doubt about this, that this is a reminder, a wake-up call that we must confront these monsters which is a major challenge.”
Also speaking, the National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in South West, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, said the death as an ugly incident, calling on the Federal Government to stop the killings across the country.
Olafeso said, “I have never been overwhelmed like this in my life, this is one tragedy too far, despite our constant cry about our people’s safety and security but we keep on losing our best on daily basis.
“The death of Funke Olakunrin is a serious blow to the region, it is so unfortunate that we have a government that is not protecting its citizens, we have been left on our own and the south-west is the battleground now and every son and daughter of Yoruba land must rise to this.
“It was Falae at a time and now Fasoranti, who is next? It is high time the Yoruba nation take action, it is so painful and sad this is happening to our country.
“There is always this fake assurance from the Federal Government to deal with the situation and that has been failing the nation for the last four years. Please tell the world that our nation is no longer safe, its a trap and a tragedy. We cannot take this any longer, the Yoruba nation will not take it. We must fight for the true security of our people.
Speaking on the argument that they are armed robbers and kidnappers, Olafeso queried that saying “that they are armed robbers and not herdsmen is another tragedy, how do you define an armed robber and if its an armed robbery, is it not a crime?”
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Ondo State condemned the invasion of the herdsmen to the Southwest region and their activities.
In a statement issued by the party and signed by its Publicity Secretary, Remi Olayiwola, it said the killing of the innocent daughter of a 94-year-old elder statesman and leader is not only callous but also a call to war.
The statement read: “It is now crystal clear that the Fulani herdsmen have declared war on Nigeria but more particularly on the Yoruba nation. They started this process by first kidnapping the former Secretary to Federal Government, Chief Olu Falae.
“Since then it has become more extensive and intensive cutting across all cafes of Nigerians, public men, peasant farmers, businessmen, religious leaders, university don, and down to the ordinary people who move around for throat livelihood. Farmers have been driven away from their farms.
“They have now extended their banditry to the daughter of the Yoruba leader, Chief Rueben Fasonranti, Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, a versatile lawyer, banker and cosmopolitan and completely detribalised and yet, very humble, a full supporter of our cause for social justice
The party challenged the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to take a step in curbing the killings and said “if APC government cannot redirect the course of this nation to greatness, it should better resign and allow patriotic men and women to take over the leadership of this country.
“Restructuring of Nigeria has become imperative. We now call on our security agencies to focus on their basic responsibilities to the nation. The perpetrators of this dastardly act should be arrested and prosecuted promptly otherwise they will be leading the nation to its doomsday.
“We find it difficult to believe the rumour that some security agencies are collaborators in the Fulani agenda. We hope this is not true. Enough is enough.”
Youths from Akure took to the streets protesting the killing of the daughter of Afenifere leader, Mrs Olakunrin, calling on the state government to put an end to the killings by the Fulani herdsmen.
The youth who threatened to take the law into their hands if the state government fails to take a drastic step to curb the activities of the herdsmen in the state.
They called on the state governor, to call the Fulani to order and prevent ethnic war in the state if the kidnappings fail to stop in the state.
However, all the service chiefs in the state paid a condolence visit to the leader of Afenifere, with a promise to bring the perpetrators of the crime to book.
The Service Chiefs who were led by governor Akeredolu, said they have put some measures in place to check true activities of the criminals in the state.
The Ondo State police command, however, issued a statement by the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Mr. Femi Joseph, reassured the people of the state and other members of the public of the command’s determination to rid the state of any criminal act and other violent crimes in the state.
Joseph said, “the State Police Command wishes to commiserate with the people of Ondo State and most especially Chief Reuben Fasoranti over the unfortunate incident that happened along Ore-Ijebu-ode expressway yesterday 12 July 2019 which claimed the life of Mrs Olakunrin Funke who was later identified as the daughter of Afenifere leader Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
“Recall that at about 2:15 p.m. yesterday between Nirowi and Nitel along Ore-Ijebu-ode expressway, about fifteen (15) unknown gunmen ambushed some vehicles along the road shooting sporadically at them.
“This led to the death of Mrs Funke Olakunrin who was hit by the bullet from these criminals. The incident attracted the nearby Police Patrol team from Ore division who immediately engaged the hoodlums forcing them to escape into the bush and also prevented them from causing further damage of kidnapping or any harm to other commuters.”
He said further that “the police with the support of the local vigilante had since yesterday been combing the bushes to ensure that the perpetrators of the dastardly act are made to bear the full weight of the law.
“The Commissioner of Police in Ondo State, Mr. Undie Adie is also present at the scene to coordinate and mobilise both Police and vigilante team to ensure that the culprits are apprehended and brought to justice.
“We are also ensuring that the overgrown grasses by either side of the road are cleared to allow proper visibility for motorists as these hoodlums usually hide under the cover of the overgrown roadside weeds to commit this type of havoc.
“We have since commenced an investigation into the incident and our preliminary reports revealed that the incident was never a targeted attack on anyone as these attackers were bandits and criminals who were out to rob, kidnap or abduct for ransom.”