Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
The Federal Government has vowed that those behind last Thursday’s armed robbery and killings in the commercial town of Offa, Kwara State, would be arrested and brought to justice.
Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed gave the assurance when he paid a condolence visit to the Kwara State Governor, Alhai Abdulfatha Ahmed, at the Government House, Ilorin.
He said the entire nation was ‘‘shocked and grieving’’ by the brutal acts committed in Offa, during which nine policemen were killed and score of civilians.
The Minister was however quick to add that the State and entire public must learn from ‘‘the mistakes’’ of the incident with a view to improving on the security architecture of the entire country.
“What happened in Offa on Thursday shocked the entire nation and is our prayers that the souls of all the victims will rest in peace, and also that those badly injured would be healed and recover very soon,” Mohammed said.
“I want to take this opportunity to also let you know that the entire country is grieving and the entire country is sympathising with Kwara State and the entire people of Offa.
“But there is also a sliver of light; despite the losses of the police, it is quite heartwarming to know that some of the suspects have been arrested.
“I spoke yesterday with the IG and he assured me that all the people responsible for the dastardly act would be arrested and brought to justice.
“I hope also that we are all going to learn from the mistakes, both the larger public and everybody, and we are going to factor this into the larger security architecture in a manner that we will have a much more secure and safe state country,” the Minister said.
Responding, Governor Abdulfatha Ahmed thanked the “Presidency for its intervention so far.”
He particularly expressed delight with the promise made by Inspector General of Police to deploy an armoured personnel carrier that will be stationed specifically in Offa to prevent a future occurrence.
He described the level of the crime perpetrated as “unexpected”, a situation which he said was an indication that the country was in a “challenging situation”.
The Governor said government at this time must accept the fact that the country was going through a challenging time, and redouble its efforts towards improving on its security arrangement, saying “this is not the time for blame game”.
Minister Mohammed later paid condolences to the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Esuwoye, delivering the Federal Government’s message to the people of Offa and prayed for the deceased.
Mohammed also visited the Kwara State Police Command where he was received by the Commissioner Lawan Ado. He admonished officers not to be discouraged by the deaths of the men of the Command, noting that there is no job without its challenges, assuring them of the Federal Government’s readiness to take care proper care of their welfare.
Towards the end of the visit, the Minister met with injured victims of the attack at the University of Ilorin Teaching hospital before he left for Abuja.