From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Two persons have lost their lives at Iluju community in Oriire Local Government Area of Oyo State when youth clashed with the joint security taskforce of the state, codenamed Operation Burst.
The dead persons, as gathered, comprised one civilian, identified as Abiodun, and one security personnel attached to Operation Burst. But it could not be immediately confirmed at the time of filing this report, whether the dead security personnel was a soldier or an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
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The youth reportedly burnt the patrol van of the Operation Burst, and also went away with the firearm of the deceased security officer.
The town was said to have been deserted after many residents of the community heard that a security personnel believed to be a soldier, was killed. A number of residents of the community have reportedly relocated to Ogbomoso and other neighbouring communities to escape possible attacks by security agents.
The Operation Burst was said to have also given a 24-hour ultimatum to the youth of Iluju to return the rifle taken away by the hoodlums. Sources also reported that all roads leading to Iluju were barricaded by soldiers, who arrived the town in five vehicles on Monday morning.
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But the cause of the pandemonium could not be immediately confirmed as there are two versions to it. An eyewitness, who preferred anonymity, revealed that the violence broke out after an accidental discharge by an officer of Operation Burst, which hit Abiodun. The youths of the area reportedly retaliated by shooting an officer of Operation Burst. The two victims did not survive the gunshots, the source said.
But the Director-General of Operation Burst, Col Oladipo Ajibola (retd), who confirmed the incident, explained that the security taskforce received a distress call at about 5:30p.m on Sunday March 20, 2022, from Iluju community that one Abiodun was causing a public disturbance, and responded immediately with a view to restoring peace into the community. He added that the operatives were attacked by the youth instead. He confirmed the death of one civilian and one security operative. But he did not confirm whether the dead operative was a solder or not.
However, he confirmed on Monday afternoon that the rifle that was taken away by the youth has been recovered. He stated further that Abiodun was hit by bullet from accidental discharge when the security operatives tried to do their jobs. He stated further that more security operatives have been mobilised and peace has been restored to the community.
Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Ngozi Onadeko, has ordered a full-scale investigation into the root cause of the incident. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Adewale Osifeso, who made this known to journalists on Monday afternoon added that updates would be provided in due course.”