Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, on Monday, led members of the State Executive Council and all the arms of the security agencies in the state and a forensic expert on an on-the-spot assessment of the forest where several decomposing bodies were found and several victims of a kidnap syndicate were rescued at the week-end in Ibadan.
The governor, who was conducted round the forest by security chiefs, expressed sadness at what he called man’s inhumanity to his fellow man.
Visibly moved by the gory scene at the forest where several people had been held hostage by the kidnappers at Soka area on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ajimobi called for a minute silence and led prayers for the repose of the souls of those who died in the kidnappers’ den.
While describing the incident as most unfortunate, Governor Ajimobi announced the immediate revocation of the Certificates of Occupancy (C of Os) of the expansive forest and directed that the bush be cleared.
According to the governor, this was necessary so as to ensure easy access to whatever had been transpiring in the forest.
He also pledged that the entire area would be combed by security agencies to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to book.
“We came here with all the security chiefs. We have seen things for ourselves. It is surprising that such a thing existed here for a long time. Nevertheless, we will take the following actions:
“We will revoke all the C of Os of the owners of the land; government is taking it over immediately. Then we will set up a panel of forensic experts; we will get to the root of the matter and then we will find out those involved in the act. Even though we were told that the inhuman transactions here had been in existence for over 10 years, we will dig it up,’’ the governor said.
While tasking the people to be security conscious, the governor said it was unimaginable that an event as horrendous as this had been going on in the neighbourhood for over ten years and the people living in the area had not alerted security agencies about it.
Governor Ajimobi, who addressed the crowd who had thronged the scene of the incident, including the Head of the community, Chief Isiaka Bello Olupoju, promised the unemployed youths in the area automatic employment in the State Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES-O).
He urged those interested in the job to register their names with the Village Head for onward transmission to the government.
The governor also promised to meet with the entire community next month with a view to rub minds with them and know their needs with a view to addressing them.
He, however, advised the people to avoid brigandage, thuggery, violence and all anti-social activities, urging them to provide security agencies with necessary information as regards any strange movement within the neighbourhood.
The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Mohammed Ndabawa also assured the people that whoever was involved in the unfortunate incident would be arrested and prosecuted.
Village Head and two other members of the community also gave graphic narration of the incident and urged government to come to their rescue.