AFTERMATH of the killing of the dreaded militant leader, Ossy Ibori, in the coastal region of Ondo state, the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, on Monday appealed to the fleeing residents of coastal community of Ajapa, in Ese-Odo local government area of the state to return to their various homes.
The governor, who made this plea on Monday, during his visit to the community which had been deserted by the residents, following the invasion and burning of houses in the area, said the presence of military personnel in the community was not to witch hunt the innocent people but to flush out criminals.
Akeredolu who was represented by the Deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi said the visit to the community became imperative to assess the level of destruction in the area after the clash between a Special Military Task Force Team and militants.
According to him, the level of destruction he saw in the community was not as bad as it was being reported in the media and social media and commended the military operatives in ground in the community for being civil in the way they handled the issue despite the killing of one of them.
He assured security operatives that government will continue to support them in flushing out criminals from the state , saying “Our observation was that the situation was not as bad as it was being reported in the dailies and social media.
He also called on the people to embrace peace and go about with their lawful business without fear of intimidation and said ” You should ordinarily expect attack when a civilian gang or militants kill a soldiers. Honestly, I must commend the soldiers on how they handled the issue. It was a coordinated clean up exercise. They targeted the militants hideout and which the government will not condole.
“It was unfortunate, we got there and we could not meet anybody in the community. It is a fear of unknown. We are appealing to them to come back to their homes since they are not criminal or militants”.