Osun: Oyetola gives looters 3 days to return looted properties, pledges to support victims

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Abimbola Abatta, Osogbo

The Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola has given the looters of government and private properties 72 hours to return the looted properties or face the wrath of the law.

He ordered the suspected hoodlums to surrender all they have stolen to the security agencies, traditional rulers, local government chairmen, and community leaders of their respective domains.

Oyetola said the looters who observed the 72-hour amnesty would be forgiven while those who refused to honour the amnesty would be tracked and brought to justice.

This was even as the Governor sympathised with the victims of the Saturday’s looted properties in the State and promised them government support.

Oyetola also decried the way and manner the suspected armed robbers, hoodlums and miscreants burgled, vandalised and looted both the government and private properties under the guise of protest.

He specifically commiserated with Chairman, Tuns Farm, Asiwaju Tunde Badmus over the death of his staff during the raid.

Governor Oyetola spoke on Sunday during his on-the-spot assessment and evaluation of the level of damage done by the marauders.

Speaking at Tuns Farm, the Governor said, “I will say that what I witnessed here today is not a question of hoodlums, but armed robbers. They have removed all the machines that are here.

“It is very unfortunate. What I have seen here is massive looting, armed robbery and stealing of the highest order.

“I can say categorically that EndSARS Protest is not what we are seeing here today. This is pure looting and it is all over. That is why we are talking to the people that this protest had been hijacked by miscreants.

“You can see the level of damage; you can see the level of destruction; you can see the level of consequential loss.

“I decided to go round to look at the level of damage. It is irreparable because of the loss of life.

“We have a lot of lessons to learn. Yes, we can protest, we can register our grievances but we should not allow it to be hijacked by miscreants and hoodlums because we cannot predict their activities.

“What we are experiencing now is a pre-planned attack. The hoodlums were just waiting for an opportunity to carry out their heinous acts,” the Governor added.

At Omoluabi Garment, he said, “It is unfortunate that this is happening at a time we are encouraging firms to invest in our State. This place alone (Omoluabi Garment Factory) has contributed significantly to the economy of the State. It has provided jobs opportunity for the citizens, particularly our youths and added values to our economy.

“Let me say this clearly that those who participated in this looting made serious mistakes because the machines looted have a serial number. I will only advise them to return the machines.

“We are going to give the looters 72 hours to encourage those that have participated in the looting to return what they have stolen to the palaces of the traditional rulers or offices of chairmen of their various councils. Should they fail to do so, we will get them.

“So, it is an opportunity for them to take advantage of the 72hours to return the looted items and we shall give them the amnesty. But should they fail to do so, I can assure you we have all it takes to track them.”

The Governor who described the incident as unfortunate, sad and premeditated motive to destabilise peace in the state, sympathised with the owners of the looted properties and belongings.

He promised the administration’s readiness to support the victims to enable them to come back to life.

Oyetola stated further, “This is not the kind of Omoluabi that we preach. The participants of this looting are not ordinary citizens but robbers. There is a clear difference between looting and protest. What they did was to take advantage of the peaceful protest by the genuine youths to loot.

“I am appealing to our youths that they have every right to register their grievances, but they should not allow such good intentions to be hijacked by miscreants as we have recently witnessed.

“As a government, we will sit down to look at the possible way to bring the victims back to life through our efforts and intervention from the Federal Government.”