Residents of three local government areas in Ogbomoso, Oyo State have raised alarm concerning some bandits reported to be gathering there.
Sequel to the alarm, the Nigeria Police Force, Amotekun Corps and Operation Burst which is a joint security team comprising soldiers and members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps have responded by combing the forests.
According to a source, there have been rumours that a helicopter has been seen landing on a hill in one of the forests and supplying arms and ammunition to the bandits gathering there.
However, after several hours of combing the forests, using vehicles, motorcycles and foot patrols by security agents, it was gathered that no criminals or terrorists were found in the bush.
The President of Ogbomoso Community Youth Forum, Rev Peter Olaleye, in a telephone interview with newsmen on Wednesday, said he and some members of the youth group led the security agents to the areas where some residents claimed terrorists were gathering but found none there.
Olaleye said, “Security agents have been combing forests in Ogbomoso in search of the bandits some people claim are gathering there.
“The forests bordering the three local governments of Ogbomoso South, Surulere and Ogo-Oluwa, at Odanbon/Ayegun Yemetu axis, is rumoured to be harbouring scores of bandits, but after scores of security agents have combed the forest for two days now, nothing like bandits were found there.
“Today, a combined force of security agents comprises Operation Burst, Amotekun Corps, Police (from Opete Division) and the Police Monitoring team (a special unit of the Nigerian Police, which succeeded the Special Anti Robbery Squad), combed the forests and we also joined them to show them the way.
“We just returned from the search this evening and no bandits were found anywhere in the forest.
“There was a rumour that a helicopter was seen taking arms and ammunition to some bandits gathering on the hill in the forest and we invited the security agents. We are happy with their quick response. We commend them.”
The Commandant of Operation Burst in Oyo State, Col. Olayinka Olayanju (retd.), when contacted also confirmed the operation to our correspondent.
He said, “We and Operation Burst started combing the forests in Ogo-Oluwa and Surulere local government areas on Tuesday. We continued today again and found nothing.
It is a hoax because if it is true even the villagers will have photographic evidence of the helicopter they claim usually comes there.
“We combed everywhere and we are satisfied with what we have done. No bandit was found anywhere there. It is just a rumour and I urge our people not to believe in the rumour.”