Attack on SE bound bus: Pan Yoruba groups suspect armed herdsmen

By Samuel Ogunsona

The attack and burning of a luxurious bus travelling from Lagos to Eastern Nigeria may not be unconnected with armed herdsmen operating in Yoruba territories, Alliance for Yoruba Democratic Movements, (AYDM) has said.

The Pan Yoruba said the attack may have been designed to score political goals being part of a grand plot to stir conflict between Yoruba people and East.

A bus belonging to Ifesinachi Transport Limited left Lagos on Saturday but was attacked around Ijebu-Mushin in Ogun State. The passengers were stripped naked, robbed while the bust was burnt.

In a statement on Monday, the AYDM, a coalition of 130 Yoruba and Itsekiri community based groups, asked the police to extend its dragnet to the armed herdsmen operating in South West forest.

In the statement signed by the group’s General Secretary, Popoola Ajayi said while robbery is not alien to the South West, attacking luxurious buses and burning down the bus after looting the vehicle and stealing from the passengers is very strange.

The AYDM warned that more horrific attacks driven by vested political interests to destabilise the country may occur in the future unless effects are made to identity the sponsors and deal decisively with them.

Ajayi said “We suspect this is the handiwork of an organised crime with political motives. That is the only thing we can read to the burning of the vehicle after looting and stealing of propery” AYDM said

The coalition said the burning down of the vehicle raises the prospect of political motives. AYDM said armed herdsmen continue to operate in forests across the South West warning that the Yoruba State Governors appear not to realise the grave dangers their control of the forest pose to regional and national security.

“We hope it was not politically motivated as part of the plot to destabilise Nigeria and in pursuant of the agenda of a bloc from President Bola Tinubu’s successor, in collaboration with others, who reluctantly handed over and have been looking for ways and means to bring the government down or set Nigerian ethnic groups against each other in order to upturn the country.

In the early morning of Saturday, armed bandits attacked and looted a luxury bus at Oke Ado Junction, Ijebu-mushin.

The place of the robbery is located on the Ijebu-Ode-Benin Expressway.

The bus was on its way to Eastern Nigeria. Many of the passengers are of Igbo extraction.

The attackers, after looting the vehicle decided to set it ablaze.

Popoola said “Nigeria has seen politically motivated crimes in recent months. We recall the kidnap of 280 children in Kaduna State, the kidnap of children of Apostolic School in Ekiti State and the killing of three Yoruba traditional rulers. Added to this is the savage attack on a bus going from Lagos to Eastern Nigeria. These are very suspicious developments that may not be isolated from the plot of some politically exposed persons.”

He said the choice of a South East bus being attacked on Yoruba territory is suspicious more importantly that the bus was burnt down.

“This might be a conscious attempt to create conflict among ethnic groups in the South. This is why it is very important for the police to do diligent work to expose and punish the criminals.”

Speaking on the incidence, the Ogun State Police Command, SP Omolola Odutola said “It happened in Oke Ado junction at Ijebu Mushin. A luxury Mercedes Benz bus was burnt down. The vehicle was coming from Maza Maza before it encountered the hoodlums. No reference to gun was made.They (the hoodlums) wielded cutlasses.”

Chude Nnamdi a passenger in the bus said
“Ifesinachi Motors, we were travelling in the night to come back to the East for Easter celebration, and criminals attacked us in Ijebu Ode along Ore-Benin Expressway.

“They robbed us of everything we had, some they stripped half-naked. They locked us inside the 59-seater luxury bus and set it ablaze. We thank God that we later escaped; nobody died, but everything we had was collected.

“We thank God that we didn’t lose anyone but we lost everything we were travelling with and some sustained injuries.

“This is Ifesinachi Motors that we are travelling with on Friday night and this attack happened around 2am.

“They stripped us half-naked. You can see it; the people in the vehicle are completely stranded. There are some people who were macheted and some who broke their legs. We have children among us.”

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