Men of the Operation Border Drill have on Thursday, 9th January, 2020, shot a couple – Mr Philip and Mrs Sabaina Oguntolu – who were infront of their house at Agérù village, situated in Ebute Ward, Yewa North Local Government of Ogun State.
Lamenting over the tragedy, the Baale of Agérù, Chief Michael Ogunrole, recollected that, it was two soldiers who alighted from a pickup van about 12noon. Before he could offer them seat, one of the soldiers had forcefully collected the firearm from his colleague, in no time, he shot at the couple seated about 60metres away.
The old man furthered that the vehicle by which the five uniformed men; a Customs officer, two Mopol and two Soldiers, arrived Agérù was Police’s branded vehicle.
“At my age, I am not afraid of anything. The truth is that the Operation Border Drill has been very brutal to my people”.
Two of the eye witnesses, Mr Johnson Ogunrole and Mr Odu Oga-Olukimo corroborated the Baale’s narrative as both of them described the attitude of the soldiers as unlawful and hostile.
“The soldiers, we gathered, were those stationed at Itoro-Odan Junction, via Oja Odan, that led the ruthless team which nearly leveled the peaceful and law-abiding Agérù village”.
Mr Abiona Matthew, a.k.a Olope who is the elder brother of Mr Philip Oguntolu added that the manner in which the soldiers handled a youngman, who they met under a tree where they packed their vehicle, had alerted the villagers that the security operatives was in Agérù to kill.
“My brother, his wife and I were rushing into the house immediately after the first gunshot when he told me that a bullet had hit him. As we were trying to save his life, we saw blood gushing out of his wife’s upper arm.
“We quickly subdued the soldiers and asked them to take the victims to the nearest health centre”.
“Health officials at the Primary Health Centre, Oja-Odan, administered “first aid” after which we were instructed to transfer the victims to the State Hospital, Ilaro for further treatment.
The Chief Medical Director of the State Hospital, Ilaro, Dr AbdulWahab Yusuf, disclosed that a man and a woman who claimed to be husband and wife were brought in having sustained gunshot wounds.
“They were treated such that their health conditions became stable, and were discharged the same day”, Yusuf confirmed.
Hon Haruna Egungbohun, member representing Yewa North Constituency II at the Ogun State House of Assembly, during his visit to the victims at the State Hospital, Ilaro, condemned the actions of the OBD.
“The recent heartless and ruinous attitude of Operation Border Drill which has resulted into many casualties in Yewa North Local Government area is becoming infuriating.
“I hereby call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Executive governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to please intervene so that the unruly soldiers will be brought to book and call the OBD to order so that there could be end to the arbitrary oppression, maiming and extra-judicial killing of law abiding citizens living in the border towns”.
TheConciseMail recall that not quite ago, Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, protested the excessive force been used by the Operation Border Drill when dealing with civilians.
As noted by Masari, the operation was in the habit of terrorizing civilians, especially within the city, by sporadic shooting which often led to fatalities.
It is high time state governments stood up to protect Nigerians at the border lines from OBD systematic annihilation.