The Ondo State Security Network, also known as Amotekun Corps, has given insight into how 168 persons stealthily made their way into the state armed with charms and weapons.
According to the Corps Commander, Adetunji Adeleye, the suspected invaders were carefully hidden under almost 100 cows and 40 motorcycles to evade security operatives.
Mr Adeleye made the disclosure while addressing journalists in Akure on Monday.
The 168 persons are among the 320 suspected individuals the Corps intercepted coming from the northern part of the country.
While describing the development as an invasion of the southwest, Mr Adeleye condemned the action.
“On the 7th of August, our stop and search team intercepted these two trailers loaded with cows and they told them that they are on their way to Ondo state, but on careful examinations, we found out that they carefully concealed about 40 motorcycles with over a 100 people lying beneath the motorcycles,” he said.
“The upper floor has cows, the middle has motorcycles wrapped and dismantled, while the lower floor has over 100 people lying on each other, such that if you are not careful, you will not observe it.
“I call it invasion because we can see over 100 able-bodied men who were concealed under animals, we see droppings of cows on their bodies and the motorcycles. For them to be able to stand such a horrific situation,
they must be up to some negative motives.
“So, we questioned them on where they were going and why they packed themselves and why they were avoiding the people and they said they were coming to Ondo State, Akure, and upon interrogation, all of them do not have any address, nobody invited them and we are becoming curious about this invasion.
“We had just commenced profiling now, but I think we want to tell people of the state to be weary of visitors because nobody knows how many of such had managed to enter the system, but for these ones that we have seen, we saw them with various dangerous charms and other items we are yet to ascertain what their mission is.
“But to those ones who said they own the motorcycles, they confessed that none of the motorbikes had papers. Of course, they photocopied some papers, but you can see one engine number in thirty motorcycles, which clearly showed that they are all forged documents.
“Those who claimed to be the owners, we will find out how they got those motorbikes and also find out their mission in Ondo state and like we said, if they don’t have any credible thing to do and we don’t find anything incriminating on them, we will send them back.
“To those that are suspected to have stolen these motorcycles, we take them to court.”
Mr Adeleye further said that the major reason the corps was stopping them was the suspicion they could be used as elements of insecurity in the region.
He added that the leadership of Miyetti Allah had also said they were unaware of their movements into the state.
“This is where the investigation is leading us to, because the majority of these invaders are coming from Kano, Jigawa and they are just picked along the road, what they told them is just to enter, when we get to where we are going, we will tell you your mission.” Mr Adeleye further said.
“So, to somebody who is not even ready to tell you the truth about where they are coming from and don’t forget as a Nigerian, they have the right to go lawfully to any part of the country, it is the unlawful aspect of what they are doing that we are contesting.
“As a Nigerian, regardless of which geopolitical zone you come from, you can transact business around the whole county but if you now move in a suspicious way, that will amount to criminality like wandering, this is where we put you into consideration.
”Right now, we have a total number of 168 people carefully concealed under the cows and under motorbikes inside the two vehicles.
”They all carry charms, daggers, and a number of incriminating things that we are yet to ascertain the true ownership but what they have told us is that all these 40 motorbikes do not have one single paper.”
Last week, the corps intercepted about 151 persons in a similar movement from the same part of the country.
A case of suspicious mass movement was also unravelled in Ibadan last week.
The apprehensions are connected to rumoured threats by terrorists to attack the South-west region of the country.
Bello Garba, the chairperson Miyetti Allah, Ondo State, said “I don’t know these people and they don’t know me too, I didn’t bring them.”