The Federal Government on Sunday condemned the recent attack by some heavily armed bandits on some commercial banks at Offa in the Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State in which over 30 persons died and millions of naira was stolen.
It noted that the attack shocked and grieved the nation.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who said this during a condolence visit to the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, at the Government House in Ilorin, also advised the state and the public to learn from ‘the mistakes’ of the incident.
The minister also visited the headquarters of the Kwara State Police Command in Ilorin and commiserated with the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Lawan Ado, over the killing of nine policemen by the bandits.
He later visited the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital and sympathised with the injured victims of the armed robbery attacks.
The minister also paid a condolence visit to the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi, in his palace.
Mohammed stated that the Federal Government was committed to ensuring that the perpetrators were arrested and made to face justice.
He said, “No stone will be left unturned as the Federal Government would intervene to fish out the culprits. The Federal Government would also tighten security in the state.
“What happened in Offa on Thursday shocked the entire nation and it is our prayers that the souls of all the victims will rest in peace and that those injured would recover very soon.
‘‘I want to take this opportunity to also let you know that the entire country is grieving and the entire country is sympathising with Kwara State and the entire people of Offa.
He added, ‘‘I spoke with the IG (Mr. Idris Ibrahim) yesterday (Saturday)and he assured me that all the people responsible for the dastardly act would be arrested and brought to justice.
‘‘I hope also that we are all going to learn from the mistakes, both the larger public and everybody, and we are going to factor this into the larger security architecture in a manner that we will have a much more secure and safe state and country.”
Ahmed commended the presidency for its intervention so far.
He lauded the IG for his promise to deploy an armoured personnel carrier in Offa to prevent a recurrence.
He stated that the level of the crime was ‘unexpected’, adding that it was an indication that the country was in a “challenging situation.”
According to him, government must accept the fact that the nation is currently going through challenging times and redouble efforts towards improving on its security architecture.
He noted that this was not the time for blame game.
The governor called for an increased synergy among security agencies in the country especially between the military and the police for faster emergency response.
Ahmed, who said the Federal Government should promote the synergy nationally, emphasised the need for community policing.
According to him, community policing will lead to information gathering that can help security agencies in carrying out their responsibilities.
He said all hands must be on deck to strengthen the security arrangement in the country in order to give citizens a secure environment and promised to improve logistics support to security agencies.
The governor said he would complement the efforts of the IG who, he said, promised to send an APC to Offa with a procurement of additional APCs that would be located in strategic locations of the state.
The Oloffa, speaking during the minister’s visit to his palace, pleaded with the Federal Government to post more police personnel to the area for effective policing of the town.
He stated that policemen in the town were inadequate.
The governor also called for the posting of more riot police men to Offa.
He also pleaded for two APCs in the town.
Meanwhile, Ahmed on Sunday promised to build a new police station at a strategic position in Offa within the next 45 days.
The governor also promised to facilitate an APC for the community in order to beef up security in the town and its environs.
Ahmed spoke during a courtesy visit to the Olofa at his palace in Offa to commiserate with him and the people of Offa over the armed robbery incident.
He said he would do everything within his power to prevent recurrence.
The governor also said he had secured the assurances of the IG that the security infrastructure of the town would be rapidly scaled-up.
Ahmed said, “Those who perpetrated this evil have saddened and inflicted pain on us but they cannot break our spirit. I assure you that those behind this wicked act will soon be apprehended and brought to justice swiftly.
“As always, I stand with you in solidarity and support. I pray for the families of the departed and the injured and I salute the valiant police officers who died on that day. We will do everything within our power to ensure that never again will people of Offa or any part of Kwara State live in fear or experience such tragedy again.”
Earlier, the monarch had commended the governor for the visit and concern.
He requested government assistance to prevail on the commercial banks not to abandon the town due to the incident.