At least three residents of Tapa district in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State were fatally shot Wednesday, when operatives of the Western Nigeria Security Network alias ‘Operation Amotekun’ opened live rounds during a stone-pelting incident in the area, Sahara Reporters reported Thursday.
The media outlet learnt from eyewitness reports that personnel of the paramilitary group clashed with revellers at a New Year carnival in Tapa, following a forceful attempt to disrupt the party which had tarried deep into the night late Wednesday.
Sources disclosed that the enraged fun seekers reportedly hurled missiles at agents of the Amotekun corps, who swiftly responded with sporadic gunshots.
“In the process of trying to stop the carnival, there was an argument between the youths and the Amotekun, which made the youths to start stoning the Amotekun officers,” an eyewitness told Sahara Reporters.
“Eventually, the Amotekun operatives started shooting directly at them and now, at least three people have been confirmed dead while many people were injured,” the source added, noting that an undisclosed number of residents were injured in the violent altercation.
The Oyo commandant of Amotekun, Olayinka Olayanju has since confirmed the tragic incident, although argued that only two fatalities were recorded.
In what appeared to be an apparent move to exonerate the security outfit of any wrongdoing, Mr. Olayanju told newsmen: “Amotekun properties destroyed, houses of operatives burnt. It started with enforcing a ban on carnivals. Details later.”
The police in Oyo have yet to issue a statement on the killings.
Amotekun operatives have been spotlighted in recent weeks for various forms of notoriety and extra judicial killings.
On December 18, three persons were allegedly gunned down by an Amotekun agent said to be a member of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) – a militant socio-cultural Yoruba nationalist group in Asaka area of Ibadan, during a brawl with youths in the community.
Many Nigerians have queried why individuals with questionable character are being enlisted into the corps, which was created to complement the efforts of security agencies in the Southwestern states.
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