The youths of Ilara Mokin in the Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State have allegedly vandalised the police station in the community.
They alleged that the police failed to respond to their distress calls when armed robbers attacked a branch of the United Bank for Africa in the town.
Gunmen, numbering about 10, attacked the bank on Thursday, killing three persons, including a policeman, a journalist, Mr Bunmi Afuye and a commercial motorcyclist. The hoodlums also carted away an undisclosed amount of money from the bank.
A source said the youth of the town protested at the police station in the community and attempted to set it ablaze. They were prevented from doing so by some community leaders but they eventually vandalised the police station.
The source said, “The youths immediately gathered after the incident on Thursday evening and headed to the police station. They were unhappy about the whole thing because if the police had responded on time, the robbers would not have had their way.
“The robbers spent over 20 minutes carrying out the operation and we made several calls to the police but we didn’t see them. It was some minutes after they (robbers) had left that the policemen started arriving at the scene. This is what infuriated the youth. “
In his comment, a community leader, Mr Richard Ariyo, appealed to the youth to be calm and urged security agencies to arrest the perpetrators.
He said, “The youth wanted to burn the police station. They forgot most things here were provided by the community and other individuals. They should know that burning the police station is not the solution.”
As a result of the Thursday incident, social and economic activities of the town were at low ebb. Also, shops in town were shut, particularly those around the bank’s vicinity.
The spokesperson for the police in the state, Mr Tee-Leo Ikoro, said the command had gone after the robbers.
He added, “I want to assure you that before next week, the robbers would be arrested.’’
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ondo State Council, has condemned the killing of one of its members, Afuye, by the robbers.
A statement on Friday by the Chairman of the union, Mr Tona Aderoboye, described the killing as callous, wicked and unforgivable.
It read, “We will sorely miss Bunmi’s huge contributions to Ondo NUJ and unionism in the state as many of our members had benefited from his media expertise. We equally condole with families and colleagues of the policeman and motorcyclist killed in the robbery.’’