There was tension among the residents of Okitipupa, the headquarters of the Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State.
No fewer than 45 youths from the northern part of the country were arrested by the Ondo State Security Network, also known as Amotekun Corps.
It was gathered that the youths, conveyed in a truck, were intercepted in front of the Okitipupa Army Barracks at about 10pm on Thursday and were taken to Akure, the state capital.
Many residents of the town, who gathered at the scene, expressed apprehension that the northern youths were in the town to cause havoc.
A source said, “The Amotekun Corps personnel arrested the Fulani youths who were being conveyed in a trailer in front of the army barracks. As the Amotekun Corps accosted them, some jumped out of the vehicle and ran into the town, but about 45 were arrested.
“When they were interrogated, they said they were sent from the North to undergo military training in the barracks. After that, the Amotekun Corps took them away from the town.”
When contacted, the state Commander of the corps, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, confirmed the arrest, saying the investigation had commenced.
“We have commenced investigation into the matter,” Adeleye said.
Reacting, the chairman, Okitipupa Local Government Area, Mr Igbekele Akinrinwa, who addressed the people at the scene of the incident, alleged that it was an indigene who facilitated the travellers trip to the town.
Akinrinwa said the state chapter of Amotekun had also apprehended the person.
The Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Mr Tee-Leo Ikoro, in an interview with Punch also confirmed the incident, saying the suspects had been handed over to the Amotekun Corps.
He said, “The men are mostly northerners who said they wanted to undergo military training in the barracks to be security guards but the commander did not allow them because he did not have a signal to that effect. But since there was no place to keep them in Okitipupa, they have been handed over to Amotekun.”