On Thursday, armed robbers invaded Offa town in Kwara state, attacking a police station, before moving on to robbing about 5 banks, according to eyewitnesses.
Premium Times reports that the banks robbed include branches of Guaranty Trust Bank, Eco Bank, First Bank, Union Bank and Zenith Bank in the town.
Speaking to the news portal, Kwara State Police Public Relations Officer, Ajayi Okasanmi said that the command could not immediately confirm casualty figure. However, if reports on social media are anything to go by, dozens of police officers and civilians were killed in the attack which is said to have lasted for over an hour.
Eyewitnesses claim that the robbers broke into the banks by detonating dynamites.
NAN reports that the blocked the Ilorin and Osogbo entrances into the town while their operation lasted, and later made their escape through Igosun, a nearby community after snatching some commercial motorcycles.
Reacting to the tragedy, Senate President and former governor of the state Bukola Saraki, said that perpetrators will be “caught and brought to justice”.
Saraki, in a statement on his Facebook, condoled with the families of the victims. He wrote:
Yesterday’s savage attack on unsuspecting citizens and establishments in Offa LGA, that led to significant loss of lives and injury is a despicable act committed by cruel individuals.
Make no mistake, there will never be any valid grounds or rationale behind such violence that has left many families without their loved ones — and one more community in grief and shock.
Last night, I spoke to Governor Ahmed to express my condolence on the lives that were lost in the attack, and we both agree that no stone will be left unturned until the perpetrators of this heinous act are caught and brought to justice.
Moving forward, it is also important that we all work together to ensure that this does not reoccur. We all must co-operate at various levels to increase the security of our communities.
I pray that the souls of those that we lost yesterday are granted places amongst the righteous ones. My prayers and support will continue to be extended to all the affected families, and we will remain relentless until everyone who planned or carried out this attack faces the full wrath of the law.
In a Facebook post, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed condoled with the families of victims, and also vowed to bring the attackers to justice.
I am very saddened by the tragic events at Offa today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who died in the armed robbery attack in the town today.
I am in constant touch with the security agencies in the state and have urged them to do all within their power to secure Offa and environs and bring the attackers to justice.
I have also directed the health services to rapidly deploy emergency services to treat those injured in the attack. My heartfelt condolences to the people of Offa and the families of victims of today’s attack.
This is not the first time Offa is witnessing robbery attacks and some banks had been forced to shut operations.