Ilesha-Baruba community in the Barutem Local Government Area of Kwara State has revealed the identities of three bus drivers shot dead by personnel of the Nigerian Army for refusing to part with N100 bribe for the soldiers at a checkpoint.
The community on Monday demanded justice for the slain bus drivers.
They asked the federal and state governments to probe the incident while lamenting the recklessness of security agencies at the border areas.
It was learnt that the deceased were killed by the soldiers for refusing to pay to the uniformed men N100 demanded as bribe.
Cause of the misunderstanding was an alleged N100 bribe (less than 30 US cents) which the soldiers who mounted a roadblock in the area demanded from the bus drivers.
The community, through the Barutem Patriotic Agenda, in a release signed by Mallam Sidi Oumar and Alhaji Umar Idris, called for a “thorough investigation into the shooting of Ilesha-Baruba indigenes.”
The community said, “The sad events of Friday, where some indigenes of Ilesha-Baruba in Baruten LGA were shot will forever remain a bad memory in the history of Kwara State.
“There is a need to reconsider border patrol activities in Barutem as there is no excuse whatsoever to collect bribes while compromising the security of the country. This anomaly is already a norm among security agencies across the length and breadth of Barutem inasmuch as there is no justification for any Baatonbi to indulge in smuggling.
“We call on both the Federal Government of Nigeria and Kwara State Government to immediately take responsibility for the care of the injured victims and to pay compensation to those who lost their lives.
“The Federal Government should make adequate provisions for security agencies on border patrol, especially across Barutem to aid their work and discourage them from taking bribes.
“There is a need for the necessary agencies, government at all levels and civil society organisations to investigate the root cause of what culminated to the unnecessary and unjust shooting of harmless indigenes at Ilesha-Baruba in order to bring the culprits to justice.
“The security agencies should be investigated thoroughly to fish out the criminally minded officers amongst them who have exposed us more rather than protecting us.
“On this note, BPA calls on the Ilesha-Baruba youth to be patient as an investigation is being carried out and we shall do everything within our rights to make sure the needful is done.”