By Kayode Awojobi
There are many things that account for the growing spate of criminality in our world. There are millions of people who have lost their sources of livelihood to the dreaded Coronavirus Pandemic. Despite this, it is important to stress love that the rising waves of criminality is a major concern to Nigerians.
One of the fad of the moment by men of the underworld is to pay their infamous visits to banks situated in the hinterlands. You will recall the Offa bank robbery of Kwara State, the Yagba bank robbery of Kogi State, the several bank robberies in Oye, Ifaki, Ado, etc, all in Ekiti State, amongst others.
Today, the sons of the concubine made Okeho, a town in Oyo State, their point of call. Unfortunately for them, they met their waterloo in the gallantry of the people of the town who were quick to mobilise the local hunters and vigilantes to foil what would have gone down in history as a catastrophic threat to the peace of the agrarian town.
Okeho people are known to be self reliant in all they do and just as stated in the oriki of the town, “Ogun Idoomi-Idoopa, ogun filaani- ofilango, apaa won se ko kawon baba to biwa lomo”. This is to ascertain the fact that Okeho people have always defeated their oppressors just like the case of the Dahomey Invaders and the Fulanis who were disturbing the town and some other Yoruba towns in the ages past. Then, it can be concluded that Okeho is like the Biblical Jerusalem.
July 29th, 2020 would always be a day to remember in the history of Okeho when the unknown gunmen attacked the Bank in Okeho which happened to be the only bank serving the people of Kajola, Itesiwaju and Iwajowa. The financial transactions for the day had closed. However, the story is different from others towns that had experienced such, the robbers met their waterloo and they were set ablaze when they were caught after their car had an accident.
Contrary to several opinion that this would be the first time a bank robbery would happen in Okeho, it would be recalled that this same occurrence happened in the year 1992 when the Okeho Cooperative Bank situated few meters away from the same location of the bank that was attacked. Just like this one, it was a failed robbery that year, the good people of Okeho stood to their feet and fought the good fight for their darling hometown. Kudos to the police officers and the local hunters for a job wonderfully done.
Now that history has repeated itself again in the town with a space of 28 years, it is an indication that Okeho people are yet to relent in fighting for what is theirs, most especially in this situation when the former MD of First Bank Plc, Mr Moyo Ajekigbe is an illustrious son of Okeho.
While we lost the Okeho Cooperative Bank which later turned to Skyebank, we wouldn’t want this same occurrence to happen in the story of the bank which is serving the people of three local governments. We therefore call on the stakeholders to take a drastic step in resuscitating the financial transactions of the bank in no time.
To think that the bank involved is only a few metres away from the Divisional Police Headquarters, restates the need for the police to assert their unmistakable relevance in the safeguarding of our people.
My heart goes out to the family of the policeman and the young man from Okeho, who paid the supreme price. In fact, they died as heroes.
Okeho is indeed the “akikanju of Oke-ogun’ as stated in the anthem of the town composed by Prof. Segun Gbadegesin. Indeed, we’ve proven once again to the entire world that we still in the path of our ancestors as showcased what Adedayo Idowu stated in Oriki of Okeho that “ Okeho! Ohun o ba fe lo fe, ohun o ba ko, o ko o.
Conclusively, as Alagba Adebayo Faleti said in the concluding part of Agogo Eewo, I posits therefore that the good people of Okeho should continue to work and walk against their oppressors as of the days of our ancestors, and we shouldn’t relax or relent in fighting a good fight for the development of our home town. Therefore, “bi ewe ibi mi bati n ru, e je a maa gee”
Olofin a gbewa o!