The death toll from the robbery attack in Offa, Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, on Thursday, may have risen to at least 30.
Reports had earlier put the death toll at between 12 and 15 – comprising six policemen and more than six civilians – but the figure has risen significantly.
It was gathered that about 30 robbers had hit the Offa town, raiding five commercial banks along the Owode Market Area of the town in Offa Local Government Area of the state.
The attack which lasted for hours had left the banks damaged with many feared killed and many more injured. The armed robbers were said to have made away with several millions of naira from the banks, leaving behind a tale of sorrow, tears and blood.
According to eyewitnesses’ narrations, the number of bodies counted at the scene of the incident indicated that those who lost their lives were about 30.
One of the eyewitnesses said, “I personally counted up to 30 dead bodies and I am sure the figure might increase because a lot of people were critically injured by gunshots.”
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Lawan Ado, said on Friday that nine policemen and seven civilians were killed by the armed robbers that stormed five banks in Offa.
Speaking on the incident on Friday, the command’s spokesperson, Mr. Ajayi Okasanmi, quoted the commissioner of the state as saying that the police had commenced investigation into the robbery and that six vehicles used by the robbers for the operation had been recovered.
Speaking when he visited the victims at the hospital on Friday, the governor, who had ordered that the victims be moved from Offa to Ilorin for better medical care, had, on his Facebook page, directed health services in the state to rapidly deploy emergency services to treat those injured in the attack.
The governor, who went round the wards to meet with the victims, described the incident as unfortunate, while praying to God to grant the injured victims quick recovery.
He said, “We will take care of all their hospital bills; we must begin to watch one another’s back. Policing is everybody’s job, therefore, when we see strange people in our communities, we must learn to report to appropriate security agencies because activities like this require some time for planning and execution.
“I offer my heartfelt condolences to the people of Offa and the families of the victims of this attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who died in the attack. I’m in constant touch with the security agencies in the state and I have urged them to do all within their powers to secure Offa and environs and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Also, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said he had discussed the matter with the governor and that those who carried out the attacks must be found and prosecuted accordingly.
Saraki, in his Facebook post, described the robbery incident as “a despicable act committed by cruel individuals”.
He added, “I spoke to Governor Ahmed to offer my condolences over the lives that were lost in the attack, and we both agreed that no stone will be left unturned until the perpetrators of this heinous act are caught and brought to justice. We will remain relentless until everyone who planned or carried out this attack faces the full wrath of the law.”
To the lives we lost in Offa. May their soul rest in peace.
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