Policemen from the Oyo State Police Command Monday rebuffed attempts by youths from Soka area of Ibadan, where skulls and mutilated body parts as well as scores of bodies and emaciated captives were found last Saturday, to forcibly enter the forest of horror.
During the clash, an expectant woman was shot dead while one of the youths sustained gunshot injuries.
The state Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who visited the scene of the shock discovery, announced the immediate revocation of the Certificates of Occupancy (C of Os) of the expansive forest and vows to fish out those behind the dastard acts.
As part of the investigation, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Indabawa, said forensic experts would be engaged in investigating the killings.
The youths, acting on a report that another victim, believed to be a commercial cyclist, sent distress calls for help, had attempted to force their way into the forest when the police declined permission to allow them in.
One of the youths told THISDAY that “a commercial motorcyclist is still trapped in the building and we learnt he sent a text message that kidnappers were about to kill him.
“We were only attempting to storm the place and find out the true situation of things when policemen who have been keeping vigil there repelled us.”
The killing of the pregnant woman and the shooting of the youth enraged the youths who went on the rampage during which they vandalised two vehicles, a commercial bus and another belonging to the Ibadan zonal station of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
They also stripped themselves naked in protest against the attack.
Ajimobi, who visited the site of the discovery yesterday in company with members of the State Executive Council, heads of security agencies in the state and a forensic expert for an on-the-spot assessment of the forest, expressed sadness at what he called man’s inhumanity to his fellow man.
Visibly moved by the gory scene at the forest, the governor called for a minute silence and led prayers for the repose of the souls of those who died in the kidnappers’ den.
While describing the incident as most unfortunate, he announced the immediate revocation of the C of Os of the expansive forest and directed that the bush be cleared.
He said this was necessary to ensure easy access to the forest in a bid to get a full picture of what had been happening there.
He also pledged security agents would hunt the perpetrators and bring them to book.