The death toll from Thursday’s robbery attack in Offa town in Kwara State has risen to at least 30.
About 30 robbers had hit the town, raiding five commercial banks along the Owode Market Area of the town in Offa Local Government Area of the state.
The Kwara State Police Command confirmed yesterday that nine of its personnel were killed by the robbers.
Seven other people lost their lives in the attacks, spokesman for the command, Mr.Ajayi Okansanmi, told reporters in an update on the mayhem.
Unofficial accounts yesterday said the death toll might have risen to 23, including two policemen allegedly shot by the robbers in Okuku, Osun State while returning from the operation.
Three vehicles were reportedly abandoned by them.
Angry residents called for an immediate review of the security architecture for banks in Kwara State.
Senate President Bukola Saraki, reacting to the incident on his Facebook wall, called it a despicable act committed by cruel individuals.
He said he had spoken with Governor Fatah Ahmed on the development and both of them agreed that no stone would be left unturned until the bandits were found and prosecuted.
One of the casualties was said to be pregnant. Sources gave her name as Omilola Korede.
She reportedly went to one of the banks to lodge a complaint about a transaction.
She had gone to the bank with her young son but both of them were sprayed with bullets.
Three other women identified as Bunmi Mesan, Iya Muji and Mama Big Club, were also killed.
A survivor, who said he hid inside one of the banks during the attack, was still in shock when he shared his ordeal with our reporter yesterday.
He said: “My brother, it is not something to recall or witness. I don’t even pray it for my enemies.
“I saw death staring at me and others. I still can’t talk much about it.”
He pleaded not to be named.
The paramount ruler of the town, the Olofa, Oba Muftau Gbadamosi, was lost for words when he was contacted yesterday.
He said the destruction that came with the robbery was enormous.
A colloquium on the community scheduled for today (Saturday) was shifted to April 14, following the incident.
Offa community leaders spent much of yesterday discussing the robbery incident and resolved to hold a larger meeting of Offa sons and daughters on Sunday, April 29.
Senate President Saraki said: “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.
“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.”0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000