President Muhammadu Buhari and Rotimi Akeredolu, Governor of Ondo State, have condoled with Reuben Fasoranti, leader of Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, over the murder of his daughter, Funke Olakurin.
According to reports, Olakurin was shot dead at Ore, Ondo State, on Friday while on her way from Akure, the state capital, to Lagos.
Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere spokesperson, who was the first to publicly announce the incident, said the deceased was murdered by persons suspected to be herdsmen.
“We have confirmed the death of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin (58), daughter of our leader, Chief Fasoranti”, Odumakin told the Punch.
“Eyewitness accounts say she died of gunshots from Fulani herdsmen who shot her at Ore junction in Ondo State earlier today.
“She was coming from Akure when the armed Fulani herdsmen came from the bush to attack her and other vehicles.
“Her domestic staff in the car with her also sustained gunshots.
“This is one death too many and a clear we-can-take-it-no-more death.”
But Femi Joseph, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ondo State Police Command, who confirmed the incident, said the deceased was killed during a robbery.
He stated that the incident involved passengers in two private vehicles and a commercial coach.
He said: “Three vehicles were ambushed by gunmen at Kajola on the Benin-Ore Expressway around 2pm.
“One woman named Funmi Olakunrin was shot but died before our men could take her to the hospital. The woman (deceased) was travelling in a Toyota Jeep.
“One man in another Toyota Camry Car was abducted by the gunmen. Our men have rescued seven men travelling in the commercial bus belonging to Young Shall Grow Motors Limited.
“We have begun search for the man that was abducted and to get the hoodlums.”
In a terse statement, Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity said President Buhari prays to God to give the Afenifere leader the courage to bear the loss.
The statement read: “President Muhammadu Buhari condoles with Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, whose daughter, Mrs Funke Olakunrin was killed along Ondo-Ore road by those described as armed robbers by Ondo Police Command. He prays God to give Pa Fasoranti fortitude to bear the loss.”
In his own reaction, Governor Akeredolu said the murder has increased the level of fear of Nigerians about the state of security in the country.
Expressing his sympathy to the 94-year old Fasoranti, the governor in a statement issued by Donald Ojogo, Ondo Commissioner for Information, on Friday appealed for calm in the state.
He added that investigation has already begun to identify the “bloodthirsty murderers.
The statement read: “This sad development once again, heightens the level of fear that has pervaded our nation, even as it represents a despicable commentary in all ramifications.
“To say the least, it represents an unenviable turning point, the depth of everything that is evil. On behalf of the state executive council, the governor symphatises with our foremost leader and indeed the people of the state over this dastardly act .
“However, the governor wishes to appeal to all and sundry to remain calm and allow the Police to unravel the perpetrators of this murder. Already, the commissioner of police has been directed to comb all forests of Ondo state to bring to book, these bloodthirsty murderers. There is no hiding place for such in Ondo state.”
Funke is the second child of Fasoranti to die. The elder statesman had lost a daughter, Bunmi, some years ago.