Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen on Friday killed Mrs Funke Olakunrin, daughter of the National leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti.
According to a source, Olakunrin was killed along the Ore-Shagamu Expressway at Kajola Village in Odigbo Local Government Area of the state during an armed robbery.
The source said the deceased was on her way to Ondo town for a ceremony when the incident happened.
He said, “The hoodlums started shooting as they stopped some vehicles on the highway to rob and kidnap the travellers. During the process, the woman was hit by a bullet while those who escaped sustained injuries.”
Spokesman for the police in the state, Femi Joseph, confirmed the incident, saying it was a robbery. He said three vehicles belonging to “Young Shall Grow Motors Limited, a Toyota Land Cruiser Jeep with Registration Number LAGOS AAA 147 FM and a Toyota Camry “ were involved in the incident.
He added that the deceased was in a Toyota Land Cruiser Jeep when she was shot while one traveller identified as Gerald Igbuoyikha was kidnapped by the gunmen.
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.”
When our correspondent visited the residence of Chief Fasoranti, the atmosphere was mournful and all efforts to reach the Afenifere leader was unsuccessful as the security man at that gate said visitors were not allowed.
Spokesman for Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said they had been informed about Fasoranti’s daughter’s killing.
According to him, the 58-year-old woman was going to Ore Junction from Akure when she was shot by the gunmen.
He said, “We have confirmed the death of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, (daughter of our leader, Chief Fasoranti).
“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.”
Funke is the second child of 94-year-old Fasoranti to die. The elder statesman had lost a daughter, Bunmi, some years ago.
Reacting, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the February 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, on Friday condemned the killing of Fasoranti’S daughter.
Atiku on his Facebook post said the death was one too many, adding that the Federal Government should fish out the killers and bring them to book.
[YOU MAY ALSO LIKE] Ruga ultimatum: Ohanaeze youths seek peace as MASSOB talks tough
The Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, also condemned the murder of Olakunrin. In a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Donald Ojogo, the governor said, “the state commissioner of police had been directed to comb all forests of Ondo State to bring to book, the bandits.
‘There is no hiding place for such in Ondo State.”