Benin city – Some Benin Residents have condemned the recent attack at the Ogba Zoological Gardens and Nature park, in Oredo local government area of Edo state, by unknown gunmen suspected to be kidnappers.
The attack which took place on Sunday evening according to reports, led to the abduction of the chief executive of the leisure park, Dr. Andy Ehanire, and death of three policemen posted to the park to provide security for fun seekers.
The gunmen, after killing the policemen, were however reported to have collected their loaded rifles before whisking away with the park’s Director.
Speaking with THE SUNDAY OBSERVER on the dastardly act, the Director, Institute of Benin Studies, Mr Aiko Obobaifo, condemned the attack, describing it as an assault on the tourism industry.
Mr Obobaifo noted that such incident could dissuade fun seekers from visiting the leisure park, which he said has always attracted tourists from across the world.
“It is a very bad report because we have always been saying we must develop alternative ways different from oil as revenue generation in this country, and tourism is a very big potential for foreign exchange.
“It is tragic, it is highly condemnable, and it is unfortunate that we have moved ten steps backward from where we were aspiring to start from”, He said
Also speaking, a religious leader in Benin city, Evang Kelvin Osadolor, urged residents to be security cautious by reporting strange movement and activities to the police.
Evang Osadolor who charged security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities, called on government at all levels to adopt technology in the prevention and detecting of any criminal activities in key locations in the country.
“Place like the Ogba zoo suppose to have CCTV cameras installed in it, to watch the activities of those coming in and out of the place. It is very unfortunate this is happening at this time when the state government is trying to attract foreign investors”. He noted
On his part, a civil servant, Mr Iyangbe Osazee, enjoined the authorities to be proactive, and be sensitive to the plight of the people, especially fun seekers, which he noted are now scared of visiting the site.
“Such place should be beefed up with the necessary security apparatus, like close circuit cameras and enough policemen. What has happened there would get people scared because life has no duplicate and government may lose revenue coming from the place.
“The police need to be trained and retrained on modern security techniques in other to avert future occurrence, not just in Edo state, but across the country”. Mr Osazee added.
However, during a visit to the leisure park by our correspondent, most areas usually packed with fun seekers were scanty, as staffs who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity lamented that, patronage has drastically reduce.
A fun seeker at the park, Miss Mabel Awanbor, who frowned at the incident, expressed confidence in the security agents to rescue the abducted Park’s executive director and bring the culprits to book.
“On Sunday is Nigeria’s Independence day, I am going to be here to have fun and I am very sure Ogba zoo will bounce back”. Miss Awanbor added