TheRE was confusion in the Akute area of Ogun State on Tuesday as residents accosted three Catholic Fathers-in-training, popularly called seminarians, tagging them terrorists.
It was learnt that the three seminarians, who were students of Franciscal Friars of the Emaculate Seminary School, Sagamu, Ogun State, had come to the area on a visit to their friend when they were mistaken for terrorists.
It was learnt that the students attracted the attention of the residents because they were dressed in white gowns.
A resident, who pleaded anonymity for security reason, said, “The white gown attracted attention. One of them even had a beard. Some of us stopped them to know their mission. But before you know it, many people went to town that terrorists were in Akute.”
Another resident, a commercial motorcycle rider, who also declined to give his name, said after interviewing the students, the residents were convinced that they were not terrorists
He said, “Yes, we confronted three young men dressed as Catholic Church priests. We initially thought that they were Boko Haram members. However, after having a chat with them and searching them, we discovered that they were not terrorists. We subsequently allowed them to go. Nobody arrested them.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said the students were taken to the police station where their identities were confirmed.
Adejobi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said, “Those seen and challenged by members of the public in the Akute area were actually students of Franciscal Friars of the Emaculate Seminary School Sagamu Ogun State.
“They were on a visit to a friend at Kayode Afolabi Close, Mubarak Estate Akute,Ogun State, before a distress call was put across to the Divisional Police Officer in Charge of Ajuwon Division.
“The intending catholic priests were on their normal white robes with beards which made the residents to be suspicious that they were members of Boko Haram. They were taken to the Police Divisional Office for interrogation where their identities were confirmed.
“The leaders and representatives of the seminary school in Sagamu, the Catholic Priest in Akute and some other students of the school have visited the police division in Ajuwon to identify them as their catholic members who are actually on training.”
Adejobi appealed to the general public to always clarify issues before spreading wrong information, particularly sensitive issues on security.