Posted by News Express | 14 April 2020 | 4,181 times
By PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU
Residents of Agege have cried to government and security agencies to rescue them from hoodlums unleashing mayhem in the area.
Tension started in the area over the weekend following attacks by suspected cultists who went from street-to-street robbing and raping innocent residents.
The attacks in Agege were spillover of last week’s assault on residents and traders at Abule Egba, Alagbado, Meiran, Alakuko, Ijoko and Sango, among others by armed gangs numbering over 200, that has left at least four people feared killed.
Pockets of robbery incidents were alleged to have taken place simultaneously at Olusanya Adenire, Pen Cinema, Oniwaya, Orile-Agege, Dopemu and Agbotikuyo on Sunday, as the hoodlums armed with guns, bottles and cutlasses dispossessed their victims of cash, food and other valuables.
Most of the residents who raised alarm on social media said they were under siege both during the day and at night as the hoodlums showed no mercy on their victims.
The residents also lamented that police abandoned them to their fate while the robbers wreaked havoc overnight, a development that forced youths and local vigilantes to arm themselves with sticks and cutlasses to fight the hoodlums.
Some of the robbers arrested by residents were beaten, forced to eat fresh peppers and given water to step them down before they were handed over to the police.
However, the youths who joined the local security efforts went overboard as they started harassing motorists at nightfall.
It was gathered that most of the youths, who reeked of alcohol and marijuana, formed roadblocks at 100-metre intervals, harassing and extorting motorists going home.
A resident, who plied the road around 11pm, expressed worries that the youths were causing apprehension.
He also lamented the lack of police presence from Oshodi to Abule Egba, appealing to the Commissioner Hakeem Odumosu to act fast.
“I was harassed by those boys keeping watch in Agege. It is scary the way they behaved. I left the office for my residence around 11pm and on the expressway, I noticed there were bonfires. I also observed two checkpoints from Oshodi to Abule Egba.
“The first one which is just around Ikeja Underbridge was manned by a soldier and then, at Abule Egba, there was an armoured tank with one policeman there.
“But inside the streets, the situation was different. There were no policemen anywhere. Those youths who formed vigilantes were harassing people. It was a frightening situation as they stopped me at every 100 metres with so much aggression.
“They reeked of alcohol and marijuana. There were shattered bottles everywhere. They search people’s cars, boots and then proceed to ask for money under the guide that they are keeping vigil to wade off robbers.
“I think there is need for the police to control these young men else they will take to robbing people. It is good for the community to keep wake against robbers but not the way the boys are doing it. Maybe, the police should deploy armed officers in their midst so that the officers can control them,” he said.
Checks by The Nation revealed that the police were overwhelmed by the series of alerts they received on simultaneous robbery incidents across Alimosho and Ayobo Local Government Areas (LGAs).
It was gathered that most of the distressed calls responded to by the police turned out to be false alarms from apprehensive residents, a development that frustrated most of the operatives.
“We have been working round the clock since last week. We were posted on the field with no protective gears and we have been working morning and night to keep the people safe yet, they do not seem to appreciate the work we have been doing.
“The people are panicked and so they raise mostly false alarms. What they do not know is that we have limited resources to be running from street to street in chase of robbers. Some divisions only have one patrol vehicle and all these alarms are coming in at the same time,” he said.
Contacted, police spokesman Bala Elkana said the youths were responsible for the panic, adding that the Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered the arrest of anyone found on the streets.
“Those setting bonfires and organising vigilantes are the ones causing these panics. They are the ones making people to be afraid. They were just looking for reasons to come out and they created one. So, the Commissioner has directed DPOs and Area Commanders to disperse any gathering of youths in their neighbourhood.
“We will go all out against them because they are breaching the social distancing order and also creating fear in the minds of the people. Policemen have been deployed extensively to prevent crimes.
“We urge everyone setting up bonfires with tyres in their streets in areas like Abule Egba, Mangoro, Ogba, etc, in the name of protecting the communities to desist from it as it is causing panic amongst residents,” he said. (The Nation)
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