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Ikorodu community protests alleged shooting of three residents by Naval men


A cross-section of protesters

A cross-section of protesters

FOLLOWING the shooting of three of their members on Monday, residents of Majidun community in Ikorodu, Lagos, yesterday, marched to the Lagos State House of Assembly to protest alleged killings by men of the Nigeria Navy in the area.

The protesters, numbering about 200, want the state government to immediately intervene and ensure the release of the shot victims — dead or alive.

Made up of community youths and the elderly, the residents complained bitterly that life had been hellish since the Naval men came into their community and appealed to the state government to see to their withdrawal.

It would be recalled that a trigger-happy officer, alleged to be one of the Naval men, went wild on Monday, shooting three residents in the garage.

Chairman of Majidun Community and leader of the protesters, Oloyede Egbodofo, said it was high time the state government came to their rescue, because, according to them, “we are been held captive and terrorized by armed forces in our own houses.”

Egbodofo recalled that the Naval men came to the their community on October 5, 2014, in search of oil theft and vandals of the pipeline that passed through the Majidun community.

But to his dismay, the officers, as he alleged, began to displace people from their homes and deny shop-owners and businesses like ferry operators, farmers, fishermen and sand dredgers from carry out their operations.

According to him, they began to break into shops and people’s homes with gun for robbery.

Egbodofo added that last Monday, one of Naval officers, in commemoration of his birthday, shot three of our brothers at that their place of work in Majidun Tipper Garage.

He said while the Naval command had claimed that the officer was unknown, the entire community had been unable to reach the victims; and an attempt to protest the development to the Naval Base in Majidun had further led into community unrest.

“At about 10am on August 26, 2015, these Naval men paraded the community with their armoured tank to intimidate the community with the impression that some gangs are coming to attack them. Your Excellency Sir, Majidun is not a violent community whereby we can be terrorized and be intimidated by the military. Please save our soul,” he pleaded.

Youth leader, Ahmed Aboriota, added that there were conflicting reports on the status of the three victims; a source said they were dead, another affirmed that they are recuperating in a hospital.

Of primary importance to their families, Aboriota said, is to see the victims — Olanrewaju Agbolaja and two Igbos – and bring an end to the agonies of their family members.

He added that the community had been in perpetual fear, even as several people had been displaced. “Our father’s and mothers now squat in religious houses and our entire economy paralyzed. We want the government to come to our rescue,” he said.

Member of the House, who received the protesters, Bisi Yusuf, commended the protesters for their peaceful walk, as he gave assurance that the House would do everything in its power to look into the matter and restore peace in the community.

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