Residents lament hoodlums’ free reign in Ogun, police invisibility
Some residents of Ikugbonmire Street, behind Expect God School, and environs in Mowe community of Ogun State have decried the siege on their area by armed hoodlums for the past three days. The residents said they are living in fear as hoodlums numbering over 100 still laid siege on their streets as at the time of filing this report yesterday.
The hoodlums, according to residents are breaking into houses and demanding for food, money and raping women, while residents have remained at home, obeying the lockdown directives of the government.
A resident, Mrs. Ajala Ojo, said: “We have been under attack since Monday. I could not call to inform anyone because my mobile phone is bad. I just managed to get to my neighbours to use their phone to call my family. These boys are attacking houses and streets with dangerous weapons. They are asking for food and money but when they cannot get anything, they resort to raping women.
“As I am talking to you now, about 100 of them are on my street at Ikugbonmire where I reside with my children. I am looking for every means to relocate because the attacks are scaring me and my children have been crying. I locked my doors and we are quiet inside our room as if nobody is in the house. Policemen came and threw tear gas but the hoodlums returned fire with gunshots and stones. The policemen left and came back later with more men,” she lamented.
Another resident, Pastor Kenny, said: “Attacks have been going on in Mowe. These boys have been attacking residents in Mowe in the last three days. They come out in the afternoon to rob residents staying at home and their attacks have spread to Ofada. Landlord in Shomeke Obafemi-Owode are staying up to watch over their community so that these boys will not attack us”.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Ogun State police command spokesperson, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, were not successful. When contacted, the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Kenneth Ebrimson, said: “There is nothing of such happening there. My DPO is on ground and he told me there is nothing happening. Let the person calling you also call me”.
Despite the disclaimer from the police, landlords and tenants in Ogun are taking extraordinary measures to protect themselves from armed robbers terrorising the various communities in the state.
Almost all the three zones in Ogun State have reported cases of armed robbery in the past few days.
The surge in cases of armed robbery is not unconnected with the COVID-19 lockdown, which has prevented many youths from going about their normal businesses.
Landlords and their tenants now stay outside with bonfires, awaiting the arrival of armed robbers. Across different social media platforms, alarms of robbery attacks are being raised by residents, calling the attention of the police to the affected areas.
In Owode-Yewa area of the state, residents were said to have resorted to using Oro cult to combat the suspected armed robbers, who reportedly go out day and night to dispossess people of their money and belongings.
A resident, Otunba Sanusi Adeniyi, in an open letter to Gov Abiodun said: “The spate of insecurity within Abeokuta is alarming, at this crucial time we can’t continue to have our people locked down in the day and the fear of armed robbers chases them out in the night. Nose covering, social distancing and some other COVID-19 precautionary measures are being jettisoned in the attempt to keep safe from robbery attacks.
Meanwhile, some Lagos residents have raised concerns over the absence of policemen on major roads and streets. The police came out full force two weeks ago following the presidential directive that Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Captial Territory (FCT) be locked down, but they appear to be losing steam.
Their absence coincided with cult clashes and armed robbery attacks around the Lagos-Ogun border communities. As the attacks spread to other parts of the state, such as Ikorodu, Ikotun, Oke Afa, Agege, Egbeda, Abule Egba, Meiran, Alakuko, Alagbado, Ijoko, Ogba and Ojodu Berger, there were complaints that the police have allegedly abandoned residents to their fate.
It was gathered that from Mushin to Abule Egba and back, there has been no police presence in the past three days. All the checkpoints mounted by the police have been discarded while those on patrol were hardly visible at nights.ties against hoodlums.
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