Three young boys between the ages of 21 and 23 were feared dead, while many other were injured between Sunday and Tuesday in Aiyetoro and Layeni communities in Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State, following attacks and reprisal attacks by hoodlums within the area. The affected victims included a resident of Aroworade Street, who was stabbed to death on Sunday, one Farouk, a vulcanizer-apprentice at Opaleye bus stop, who was alleged to have been caught by a stray bullet from the security operatives on Monday evening and another victim who was shot at Opaleye Street on Tuesday morning.
Our correspondent learnt the a group called Opaleye boys in their large numbers, stormed Okoya and Aroworade streets at about 8pm on Sunday night destroying properties, breaking and looting shops, and in the process, stabbed a boy to death.
It was learnt that on hearing about the death of their neighbour, Aroworade boys went for a reprisal attack at Opaleye street on Monday afternoon and the crisis lasted till midnight. It took the arrival of men of OP MESA, SARS attacked to Ajeromi Police Division and Layeni Police to calm the situation.
According our investigation, in the process of quelling the crisis, stray bullet hit one of the victims.
Then at about 9am on Tuesday, hoodlums suspected to have come from Opaleye Street continue the attack by smashing vehicles, vandalising shops and breaking into houses. The incident, which lasted for over three hours, put fear in the residents, as what could be the next line of action.
Moreover, as a result, many parents went to withdraw their children and wards from their schools for fear of being trapped.
As at the time of filling this reports on Tuesday afternoon, residents in the area were seen in groups sharing their experiences about the crisis.
Speaking to our correspondent, Mrs Basira Alowe blamed boys from Opaleye Street for igniting the crisis by stabbing an Aroworade Street boy to death. According to her, the incident on Sunday night led to what snowballed to a serious crisis.
“This crisis started on Sunday when the Opaleye Boys stormed Aroworade and Okoya streets and stabbed a young boy to death.
“We were surprised when the boys came in their large numbers at about 7:30 pm on Sunday with cutlasses, axes and other dangerous weapons and started destroying everything in the area. We all ran into our houses. It was later that we saw a boy with a knife driven through his back.”
According to her, everyone around tried to remove the knife, but could not. “The boy was taken to a private hospital and he was rejected due to lack of police report. The knife was in his body till the next day and he died.”
Another resident Mrs Shakirat Olowe was of the view that the attack started a long time ago, as both sides do not see eye to eye.
She wondered why two neighbouring streets should not be peaceful and see each other as one. She called on the government, community leaders and law enforcement agents to intervene seriously in the matter in order to bring a lasting solution to it.
“The Opaleye and Aroworade issue keeps on recurring; each time it happens, lives will be lost, properties will be vandalised or destroyed and business will suffer. In fact, we want the government to save us from this danger before more harm will be done.”