Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Armed robbers, numbering about 20 were in the early hours of Thursday invaded Apete community, in Ido Local Government Area of Oyo State, and unleashed a reign of terror.
Apete is a community, where thousands of people, including many students and lecturers of The Polytechnic Ibadan and University of Ibadan live.
The robbers were said to have stormed Jamade Street, Opposite Goshenland, a sub-community of Apete and inflicted deep matchet cuts on at least six persons and carted away valuable property, including laptops, phones and cash, apart from valuables that they also destroyed.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Oyo State, Mr. Olugbenga Fadeyi, who confirmed the robbery incident, said the police had begun investigation into the matter with a view to clamping down on the hoodlums, adding that the reports he got from the Divisional Police Officer from Apete stated that there was a distress call from the community and the division sent a patrol team to the crime scene immediately. But the robbers had run away before the police got there.
Residents of the community said the robbers invaded them around 1a.m and robbed at least 10 houses, including the house of Deputy Photo Editor of the Guardian Newspaper, Mr. Najeem Raheem.
Raheem’s son, Faruk, was said to have put up a resistance and in the process, he was hit with a rod, which made him to faint. But he was later resuscitated.
According to Raheem, “I thank God I didnt lose my son and wife. They came in through the fence and stormed my compound. My wife sustained matchet cut and my son was hit with iron, making him to lose consciousness. We called the police but the response was not encouraging. The Commissioner of Police needs to deploy more teams to Apete community and Yidi-Arola for regular patrol. They were serial attackers. We can’t sleep with our eyes closed anymore.
“Governor Makinde also needs to see to this rising insecurity. We have turned ourselves to night guards. We are suffering the bad economy and the government must protect us. We need more police presence in Apete, Yidi-Arola and Ariyibi. A good government must be able to protect the lives and property of her citizens.”
When the robbers raided a student hostel in th community, they left four among the students with matchet cuts. The victims of the robbery incident, as gathered, include an Islamic cleric, who is a cow merchant in the neighborhood, as well as a lecturer with the Lead City University and a staff member of staff of West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
The police were said to have been informed about the robbery when the goons arrived the community. But the police reportedly stormed the area about one hour 30 minutes later. But the Divisional Police Headquarters, Apete should normally be five minutes drive away from the crime scene.
A resident of Apete, who did not want his me in print, said: “The police that came were even blaming residents asking them where they got the phones that were stolen by the thieves. This is the least we expected from the police who said they are our friends. In fact, some people called 615 released by the government and other numbers. We didn’t get any response.
“In this community alone, no fewer than 40 houses have been attacked with not less than 30 persons sustaining all sorts of injuries after losing valuables, in the last one month.”