…Residents desert homes
By Christopher Oji
MORE than 48 hours after suspected militants killed several people in Ogun and Lagos states, the affected communities are still like ghost towns with the people having fled to safety even as 5000 policemen and soldiers have been deployed by the Lagos State Police Command and the 81 Division, Nigerian Army, to restore normalcy in Igbolomu, Ikorodu where suspected militants slaughtered
scores of residents of the area.
A resident who spoke with Sunday Sun about 4.30pm yesterday, on condition of anonymity, said that the place was still a death zone.
His words: “The militants do not to come out in the afternoon. They wait for everyone to go to bed and by 11.30pm, they would come out and slaughter anyone they see. Residents are still leaving the community as I speak with you. These killers are pipeline vandals whose illicit business has been ruined due to government checks. The residents are paying for what they did not cause. We need presence of more security personnel and they should not just come and go, they should stay with us because these Ijaw boys would still come again.”
At least 20 persons were feared killed and scores injured when suspected pipeline vandals raided Igbolomu, a border community between Lagos and Ogun State. The vandals had last week attacked a neighbouring community, Ibeshi, Ogun State, killing four persons.
The vandals accused people in the communities of giving information to security operatives about their illegal activities. The hoodlums had been angry at the way joint security operatives took over the area, preventing them from vandalizing pipelines.
The hoodlums stormed the Igbolomu community about midnight shooting sporadically and killing anyone on sight.
A community leader, John Ogunike said, “Some of our relatives were slaughtered like ram. Mr. Isioluwa Angus and his wife Rosemary were slaughtered with knife. Some of the victims were shot at close range while some were hit by stray bullet.
“At the Lagos State side,five Police patrol vans were used to evacuate 20 dead bodies. In Ogun side, we don’t know how many people lost their lives, but, information reaching me showed that many dead bodies had been discovered. The Ogun State people are yet to evacuate the bodies on their own side.
We are relocating from this community. Everybody is scared. Even the neighbouring communities are also running away because, no one knows their fate.
It happened last week at Ibeshi and no one suspected they would storm our area.
Who knows the next place they would go tomorrow as they have vowed to wipe out communities within this axis. We are begging the government to come to our rescue.”
As at the time of filling this from the affected communities. Effort to reach the Commissioner of Police, Ogun State command, Abdulmajid Ali proved abortive as his telephone was switched off.
Army spokesman in Lagos, Lieutenant Colonel Samuel said on telephone that the army had cordoned off the area. He explained that patrols by men of Operation MESA had increased with more personnel deployed to avert any repeat.
“Normalcy has returned and our officers are there. There is no issue anymore. Patrol has
been increased,” he said. A source at the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) also said the situation at Ikorodu had been brought under control by teams of policemen from the Lagos and Ogun commands.
The source said: “The Commissioner of Police has ordered deployment of more men to the place as at noon yesterday.
As we speak now, there are thousands of policemen from the mobile police squadron, the RRS, Ikorodu Divisions, Area Commands and military personnel. Residents are no longer deserting the area because we are all there to secure them.”