By Monsuru Olowoopejo
Residents of Alimosho and Ifako-Ijaiye Local Governments in Lagos State are currently living under fear after some hoodlums stormed the two councils and started dispossessing residents of their property and traders of their money in different markets.
It was gathered that the perpetrators, who came from Sango-Ota in Ogun State, stormed Lagos state at noon and attacked residents in border communities including those in Agbado Oke Odo axis of the state.
Aside from attacking residents, it was gathered that hoodlums extended their operations to the popular Jankara market in Ojokoro area looting shops and dispossessed traders of their money.
According to a trader, the hoodlums, who were about 50 men armed with machetes and other dangerous weapons, stormed the market and robbed customers and traders, forcing many to shut their shops to prevent been attack by the hoodlums.
The attacks on Saturday, residents said, started three days ago with the hoodlums attacking communities and residents that visit any of the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in both local governments at night.
Our correspondent learned that the level of insecurity within the axis became worse following 14-day lockdown placed on Ogun and Lagos states by President Muhammadu Buhari to flatten the curve of coronavirus in the country.
Residents disclosed to our correspondent that in order to prevent the hoodlums from further attacks, they formed vigilante groups and stayed out at night setting up bonfires and adopted other strategies to scare them away.
It was learned that when the night operations proved abortive, the hoodlums adopted the daylight operations and looted shops and cart away goods.
A resident, who does not want his name in print, narrated to our correspondent how the entire community in Agbado axis has become a ghost town.
He noted that the shops that were not prevented from operating lockdown have been shut down their operations to prevent the hoodlums from carting away their goods.
He said: “They came from Sango-Ota in Ogun state and started dispossessing residents of their property in our community.
“The robbery started in the other street and due to the act, landlords in my streets instructed shops and other businesses to shut down because this could prevent them from coming here”, the resident added.
He disclosed that overnight, panic enveloped the community after gunshots rented the air, leaving residents to remain indoors with hopes that the hoodlums will not come to their house.
“Infact, a friend to my wife and her family cannot leave their house now due to the influx of hoodlums that robbed have continued to wreck havoc in communities on the borderline between Lagos and Ogun states”.
The Commander, Rapid Response Squad (RRS), a formation under Lagos Police command, DCP Olatunji Disu, led his formation in the patrol of Ijoko, Dalemo, Saka, Akinde, Alakuko, Abule, Alagbado, Jankara, Ahmadiya and others where the hoodlums harassed and robbing residents.
Disu, in an interview with our correspondent at the scene, assured residents of the affected communities that the law enforcement agency would put an end to the activities of the criminals in the area.
Disu said: “We have arrested five suspected hoodlums for engaging in the unlawful act in the state. And will be prosecuted in accordance with the laws of the country”.
Earlier, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Bala Elkana, explained that some of the locations where the incident happened fall under the jurisdiction of the Ogun State Police Command but the Lagos State Police Command has deployed its officers to the affected areas.
While disclosing strategies adopted by the miscreants, Elkana hinted that the miscreants often create a scene and pretend to fight each other at different locations and after the face-off degenerates, they attacked residents and traders carting away goods.
In order to prevent this trend from continuing during this period, the PPRO said that the command has deployed officers to deal with them.