As the lockdown exercise in Ogun State entered its second week, robbers have continued to threaten the peace of communities in major parts of the state.
The communities affected include Toll-Gate, Dalemo, Sango, Ijoko, Oniyale, Iyana-Ilogbo, all the way to Ifo area of the state.
Multiple residents of the communities who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES confirmed that they barely slept in their communities since the lockdown began about a week ago.
Our reporter confirmed that shops and houses have been attacked in the communities, with money and foodstuff carted away.
PREMIUM TIMES’ random assessment of the communities on Saturday showed that there were bonfires in major streets in the communities affected from Ijoko/Ogba-Ayo through Sango to Ifo.
Kafayat Oladepo, a resident of Ogba-ayo area told PREMIUM TIMES Friday evening that they were robbed on Thursday, with money and other valuables lost in the attack.
“The boys came on Thursday,” she began in her native Yoruba. “They fired shots into the air and people ran for safety. Then they began what was like a house-to-house search, looting money and other valuables.”
“It was very scary. The security situation in this part of Ogun is poor. The boys know that and that’s why they invade our houses like this.”
Multiple residents confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that the robbers do not operate only in the night, but by mid-day and sometimes, noon.
Okafor James, a resident of Sango Otta community, told PREMIUM TIMES on Friday that the mode of operation is scary, signaling what he called a “dangerous pattern”.
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“The pattern is dangerous. They come on bikes (motorcycles) and raid the entire community once there is no push-back. We have not slept in the last one week.
“Yesterday, they came to our community but we were lucky to be alert by then. They first came around 1 a.m., we heard tip-off and chased them back through the streets leading to gas-line. So we went back but they did not relent. Around 3 o’clock, they invaded again from the back of the street. They rode on about 30 okadas and were racing violently.
“Again, we reinforced and pushed back. They fired shots to scare us away and our vigilante guys began firing shots in retaliation. It was like a movie but very sad. We don’t sleep in my community any longer.”
Another resident, Alfa Jamiu, claimed that when the robbers visited Friday morning, the community informed the police “but were told to sort themselves out because they too were overwhelmed.”
PREMIUM TIMES could not independently confirm this claim.
The police spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, did not respond to phone calls by the reporter.
Residents claimed that there have been pockets of arrests but the attacks on communities and households still go on.
A resident who identified herself simply as Shade explained that when they invaded their community in Joju area of Ota, the robbers came with a POS machine.
She said: “They were so confident that they came with POS and ensured that they went with food and money. They operate for hours and we had nobody to help us. The problem is that the operation is simultaneous in almost all the areas surrounding us.”
Meanwhile, residents of the communities took to Twitter early Saturday to register their anger. Many complained of the poor security network and others called on the government to address the situation.
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