Vandals kill scores, sack Lagos/Ogun border community
At least 20 persons were feared killed and scores injured when suspected pipeline vandals raided Igbo-Olomu, a border community between Lagos and Ogun states, and its environs.
The vandals had last week attacked a neighbouring community, Ibeshe, Ogun State, killing four persons.
The Guardian learnt that the vandals had accused the communities of giving information to security operatives about their illegal activities and were angry at the way joint security operatives took over the area, preventing them from carrying out their criminal activities.
According to a resident who spoke with The Guardian on the condition of anonymity, the hoodlums stormed the community shooting sporadically, killing anyone in sight around 11:30pm on Thursday night and continued through the night till yesterday morning.
According to him, he managed to escape with his life but several others were not so lucky. “The hoodlums invaded us yesterday (Thursday) night. They started shooting sporadically while we all ran for cover. They claimed that the State Security Service (SSS) killed three of their members and arrested one of them last week when they raided Topkat Hotel situated along Ita-Oluwo road, calling them armed robbers and pipeline vandals. According to sources, the vandals said the community sold them out to the SSS and Police and they vowed to take revenge, promising to kill everyone in the community until their member is returned.”
Speaking from his hideout, the source added that himself and some other members of his community in Igbo-Olomu frantically placed calls to the police division at Ogijo in the night but they refused to come, saying that the area was under Lagos jurisdiction while calls placed to Owutu division yielded no fruits.
“They only came this morning to pick the corpses of people that were killed here, over five bodies were carried away. Those people were community members sitting in front of their houses. People have fled the community; it is now like a ghost town
“The hoodlums are the ones involved in oil bunkering and this is not the first time they will unleash terror on us, but this is the worst attack so far. When this problem started last week, we called the army, they came and drove round and left claiming everywhere was peaceful. With this attack now, we called them and they refused to come till this morning (yesterday),” the source added.
A resident at Ita-Oluwo, who identified himself as Alfa, said the attack was terrible and unbelievable. “I can’t believe that this is happening in this State. These boys attacked us unbridled and unchecked and would have killed us all if not for the grace of God,” he said.
A community leader, John Ogunike said: “Some of our relatives were slaughtered like rams. 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 bullets.
“At the Lagos State side, five Police patrol vans were used to evacuate 20 dead bodies. On Ogun side, we don’t know how many people that have lost their lives but information reaching me showed that many dead bodies have 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 his 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”
Baale of Orimedu-Alaba, Taiwo Shobowale, said most of the residents have left the communities with their load and those of us remaining are just bidding for time. More than 30 people have been beheaded this morning. We want the Federal Government to know what is happening and provide enough security for us. Our lives are in danger. These criminals usually besiege the community around.”
As at the time of filing this report, people were still parking out of the communities. Soldiers and policemen have been drafted to the place to restore normalcy.
The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Mr. Fatai Owoseni and his deputies were at Igbo-Olomu for an on-the-spot assessment of the place.
When contacted, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Dolapo Badmos said militants on Friday night stormed the community killing six persons.
According to Badmos, the Commissioner of Police made an on-the-spot assessment visit to the scene.
“Six persons were killed, four from the Lagos side and two from the Ogun State. We are on top of the situation as Police and soldiers have been deployed to the scene. We have enough men on ground. Normalcy has returned to the town.”
She added that the Police was investigating to know the reasons for the killings.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde in telephone conversation with The Guardian yesterday, assured that there is no cause for alarm anymore as the Commissioner of Police in the State, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, who went to the area for an on-the-spot assessment has assured that everything is now under control.
According Ayorinde: “The crisis that engulfed Erekomuti/Itaoluwo areas of Ikorodu, Lagos State has been brought under control. The Commissioner of Police has just returned from the place and he assured that everything is under control. There were casualties, which was caused by militants from Delta State. The intervention from the military and the police have put the situation under control.
“Both Lagos State and Ogun State are directly involved. The states’ Commissioners of Police are working hand-in-hand with the military to ensure the safety of people. Lagos State government would like the public to know that their lives and property are save.”