Again, militants raid Ibafo, cleric dies of shock, landlord abducted

House of the deceased cleric. INSET: The kidnapped landlord.

Again, suspected militants have attacked Ibafo, a borderline area of Lagos and Ogun States.

The militants struck at 2:00a.m. on Monday and unleashed mayhem on Halleluyah Quarters area of the community. An Islamic cleric, 85-year-old Olaiya Kareem, was said to have died from shock after the gunmen opened fire while a landlord was kidnapped. Three houses were reportedly burgled and valuables estimated at millions of naira, carted away.

Lagos Metro gathered that a landlord, Scott Odum, was kidnapped after his money and phones were stolen. The militants came in through the swamp and escaped through the same route.

The residents attempted to resist the invaders and employed local vigilantes but could not confront the militants. They reportedly fled after receiving threats from the gunmen.

A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Lagos Metro during a visit to the area that some of the residents had developed hypertension as a result of the constant attacks.

He said, “The attack started at 2:00 a.m. and it lasted till 3:00 a.m. Three houses were attacked. In one of the houses, the landlord was abducted. They only ransacked the other two houses because they could not reach the landlords of those houses because they were not around. Some of us have developed hypertension due to this incident. The wife of the landlord that was kidnapped had been hospitalised as a result of a previous attack. She is presently in a private hospital in Lagos.

“For over three weeks, we have not been able to sleep in peace. There had been robbery, rape and shootings. We reported to the police in Ibafo division. We called the DPO, around 3.00a.m., he told us he had alerted his men to come but till around 10:30 a.m., nobody has shown up.”

He added that, “We are citizens without security. We managed to employ local security men, but the militants threatened them to leave.”

Another victim told Lagos Metro that they pestered him about the whereabouts of his landlord.

“They asked me about the landlord’s whereabouts and the relationship between us but I told him I don’t know anything about him. In the course of checking round the house, they collected our money and phones. They later returned the phones and told us to lock the door and to keep our mouth shut. They were four that attacked us and wore black with mask covering their faces.”

Ibafo residents protesting another militant attack on their community, on Monday. PHOTO: Opeyemi Owoaseye.
Ibafo residents protesting another militant attack on their community, on Monday. PHOTO: Opeyemi Owoaseye.

Abdulganiyu, one of the deceased children said that the attack caught him unaware and it was the shock from the shootings that killed his father. “I was asleep when I heard people shouting, saying that ‘they are here again’. I told my father to sit somewhere while I went outside to join those who are outside.

“After sometimes, someone came to tell me that I needed to come and see the way baba was doing. Before I got back inside, he gave up the ghost,” he said.

Another victim said that they took the landlord away after looting his property.

She said, “They broke the burglary, came in, told us to lie down, collected our phone and money, packed all our laptops, hit my baby with the bottom of their gun when he was crying. They later dropped the laptops but went with the landlord.”

Due to these frequent attacks, the residents of Hallelujah quarters decided to embark on a peaceful protest. The protest started at about 10:00 a.m. on Monday in front of the quarters with about 40 people and they headed towards Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

The protesters were seen carrying placard with various inscriptions protesting the constant invasion of their community by militants.