Again, one feared killed as 200 militants invade Lagos, Ogun communities

THE tension at Imushin, Elepete, Igbo Olomu and Imuti communities in Ogun and Lagos states continued on Monday, as suspected pipeline vandals, numbering over 200, reportedly killed another one person.

War looms between the Hausa community in Imushin, Elepete and the rampaging militants as the Hausa had reportedly threatened to avenge the death of their kinsmen, who were killed over at the weekend.

This is as residents of the communities started relocating from the villages, following reported threat from the vandals that they were coming back.

There was sporadic shooting early Monday as the hoodlums marched through the communities, forcing residents to remain indoors.

Parents whose children had gone to schools hurriedly went to pick their wards, forcing many of the schools to close early  while businesses were also shut down.

A resident, Silelola Fasan, who himself had relocated his family from one of the communities (Igbo Olomu), described the Monday experience as “warlike.”

Silelola added that “the Monday incident was more terrifying because they came during the day time. They came out around 8.00 a.m. and they were still patrolling these communities till after 10.00 a.m., shortly before the soldiers arrived.

“There were about 200 of them, heavily armed. They marched through Elepete and other communities, shooting seriously.”

He also said “many people have started relocating from the communities. In fact, I have relocated my wife and children from here, I just came back to observe things.”

A policeman, simply identified as Ogedengbe, was also among residents of the communities that had relocated family membersfrom Elepete as a result of the Monday crisis.

It was gathered that a detachment of soldiers drafted to the communities with three armoured personnel carriers succeeded in chasing away the millitants.

There was concern, however, by the villagers, following the disappearance of the soldiers, who reportedly only waited for less than two hours before vacating the communities.

Many residents expressed fear of a likely communal clash in the troubled communities, following reported threats by the Hausa community to confront the militants and avenge the death of their brothers.

The image maker in charge of the Lagos State police command, Dolapo Badmos, said the whole thing started when the police foiled an attempt to kidnap some residents.

“Our men received information that some suspected kidnappers have entered the community. SARS operatives were deployed to the place and they succeeded in arresting one of the suspects, who took the police to Topkatt hotel where other gang members were lodging.

“Other suspects tried to escape by firing at our policemen and the operatives responded,” she said.

The Lagos police spokesperson also said two of the gang members sustained gunshot injuries and were rushed to General  Hospital where they were confirmed dead, adding that another member is currently undergoing treatment.

At Itaoluwo community, the militants began shooting at about 1.00 a.m. till 3.00 a.m. on Monday.

Lagos Metro gathered that more people also moved out of the community at the dawn of Monday.

It was learnt that the Divisional Police Officers of Ogijo, Ijede and Odogunyan visited the community to see the residents on Monday.

A source who spoke to Lagos Metro on Monday said people were moving out of the community in droves, running for their lives.

“The militant had come back to attack just as they promised to do on Friday during their first attack. They came back around 1.00 a.m. on Monday and began to shoot till about 3.00 a.m.

“They are pipeline vandals, they robbed, they killed, they kidnapped, they are threat to Imushin community as a whole,” he said.

The community leader of Itaoluwo community, the Olumushin of Imushin, Taiwo Adebunmi Gbamgbose, appealed to the Lagos and Ogun state governments to come to their rescue.

“We need a tight security because no one can withstand the militants’ ammunition, they are powerful and fearful.

“We don’t know if they will still come back the third time. These militants don’t value human lives and we don’t know what to do concerning this whole thing,” he said.