Suspected militants sack another Lagos community, rob, shoot residents

Residents leaving the community. PHOTOS: OPEYEMI OWOASEYE

No fewer than three people have been injured after suspected militants attacked Fatoki community in the Egan, Igando area of Lagos State.

Lagos Metro gathered that many of the residents have deserted the community after the militants laid a three-day siege on the community.

Aside those injured, shops and houses were said to have been burgled by the hoodlums, who numbered close to 100.

It was learnt that the robbers, mostly teenagers, entered into the community through the waterways.

Lagos Metro gathered that the community was bordered by waters, which made it susceptible to attacks from the militants, who lived in the surrounding creeks.

When Lagos Metro  visited the community on Thursday, some families were seen locking their houses and hurrying out with their luggage on their heads.

A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the community had been peaceful until two months ago.

He said “a man had run out of the creek in broad daylight, naked and scared. He was stopped by our security men. We thought he was mad, but upon interrogation, he said he was kidnapped and the militants had just released him. We called his relatives and they confirmed his story. Since then, we had been in fear.

“Three days ago, in the morning, they stormed the community with sporadic shootings at the junction. They injured three people and looted shops.

“They took all the hard and soft drinks they could get and robbed people of their phones and money.”

Another resident told Lagos Metro that the robbers promised to return the day after to continue the attack.

He said: “Those people returned on Tuesday around 12 noon. Some of them wore red masks and others did not. They spoke English and a few even spoke Yoruba. They ordered everyone to lie down. They took away my money and carried away my neighbour’s generator.

“They attacked a disabled cobbler on the road and took away his money. A  man, who was washing his car was shot. They collected his three phones and N35,000.”

A woman, who claimed to have also been attacked, said she was not around when the robbers struck the first two days.

“I was in my room with my family Wednesday evening. We were watching a movie around 9.00 p.m, when I saw four of them enter my room with guns. They wore masks. They ransacked my house and took away my phones and other valuables. They took huge sum of money I wanted to use for my business; I am now bankrupt,” she explained.

A trader, who asked not to be named, said the men broke into her shop and stole fruit juices and herbs, adding that her refrigerator was also taken away.

A community leader lamented that although the Wednesday operation lasted about two hours, the police did not show up until the robbers had gone.

“And when they came, they only patrolled the entrance to the community; they did not get to the crisis spot,” he said.

It was learnt that the robbers, after the Wednesday raid, promised to return on Thursday to kidnap and rape women in the community.

Lagos Metro, however, saw an Armoured Personnel Carrier at the entrance of the community.

Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos confirmed the case.

She said: “The report got to us at the early hours of today.

“The information received shows some group of men suspected to be militants are attacking the community.

“The DPO led operatives to the scene, on sighting the policemen, the militants fled but about two of them were arrested. The arrest led to recovery of ammunition.

“During the attack, two people from the community were shot and are currently receiving treatment in the hospital.

“Presently, the command has deployed adequate security personnel and equipment to the area to forestall recurrence, while we are working on the clue we have so far to unravel the case.

“The command is also imploring members of the public to promptly alert the police of any strange movement or occurrence within their community.”