Residents on Jamade street, a sub-community in Apete area of Ibadan, had a short night on Thursday, as robbers visited some houses in the area, carting away valuables and injuring some persons.
With dangerous weapons, the robbers inflicted machete cuts on about six persons while also carting away items including laptops, phones, cash and other valuables.
In the operation which lasted several minutes, the robbers reportedly visited about ten houses including that of deputy photo editor of the Guardian newspaper, Mr Najeem Raheem; an Islamic cleric, a lecturer of Lead City University, a staff of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and a students’ hostel.
While the Guardian journalist escaped by the whiskers, his wife was hit on her hand by a machete and his son, Faruk, hit with an iron rod.
Students of a hostel in the area were also not spared as four of them sustained varying degrees of machete cuts while occupants of other houses lived in fright while the robbers raided houses.
Another resident who sustained machete cuts, Mr Dayo Ojelaru, described the experience as harrowing.
Residents who said they made a distress call to the police control number and 615 emergency number, decried that the police arrived after the robbers had left.
Noting recurrent instances of robbery in Apete, Ariyibi and Yidi-Arola areas, the residents urged the state Commissioner of Police, Shina Olukolu, to deploy police teams on a regular patrol of the area.
“I thank God I did not lose my son and wife. They came in through the fence and stormed my compound. We called the police but the response was not encouraging. These are serial attackers. We cannot sleep with our eyes closed anymore. We have turned ourselves to night guards. Governor Makinde needs to see to this rising insecurity,” Najeem, one of the residents, said.
Responding on delayed arrival of the police to the crime scene, state Public Relations Officer, Gbenga Fadeyi bemoaned that, many a time, people who place distress calls, fail to give a vivid description.
He urged the people to narrow down on the area when they call to reduce the time the police spends trying to close in on the particular area that an incident was occurring.
Fadeyi chided reports that 30 houses were robbed, pointing out that they were only directed to one house and the woman in the house was still being awaited at the Apete police station to give a vivid account of the incident.
Aside from the said woman being expected, Fadeyi said the Apete police station was yet to see anyone visit to make an official report of the incident to the police.
“According to what I got from the Divisional Police Officer in charge of that axis, he said he got a call and sent his patrolmen and by the time they got there, the robbers were not there. And they tried to chase them.
“The DPO, however, said the report that 30 houses were robbed was not true. He said it was one woman in a house that they were directed to who told the police that the robbers had come and left.
“The police told the woman to come to Apete police station in the morning to give a vivid account of what happened but the woman had still not come as of noon.
“No other person came to the police station to make an official report. We always tell people to make a distress call to the control room number for the police to respond quickly.
“Most of the time, people do not remember to call. Let’s assume the 615 emergency number was called. The 615 will have to trace the area.
“But sometimes people do not give a vivid description of the area where an incident is happening. They will only mention the area and in a bid to narrow it down, the response time is a bit delayed. That does not mean that the police does not want to respond to the situation.
“Apete is a big area, so the people must be able to narrow it down and give a vivid description of how the police can get there, even at night,” Fadeyi said.