Landlords and youths in some communities in Lagos and Ogun states have been depriving themselves of sleep at night to keep watch over their areas, which have come under the siege of hoodlums.
The residents disclosed that the hoodlums took advantage of the current lockdown in both states occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic to rob them of their valuables and rape their wives and daughters in border communities in both states.
In a bid to forestall further incidents, the landlords and residents were said to have taken the safety of lives and property in the affected areas into their own hands by working with vigilante group to watch over the communities.
A landlord in the Aiyede community of the Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State, Rasaq Abejoye, said the hoodlums attacked residents of Ifo between Wednesday and Saturday, adding that neighbouring communities had to beef up security as a result.
He stated, “Some days ago, the hoodlums attacked and robbed residents of Ifo and they have been encroaching on the neighbouring communities also. These hoodlums have been using the lockdown to their advantage and have been dispossessing people of their valuables. My house is in Aiyede and what we did to keep our community safe was for us to become vigilantes.
“Since last week, landlords and youths have been watching over the community at night. Around midnight on Thursday, I was among the landlords, who volunteered to keep watch over the community. We usually start from 8pm till around2.30am, but the youth usually stay longer than that and they also move around the area to send a signal that they are on guard.”
Another landlord in the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of the state, Bola Farinloye, said the attacks were a ripple effect of the lockdown, adding that most of the hoodlums perpetrating the crime were from Lagos State.
Farinloye said, “When they were building the Ilepo Market, some traders migrated to the Ijoko area in Ado-Odo/Ota and the hoodlums followed them. The hoodlums have been surviving in the community by engaging in different kinds of jobs. But when the lockdown started, because they had no other means of survival, they started robbing people.
“Initially, we reported to the police but they often come, raid and go, while the hoodlums’ illegal activities continue. So, landlords and youths in Ilogbo, Owode, Ilepa, Ijako, Isaka, Isorosi, Ewupe, Anisere and Agbado-Crossing, among others, have become vigilantes to watch over the communities.”
Some of the seized items
In a bid to curb the attacks, another landlord in Ado-Odo/Ota, Adedamola Abulkareem, said traditional authorities in the area had unleashed the Oro deity to scare away the hoodlums.
“The hoodlums even raped the wives of some landlords, who could not give them money during the attack. But to scare them away, the Oro deity has been unleashed. We have also informed the police and they have been patrolling our area,” Abdulkareem said.
In the Abule-Egba area of Lagos State, no fewer than 30 armed hoodlums were said to be robbing residents of their valuables.
A resident, Ganiyu Adeniyi, said bonfires were made by the youths, who turned themselves into vigilantes at night, adding that the Oko-Oba Police Station had been notified about the development.
He said, “Solomon Grace, the Miyaki Relaxation Centre, Jibowu, Karimu Alabi and other areas in Abule-Egba have been enveloped in tension due to attacks by the hoodlums. Yesterday (Saturday), about 30 armed hoodlums were about to perpetrate crime in the area when the youth clashed with them. They have been robbing us in the area, but the youth have to risen to the challenge.