SOME residents of Ibasa Ijegun-Egba, a riverine community in Oriade Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Lagos on Thursday decried the invasion of the community by alleged police officers and land grabbers.
The residents told newsmen that since Oct. 27, peace had eluded the town and its markets as it had allegedly been over-run by the Police and hoodlums.
Chief Tajudeen Ibikunle, the Traditional Ruler of Ibasa Ijegun-Imore community, said he was sleeping in his house on Oct. 27, when some police officers and hoodlums came to arrest him.
“They took me and some other residents to the Police Command in Onikan and locked us inside a cell.
“I was released on Saturday with the help of Oba Afeez Oriyomi Shittu, the Traditional Ruler of Ijegun-Egba land, who came to bail some of us that were in the cell.
“When I got back on Saturday, I discovered that these hoodlums had taken over all axis of my community in Ijegun and were disturbing the peaceful atmosphere.
“They had blocked everywhere, and were beating and harassing residents, claiming to have taken over the community.
“We are appealing to the government to intervene now because I cannot even access my palace now because of their presence,” Ibikunle said.
Mrs Omolara Alebiosu, a resident of Ijegun-Egba, said she was arrested with her three children in front of their house without any reason.
“About fifty hoodlums, some of them wearing masks, beat up myself and my children, and forced us to enter their vehicle.
“We were taken to Ikeja before someone phoned them to come to Zone 2 Onikan. Even they didn’t know the way to the command, one of the Police came to lead them to the place.
“They locked us up in a cell on Friday while the traditional ruler came on Saturday to bail some of us while others were released the following Monday.
“Now that we are back home, we discovered that the land grabbers are everywhere in the community, harassing us, telling us that the town belongs to them,” Alebiosu said.
Shedding more light on the incident, Mr Kareem Idowu, the Youth Chairman, Ibasa Ijegun-Egba Youth Satellite Community, said someone had written a petition against the community.
According to him, in the petition, the petitioners claimed that youths in the community are involved in bunkering, malicious damage of property and are threatening marketers with guns.
The youth chairman said all these were lies, adding that he expected the Police to do proper investigation before invading the community.
“There is nothing like bunkering in our community, because one can’t even go near the pipeline because of the presence of naval personnel.
“The community was trying to rebuild the Ogun shrine to give it a befitting status during the forthcoming festival and this belongs to us.
“Also no youth carries guns to market in Ijegun-Egba, we are law-abiding citizen.
“The Police should have done their findings before invading our community, now many people have been arrested and detained till now.
“Again, we don’t understand why land grabbers should be involved in this issue, because many thugs have been tormenting the residents claiming that they have taken over our property in Ijegun-Egba.
“We are lawful people and we have a paramount ruler installed by the Lagos State Government.
“Currently, nobody can go out or go to the market, this has really affected the economic situation of the area.
“We are appealing to the Lagos State Government to intervene and restore normalcy to our communities as we are now living in fear,” Idowu said.
Bukky Ishola, a resident and the daughter of the Iyaloja General of Ijegun-Egba market, said the market was invaded by hoodlums who took advantage of the situation to steal, harass and beat many people at the market.
Alhaji Kazeem Salami, a meat seller, said they were not allowed to sell their meat as some of the hoodlums beat and sent their customers away.
Salami called for government intervention so that peace could return to the market and the community.
Mr Tunde Sanni, a contractor handling the construction of the Ijegun-Egba market, said the hoodlums seized their tools and other materials, and sent workers away from the project.
According to him, it took the intervention of the Chairman of Ori-Ade Local Council Development Area (LCDA) before their tools were released.
“Up until now, our workers have not returned to the site because those hoodlums are still around tormenting the market and the town,” Sanni said.
When contacted, Superintendent Hauwa Idris-Adamu, the Police Public Relations Officer for Zone 2 Onikan, said she was not aware of the incident.
She, however, promised to find out the department in charge of the case and resolve the conflict. (NAN)
-November 03, 2023 @ 10:29 GMT |