A gang of roaming hoodlums have seized the coronavirus lockdown to unleash terror on some communities in Ogun and Lagos states, thus causing panic among the residents.
The affected communities are Owode, Ilepa, Ifo, Arigbajo, Itori, Dalemo, Ijoko, Ogba Ayo, Mosa, Joju, Sango, Ota, Oniyale among other communities in Ifo and Ado-Odo Ota local government areas of Ogun State.
Also, FESTAC Town, Jankara and Ifako-Ijaiye areas of Lagos State have been reportedly beseiged by hoodlums.
According to PUNCH Newspaper, a gang led by an ex-convict identified simply as Felix aka Confidence, sacked a police checkpoint in Dalemo, Ogun State on Tuesday and robbed residents.
Although a reinforcement team later dispersed the robbers, it was gathered that they struck again around 10pm on Friday at Agbado Crossing and Randle in the Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State.
Many residents said they had resorted to keeping vigils and making bonfires to secure their communities from the hoodlums which they said numbered about 200.
A resident of Ijoko, Sanni Rabiu, said, “I couldn’t sleep till morning for two days now.”
In what he described as ‘sinister effects of COVID-19,’ another resident, Opeyemi Johnson, said thugs had become thieves and called on security personnel to act fast.
“I was outside our gate almost all night with fume-stricken bonfires,” he added.
“We need help in Ogun State. People are being robbed not only at night but in the afternoon too. Ijoko, Ifo, Sango and the likes have been under robbery attack since this (last) week. We can’t sleep; residents take turn to do vigilantes,” a youth, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
Outcries of residents within the troubled communities have also flooded the social media, calling out police authorities with the hashtag, ‘#Ogununrest.’
“The people of Sango Ota, Owode, Ilepa, Ifo, Arigbajo, Itori, Dalemo, Ijoko, Ogba Ayo, Mosa can no longer sleep or be at peace because of incessant armed robbery every day even (in) broad daylight. They are ransacking house to house. I am a victim this afternoon. Help,” one Prince Afolarin twitted on Saturday.
@Okikiola_pr said staying home amid the lockdown was no longer safe, adding that landlords and youths now come out at night to safeguard their homes against robbery.
“It’s too much. Ifo is hotter,” he added.
“What is the Lagos and Ogun state governments doing about perpetual armed robbery going on between Abule-Egba all the way to Ifo? We don’t sleep at night since the start of the lockdown. All those toll gate boys have been looting shops and houses,” one Lawrence Hortons wrote.
The incidents have marred the 14-day lockdown order of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the two states.