Border communities between Lagos and Ogun were backed to the wall most of the weekend, and their youth had to push back against hordes of cultists and common criminals that invaded the localities.
Youths at Dalemo, Ijoko, Ilepa, Joju and other small settlements that line the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway went out armed with cutlasses, axes, clubs, knives, rods, and other crude weapons to confront the criminals who raped and robbed the communities during what the police described as the latest modus operandi.
Some of the cultists were mobbed and bloodied during the Saturday confrontation that lasted a while before the police from Sango intervened in the pockets of skirmishes in the Ifo LGA of Ogun.
According to a resident who spoke with the National Daily, the siege had been on-going for four days, and the communities had to organize vigilante groups that mounted surveillance at junctions and entrances to the neighbourhood.
‘With the way the communities are battle-ready now, it is very likely the bandits won’t show up again—for now,” said Toyin Fatukasi, a resident of Sango.
According to her, the criminals rode in on motorcycles, but with the combined effort of the community youths and the police, no fewer than 150 of them have been arrested.
Others would later flee to Sango, Abule-Egba, Alakuko where they were arrested. There were separate instances of cult rivalry in Apapa, Ajah, and Ikotun in Lagos, too
While the Ifo LGA residents said the invasion was motivated by hunger as a result of the on-going lockdown in Lagos and Ogun, the police insisted it was a new method of criminality.
“They will step out in the name of supremacy fight, just to create confusion and draw people from their houses and start stealing from them and snatching phones,” said Lagos Police PRO Bala Elkanah.
The police has, however, asked the communities to save their energy, especially during day, for security agents to handle the situation—that the vigilante groups can monitor the neighbourhoods at night.
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