A riverine community called Ibasa Ijegun-Egba in the Oriade Local Council Development Area of Lagos State is lamenting the invasion of policemen and suspected land grabbers in their community. Residents claim that since October 27, peace has been disrupted as the police and hoodlums have taken over the town and its markets.
Chief Tajudeen Ibikunle, the traditional ruler of the Ibasa Ijegun-Imore community, recounted an incident where he was arrested by the police and hoodlums while he was sleeping in his house on October 27. He and other residents were taken to the police command in Onikan and locked up in a cell. He was released on Saturday with the help of Oba Afeez Shittu, the traditional ruler of Ijegun-Egba land. However, upon his return, he discovered that the hoodlums had taken control of the community and were causing disturbances.
The traditional ruler said, “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.”
Mrs. Omolara Alebiosu, a resident of Ijegun-Egba, said she and her three children were arrested by about 50 hoodlums, some wearing masks, in front of their house without any reason. They were forcibly put into a vehicle and taken to Ikeja before being transferred to Zone 2 Onikan. They were locked up in a cell on Friday, and while some of them were bailed out by the traditional ruler on Saturday, others were released on Monday. Upon returning home, they found that land grabbers were harassing them and claiming ownership of the town.
The Youth Chairman of Ibasa Ijegun-Egba Youth Satellite Community, Mr. Kareem Idowu, shed more light on the incident. According to him, someone had written a petition against the community, accusing the youths of involvement in bunkering, malicious damage to property, and threatening marketers with guns. However, Idowu clarified that these accusations were false, stating that there is no bunkering in their community due to the presence of naval personnel near the pipeline. He also emphasized that no youth carries guns to the market in Ijegun-Egba.
Idowu expressed disappointment in the police’s actions, highlighting the need for proper investigation before invading the community. He also expressed confusion over the involvement of land grabbers in the issue, as many thugs have been tormenting residents, claiming ownership of their property. Idowu called on the Lagos State Government to intervene and restore normalcy to their communities.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer for Zone 2 Onikan, Hauwa Idris-Adamu, stated that she was unaware of the incident but promised to find out the department in charge of the case and resolve the conflict.