Our shops were racked for 11 hours while police watched

our shops were racked for 11 hours while police watched
our shops were racked for 11 hours while police watched

Many businessmen in Okobaba Sawmill, Lagos Mainland, are calculating their losses after hoodlums allegedly stormed the market about 5 p.m. on Friday and robbed 35 businesses.

We learned that the armed thugs functioned freely until approximately 4 a.m. on Saturday, when they brought in a car to pack their haul.

Police officers from Adekunle and Denton divisions were said to be frightened to enter the sawmill, which was located in a slum.

It was discovered that the incident began as a fight between lads from Jebba and Ibadan streets and their opponents from Abeokuta Street.

Sources who spoke to our journalist named several notable rival gang members as Omo B, Baba Muri, Gideon, Abu Onigbo, Ila, and Epon.

They were reported to have taken advantage of the subsequent chaos to loot unsuspecting vendors, stealing goods and cash.

Mr Titus Ikuejamoye, General Secretary of the Lagos Mainland Sawmillers Association, informed Daily Trust that the hoodlums took generators, phone accessories, freezers, and building supplies worth millions of naira.

“Around 5 p.m. on Friday, the lads assaulted the sawmill, loaded with firearms,” he added. Everyone was taken aback that this could happen in broad daylight. They were launching themselves into the air. I was able to flee and phoned the DPO Adekunle Police Station to inform him of what was going on.

“I also contacted a cop at the Denton Police Department, and he said a team was on its way.” Surprisingly, the cops stopped their vehicles at a safe distance and watched those kids pillage our stores.

“They robbed stores till about 4 a.m. on Saturday.” They even brought a car to transport their haul. They took generators, cell phone accessories, refrigerators, and construction items. I tried calling 112 three times, but it didn’t get through.”

Ikuejamoye stated that the sawmill’s traders had no quarrel with the thugs, noting that the gangs had used confrontations as a method to plunder innocent customers.

“They wounded a security guy who tried to stop them from breaking into stores,” he continued. They robbed over 20 businesses under the bridge surrounding the sawmill and over 15 shops selling building supplies within the sawmill. They burned down a section of the sawmill about a month ago.”

Mr Orioye Agbudeloye, secretary of Ward F Unit, the area of the sawmill assaulted on Friday, claimed hoodlums had instilled fear among merchants and created a tense market atmosphere.

He said he fled from the sawmill and stood by while the stores were robbed without restriction.

“They came in at 5 p.m. on Friday and stayed until 4 a.m. the next day,” he explained. The cops were monitoring them from a safe distance and did not intervene to stop them.

“I got a lot of calls after I got home on Friday night.” People kept telling me that those people were still working late at night. They broke into nearly 35 stores. They ransacked a few stores, leaving nothing left.

“There were around 200 of them.” They overwhelmed the local security guards in the sawmill, and the police officers who were meant to give assistance were unable to assist. That’s how they were able to cause so much mayhem.

“The situation is so tight that we don’t even know when they’ll arrive next.” They threatened to return. This issue has been ongoing; they have been terrorising the sawmill since Ward A.”

Mr Musbau Agbodemu, the leader of a local security organisation in the area, begged security officers to end the situation, which he said had been dragging on for more than a week.

“I phoned the Area Commander Area C on Friday night and he promised me there was no problem,” he explained, “but police officers were unable to stop those youngsters.” They ran for 11 hours.

“For more than a week, the lads from Jebba and Ibadan streets have been battling those from Abeokuta Street every day.” The conflict began a long time ago, but it was only recently that it was resumed. Nobody understands why they’re fighting, but they’re taking advantage of the situation to rob.”

However, the Officers Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, stated that it was not true that police stood by as the hoodlums robbed the stores, adding that if the situation had been overwhelming, they would have called for help.

“It is not correct. No police officer will stand by and let thieves plunder stores. “They (the merchants) must provide evidence,” he continued.