INSIDEMAINLAND – Residents of Etegbin in the Oto-Awori Local Council Area have bemoaned the recent invasion of the riverine community by suspected hoodlums who claimed they were acting on a court order to repossess land in the area.
The residents told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the hoodlums, armed with dangerous weapons damaged several buildings and burnt tyres at different locations, forcing residents to remain indoors.
At the main Jetty in the town, about six flying boats belonging to residents were destroyed, while some lifejackets were burnt at the waterside.
A resident said that the hoodlums came in through Oke-Era, chanting songs that the landowners had come to take back their land. They manhandled our fathers and mothers, even students were prevented from going to school.
“The hoodlums came in with dane guns and axes, destroying houses, shops and forcing many hotels to close down. They entered shops demanding for money and stealing their wares.
“Since Friday, I have not been able to go home, I am staying inside my shop because they are everywhere, at every junction,” he said.
Also, Mr Olawole Olaniyi, a lecturer at Lagos State University and an indigene of Etegbin, said the situation was disheartening.
“As I am speaking to you, my family is out of the town. My father’s house has been demolished, the hoodlums are sleeping in his house.
All tenants’ rooms were burgled and valuables taken away.
“The situation is so serious that the Baale of this community was humiliated, he was brought out of his palace and beaten mercilessly.
“I have to come in with heavy security operative to pick my father out of the community and he is in hospital receiving treatment.
“Peoples’ businesses were damaged, the situation is terrible,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had sent a high-powered delegation led by the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr Wale Hammed, for an on the spot assessment of the situation.
Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi, Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who was part of the delegation, said Gov. Sanwo-Olu, had intervened to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the riverine community.
Ojelabi said the governor had invited both parties to resolve the matter amicably so that peace could reign in the community and appealed to the residents to maintain law and order in Etegbin.