In the wake of the Day One of the 14-day- lockdown in Ogun State, two young men believed to be members of two rival cult groups have been reported dead during a supposed supremacy clash between them in Ifo community of the state.
According to the account of a ‘Keke Marwa’ (Tricycle) operator who recalled that he and his passengers narrowly escaped being caught in-between the crossfire, said that fracas started so suddenly that it caught everybody unawares, causing instant closure of shops and dispersal of the usually boisterous Ifo Market by Abeokuta expressway.
The Marwa operator who craved anonymity recounted that the cultists’ fight was so fierce that the entire community became unsafe for everybody including security forces who were said to have run for safety, while the township streets were deserted in a moment. The two victims whose identities were, however, not released, were said to be residents of Oke Imole and Abule–Ogun areas of Ifo community.
Meanwhile, men of the underworld took the advantage of the situation to burgle shops and cart away wares of law-abiding traders who had locked their shops in obedience to the lock-down order that took effect midnight of Friday, April 1, 2020. It is recalled that Ifo is regarded to be the epic centre of youth restiveness, burglary and forceful toll-taking from motorists and Okada riders in Ogun State.
According to the history of the community, the nefarious activities of the generally jobless but merry-loving, able-bodied youths in the area led to the closure and shift of all banks and factories earlier located in Ifo township to the neighbouring Sango and Ota towns.
Organisations that were frustrated into opting out of Ifo community include Coca-Cola and three first-generation banks. Wema Bank remains to date the only bank that operates the banking hall transactions in the entire community. This situation, we gather, has explained the rise and boost of the private POS commercial enterprises which charge residents of the community cut-throat prices for their deposits and withdrawals.
In the wake of crisis that broke out in Ifo local government area of Ogun state as a result of supremacy battle between two rival cult group which has metamorphosised into robbery and other criminal activities, the state police command in a bid to nip the crisis at its bud deployed large number of policemen comprises of SARS, anti cultist unit, anti kidnapping unit as well as conventional policemen drawn from all adjoining police stations in the area under the command of the Area Commander, ACP Monday Agbonika to restore normalcy and bring the hoodlums to book.
In compliance with the directives of the commissioner of police, the teams moved into the area and embarked on aggressive and intelligence based patrol of the entire area of Ifo, Owode ijako, joju, ijoko and Agbado area. Their efforts yielded positive results as five of the hoodlums were apprehended in ijako area of sango ota, they are Ekunoye lucky,m’ 22, Badmus Sodiq m’ 27, Showumi Femi m’ 21, Adeagbo Adewumi m’ 22 and Agboola Femi m’ 21.
The patrol team also moved to winner church area along idiroko road where another suspect Adekunle Okeoye m’ 23 was arrested with a brand new locally made short gun loaded with five live cartridges and assorted charms. Also, the operatives extended their operation to Araromi community in Agbado where three other suspects namely Sulaiman Ogunbiyi, aka Absorver federal, Saminu Adamu and Nasiru Umar were arrested with face mask and assorted charms. Earlier, ten of the hoodlums have been picked up at various locations in Ifo, kajola and Ososun areas of Ifo local government by SARS operatives.
Meanwhile, the commissioner of police CP Kenneth Ebrimson has ordered that all the arrested suspects be transferred to special anti robbery squads SARS for discreet investigation. He equally ordered the continuation of the operation until the last of the hoodlums is arrested. The CP therefore appealed to members of the public not to be unnecessarily apprehensive as the command will continue to do everything within its power to ensure that the good people of Ogun State enjoy adequate security during and after this trying period of our dear country.
He also enjoined them to reach out to the command through the control room number 08081770416 whenever they are in distress.
DSP ABIMBOLA OYEYEMI,
POLICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER,
FOR: COMMISSIONER OF POLICE,
OGUN STATE COMMAND