Some residents of Adio, Ekimogun streets and Kehinde Lane in the Bariga area of Lagos State have started fleeing their homes after robbers kept attacking them repeatedly. Adio residents were attacked three times last week, Ekimogun Street had two visits and Kehinde Lane was invaded once.
During the raid of Ekimogun, a newly-wed woman who just moved into the house with her husband was raped while her husband was forced to watch. The security guard of a nursery and primary school on Adio Street was bound by his hands and feet and beaten up severely.
The frequency of the attacks and the inability of the police to address the scourge forced some of the residents to form local vigilantes to ward off the robbers. The landlady in one of the houses, who identified herself as Olubukola, told our correspondent her children had stopped going to school because she no longer slept at home.
She said, “They have entered my house three times now. The first time was early Monday morning. They ransacked all the flats in the building.
“On Wednesday night cum Thursday morning, they returned and stole more things. Because of all these, people stopped living in their houses. My children and I now squat in a friend’s apartment in Alagbado.
“But on Friday morning, we returned and discovered the robbers had come and because they did not meet anybody, they broke in and took away my television and DSTV decoder.”
Our correspondent learnt that in another house on the street, the robbers carted away handsets, laptops, money and ATM cards.
A resident, who identified himself as Solomon Johnson, said, “They demanded the PINs of the cards. After they left and discovered that the PINs were incorrect, they returned to the room the next day and attacked the owners for giving them wrong PINs. They then asked for the correct PINs from them.”
It was gathered that the robbers, who were mostly teenagers and in their early 20s, wielded cutlasses, crowbars and axes.
A resident said while some wore masks, others did not hide their faces.
A resident, Solomon, said he was attacked with a cutlass after the robbers thought he was hiding phones from them.
He said, “They cut my leg with a cutlass and beat me up, telling me to release the phones. I told them I did not have any phone. I was admitted in the hospital for two days.”
On Ekimogun where the rape took place, a resident said the incident happened around 2am.
He said, “There is a sports viewing centre around here and some of us stay there. If we knew a robbery was going on we could have done something.
“But those robbers sneaked in and held those people hostage. The woman just moved into the house with her husband. They got married less than a month ago.
“One of the robbers raped her. She was taken to the hospital the next day for treatment.”
A community leader and Chairman, Security Committee for Adio Community, Femi Emiko, said the robbers always fled through the Oworonsoki Expressway, adding that the police were not using the right technique to arrest them.
He said, “Actually, within one week, they have visited Adio five times. They have turned this community to an ‘ATM machine’ where they can withdraw money anytime they like.