As many as 50 masked persons, armed with different weapons including guns, cutlasses, and axes have reportedly attacked residents and business owners in Agbaakin community, close to Mowe, in the Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, according to multiple media reports.
It was gathered that during the two-day raid, the hoodlums destroyed property in the community, attacked passersby and broke into homes and shops to dispossess the occupants of their valuables.
According to the aggrieved members of the community, the armed men also took advantage of the tension created during the attacks to rape housewives and whisked away two residents to an undisclosed location.
A landlord in the community, Ibrahim Meshioye, said the kidnapped victims had yet to be reunited with their families, adding that residents deserted their homes due to the insecurity occasioned by the incessant attacks on the community.
Meshioye said, “Around 2pm last Friday, about 30 hoodlums, who wore black masks and armed with weapons such as guns, cutlasses, axes and daggers, stormed Agbaakin community to attack residents and business owners. They came in commercial vehicles, mini buses, private cars and shot into the air.
“Everyone scampered to safety but some were unlucky. They robbed residents, business owners and passersby of about 15 phones, cash and other valuables. They operated for over one hour, stole and destroyed a lot of property belonging to people in the community. When they were leaving, they kidnapped two residents, Akorede and Monday.
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“We have yet to see the kidnapped victims but we reported the invasion at the Mowe Police Station. Surprisingly around 3pm on Monday, this set of armed hoodlums, more than 50 of them, attacked the community again.”
Meshioye said during the second attack, the assailants used cutlasses and axes to inflict injuries on farmers and stole their goods, adding that they allegedly raped two housewives.
The 43-year-old said, “The second attack was more intense; and the people involved were more than those attacked last Friday. A lot of men were not around as they had gone to work. Some men also abandoned their homes as it appeared that the hoodlums were aiming at kidnapping them
“They broke into homes, robbed residents and raped housewives whose husbands were not at home. After raping one of the victims, they stole her phone and money. After the attack, we saw them crying and had to rush them to a nurse for treatment.
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“The matter was reported to the Area Commander in the Obafemi Owode LGA. People have deserted their homes because of the situation; I have abandoned my house; my family is scattered everywhere despite having a house in the community. We want the government and police to come to our rescue.”
One of the victims, a nursing mother of two, told our correspondent that three hoodlums raped her in her shop while her baby cried.
She said, “I was in my shop when about 10 of the people that attacked us entered. They robbed me of my Infinix phone, N25,000, and the N50,000 my husband kept with me. After that, they started making advances to forcefully have sex with me but I resisted them. They were armed with guns, cutlasses and axes and said they would kill me if I didn’t cooperate with them. They spoke in Yoruba and English but I can’t identify them as they wore masks. I struggled with them but they overpowered me. They removed my pants and raped me. I was raped by three men. My baby was crying but they continued.”
The nursing mother’s husband, while shedding tears, demanded the arrest and prosecution of the suspects who perpetrated the crime.
However, overwhelmed by the insecurity in the community, the residents reported to a human rights organisation, Balanced Measures Impact Initiative.
A video clip showed one of the bullets reportedly fired by the hoodlums. Pictures of some of the injured victims were also sighted.
The state Chairman, BMII, Taiwo Yemi, urged the state Governor, Dapo Abiodun, and the Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, to intervene and restore normalcy to the community.
He said, “There are laws to govern how people behave in society. The residents said the attacks were instigated by someone but how can someone just bring people to attack residents in the community? He used the people he brought to chase everyone out of the community.
“He said the community belongs to him; what the concerned residents want is that the Governor, Dapo Abiodun, and the Commissioner of Police should intervene. They want security so they can return home.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, had yet to respond to calls and a text message sent to his mobile phone as of the time this report was filed.
Photo Credit: Getty