Residents of Ibasa Ijegun-Egba, a riverine community in Oriade Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Lagos, expressed their distress as they reported an invasion of their community by alleged police officers and land grabbers, leading to the disruption of peace and daily life since October 27.
Chief Tajudeen Ibikunle, the Traditional Ruler of the Ibasa Ijegun-Imore community, recounted his ordeal, revealing that he was arrested in his own home on October 27. He said, “They took me and some other residents to the Police Command in Onikan and locked us inside a cell. I was released on Saturday with the help of Oba Afeez Oriyomi Shittu, the Traditional Ruler of Ijegun-Egba Land, who came to bail some of us that were in the cell.” He added that upon his return, he discovered that “hoodlums had taken over all axes of my community in Ijegun and were disturbing the peaceful atmosphere.”
Mrs. Omolara Alebiosu, another resident, revealed that she and her three children were unjustly arrested and abused in front of their house. She described her ordeal, stating, “About fifty hoodlums, some of them wearing masks, beat up myself and my children, and forced us to enter their vehicle. We were taken to Ikeja before someone phoned them to come to Zone 2 Onikan.” Alebiosu mentioned that after their release, land grabbers had taken control of the community, harassing and claiming ownership of the town.
According to Mr. Kareem Idowu, the Youth Chairman of Ibasa Ijegun-Egba Youth Satellite Community, a petition was submitted against the community, accusing the youths of being involved in bunkering, damaging property, and threatening marketers with firearms. He disputed these allegations, asserting that “there is nothing like bunkering in our community,” and that the police should have conducted a thorough investigation before invading the community.
Bukky Ishola, a resident and the daughter of the Iyaloja General of Ijegun-Egba market, revealed that the market was infiltrated by hoodlums who engaged in theft, harassment, and assault on numerous people. Alhaji Kazeem Salami, a meat seller, added that they were prevented from selling their meat as some of the hoodlums assaulted and dispersed their customers. In light of the situation, residents have appealed for government intervention to restore peace to the market and community.
Mr. Tunde Sanni, a contractor overseeing the construction of the Ijegun-Egba market, disclosed that the hoodlums confiscated their tools and materials, halting work on the project. He mentioned that the intervention of the Chairman of Ori-Ade Local Council Development Area (LCDA) was required to recover their tools, but the workers are still unable to return to the site due to the ongoing threat posed by the hoodlums.
Superintendent Hauwa Idris-Adamu, the Police Public Relations Officer for Zone 2 Onikan, stated that she was not aware of the incident but assured that she would investigate the case and work toward resolving the conflict.