No fewer than five persons were arrested by the Lagos State Police Command in connection with Tuesday’s attack by displaced pipeline vandals at the Igando community that left six policemen igun shot injuries.
However, a day after the intense gun duel between the displaced pipeline vandals and the police operatives, the gun duel continued yesterday as the gunmen staged a comeback.
The displaced vandals had stormed the Obadore, Ewedogbon, Akesan Fatoki, and Egan communities of Igando, and left six persons injured, as they robbed other residents of their valuables.
Although they were later repelled by the police, the gang had successfully carted away money and other valuables from the defenceless residents.
The gunmen were said to have taken their time until the Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, and his team, who visited the area for an on-the-spot assessment, had left the scene.
However, the CP had not gone far when they struck, so the police were able to immediately deploy their personnel and repelled the gunmen again, which triggered rumours that the CP was attacked by the vandals.
Speaking with THISDAY, some of the residents, who lamented that they had been traumatised by the continuous attacks in recent times, called on the police to ensure that the criminal elements are fished out.
One of the residents who spoke on anonymity said: “We don’t feel safe anymore. Our lives are under threat. These criminals come here at will, rob and traumatise us and go scotfree.
“Now, the police have told us that they can’t access the creeks because of its nature, isn’t it high time they invited the navy and the air force, with their advantage of the air and the water to tackle this menace?
“Granted that thick foliage covered the creeks, but they shouldn’t fold their hands and watch us being maimed. The air force should carry out an aerial bombardment of the area, while the navy should patrol the creeks.”
While debunking claims that the CP was attacked, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Dolapo Badmos, said the police have regained control of the area.
She said: “The CP was there to see our men deployed thereand see to their welfare. He also went there for an on-the-spot assessment.
“He met with the residents and we opened up investigation channels. We discovered that the residents live within the community.
“The people fed the CP with the much needed information and we are exploring that channel.”
Confirming that there was another gun duel, Badmos said: “There was another gun duel in that area but they retreated after we engaged them.
“What happened is that these criminals are enjoying the natural habitat because the waterways are filled with thick foliage so it’s easier for them to access since they know the terrain more than we do.
“Given what we saw there, the command will put up our operational strategy to ensure they don’t continue to take advantage of the thick foliage to perpetrate crime.
“We arrested five suspects and we are using them to ferret information. We are still investigating to discover their culpability.
“However, our preliminary investigations reveal that these gunmen live in the community but are actually displaced pipeline vandals whose source of livelihood has been taken away, so they resorted to this.”
Also debunking claims that the residents have since fled from their homes, she said: “The place is not deserted. People are still living there. Although they are still afraid, the CP was able to calm them down, promising that they would be protected.”
On the shot policemen, she said they what they sustained were flesh wounds, which had since been treated and that they had returned to duty.
Source: This Day