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Riot: Residents flee Ijebu-Ife

*As Daniel orders police to investigate mayhem

By Kolade Larewaju

ABEOKUTA – FOLLOWING  Saturday’s mayhem in the ancient town of Ijebu-Ife, Ogun State, in which several lives, including that of Police Area Commander were lost and houses razed down, indigenes and residents of the town have fled alleging a massacre of their people by mobile policemen.

During a riot by youths of the town, the Area Commander, Omolodun Oladokun, an Assistant Commissioner of Police was killed while several others also lost their lives and scores badly injured.

A visit to the town yesterday revealed a ghost town populated by armed policemen while a petrol station and at least 15 of the houses had been either completely burnt down or vandalized.

While some of the youths are currently in hiding in several towns around the area accused the policemen of killing and burning houses as a reprisal for the killing of the Area Commander, police sources said it was the rioters who burnt and vandalized the houses.

One of the youths Vanguard met in Sagamu accused the police of not only rounding up unarmed residents and shooting them, but also raping and killing of women.

The youth who claimed to be a member of the Vigilante group in the town, said it was true that the youths protested and that the whole situation got out of hand when policemen, while trying to disperse the rioters began to fire at them, even when leaders in the area were still mediating, which he said infuriated the youths.

Meanwhile, Governor Olugbenga Daniel has ordered a full scale investigation into the crisis.

Daniel who was at the town to asses the extent of the skirmishes described the incident as highly unfortunate while wondering why some people would want to take laws into their hands. He said the police must ensure that the culprits were brought to book.


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