…..panic as residents demand justice
By Ifeanyi Okolie
Residents of Ilaje Community at Majidun-Ikorodu area of Lagos State will never forget in a hurry, the events of Wednesday, September 15, 2010. It was the day, a 31- year-old Councillor, representing the Majidun at Ikorodu West Local Development Local Development Area, Idowu Felix Aro, was gruesomely assassinated in his apartment by unknown assailants.
The death of the popular politician is currently spreading panic across the entire Ikorodu West LCDA, as accusations are openly made against some top executive members of the area, said to be natives of two of the three major tribes dominant in the area.
Crime Alert gathered that, there have been a lingering but quiet struggle for power between the Ilaje, Awori and Ijebu communities who are the major tribes dominating the Majidun area.
The struggle for power and the true owners of the land have permeated the politics of both the local government and the traditional institution, a situation which gave birth to the creation of more than four traditional heads called Bales in the relatively small community. This situation led to hot contest for the position of councillor from other two tribes struggling with the one from Ilaje with the aim of dethroning him as their leader.
According to Olaniyi Oladudoye, a youth leader in Majidun Ilaje Community, who gave vivid account of how the small community have been thrown into turmoil over who are the true owners of the community, who should represent the community at the LCDA, the state level and what sort of traditional ruler they want.
“The Ijebu and Awori communities in Majidun have been at loggerheads with the Ilaje community. And our councillor who is from the Ilaje community was caught at the middle of it. Because he is very bright, committed to work, they became envious of him and wanted him out of the LCDA by all means. They even went as far as stealing the Parliamentary Mase, so that they could impeach him but it failed. Now, they have succeeded in killing him.
“He brought development to our community and those other tribes in our communities are not happy about it. They have been battling with him to relinquish the office for them as they claimed that they are the real owners of this land, but they came barely 25 years ago.
The Ilajes have been residing here for over 130 years. And the major issue has been the slot given to Majidun to produce the new LCDA’s Vice Chairman. There is a sort of arrangement currently, that has given the Ipakodo Community the next Chairmanship and the Vice Chairman-ship would go to Majidun. And from all indications, Hon. Felix Idowu Aro, who was until his death, the Councillor for Majidun, would become the most favourable candidate for that slot.
And the other tribes are not comfortable. They have been battling with him from all angles and some of them work with him at LCDA. They have been threatening him in various ways. Often, he complains of some sort of spiritual attacks and he also confided on some of his close confidants that he no longer seats on his desk at LCDA because he was scared that they might have placed some fetish substance on it.
The threat to his life was so real that he was even scared of going to work most times. And because we are Christians in our community and we don’t rely on fetish things, we resolved to seriously pray for him. When it became apparent that they can’t kill him through fetish means, they resolved to assassinate him.”
Giving details of how the Councillor finally died after he was shot, the youth leader told Crime Alert :
“On the night of Tuesday, September 14, at about 1.00 a.m., I received a call that our Councillor, Hon. Felix Idowu Aro, who represents Majidun Ilaje Community, at the Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area, has been shot by unknown assailants. I rushed down to his house and discovered that he was still alive. He was bleeding seriously from the head, where he was shot. I and some of his relatives rushed him to a private hospital, but the doctor said he could not handle such case.
And we took him to Ikorodu General Hospital, but we were not attended to due to the doctor’s strike. We were asked to try the Igbobi Orthopedic Hospital and when we got there, the people on ground could not treat him. They told us that the injury has caused a massive damage that was beyond their control and they referred us to the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital (LUTH), but he died on the way to LUTH.
“If the doctors were not on strike, our brother would have gotten medical assistance that could have saved his life. Now, see how this strike action has caused us the life of a very young, vibrant councillor.
And his assailants knew that because, he is a good man that holds this community very dear in his heart, he would definitely bring massive development to Majidun when he becomes the vice chairman and possibly his political career would progress to higher levels. But because they were left with no other options, if they must secure their future politically, then they must end the hegemony of the Ilaje community by assassinating their future hope. We learnt that about four people have been arrested so far. We want to state categorically that we will cause unrest if these suspects were not thoroughly investigated and their culpability clearly stated”.
Bola Aro, wife of the deceased councillor told Crime Alert in tears that , “ On that night, we were asleep when he received a call from someone and they were talking about Mace and he told the person that he knew little about the issue. When he finished making the call, I asked him who the caller was and he told me not to bother about it.
I insisted that he should tell me, but he refused. Then, he was looking very angry and I knew something was wrong and he doesn’t want to tell me. After a little while, the light went off and the generator set was still running. He thought the wire had pulled out of the generator set, he took a touch light and asked me to follow him to fix the wire properly.
But on our way out, our little child started crying and I went back to attend to her. The moment I carried the wailing child, I heard a blast like that of a gun shot followed with a scream from the voice of my husband. He was calling my name painfully. Then I rushed out with my baby and I found him lying on a pool of his blood with his head blown wide open.
But he was still alive, he held my hands and was mumbling some thing I could not hear. I screamed loudly for help and some neighbours who heard my voice and the blast rushed out. They contacted his friends and relatives who rushed him into a car and took him to the hospital. After a short while, news came that he was dead due to doctors strike. Then I knew my world was over.
We are only six years in our marriage and we have just two children. Who would take care of them. He is the bread winner of his family and also the entire youth in the community looks up to him. The government should please bring his killers to book. They should be made to pay dearly for his death”, she cried in tears.