Story by Ifeanyi Okolie
The recent violent unrest which engulfed most parts of Odi-Olowo area in Mushin, Lagos State, at the weekend, where over three persons were reportedly killed, while seven others sustained severe injuries and more than 10 vehicles got damaged, might not be one of those popular battles for supremacy which have been going on between street urchins in the area, in recent times.
Rather, reports hinted it was a clear act of vengeance, as hoodlums and drug dealers from the notorious Akala drug enclave, went gaga by attacking people they believed were behind last Thursday’s raid on the notorious drug zone by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). During the raid, the drug agency arrested over100 persons, while more than 2000 bags of Indian hemp which were loaded in two lorry trucks were recovered.
Crime Alert gathered that, 24 hours after the raid by the anti-narcotics agents, from the Lagos State NDLEA Command, who invaded the area early on Thursday, with more than five lorry trucks and a team of gun-wielding agents, some hoodlums who escaped arrest during the raid, went gaga as they crossed into Erekpo Street and it’s peaceful environ, which is being separated by a rail line, and launched reprisal attacks on persons they perceived were sponsors of the NDLEA’s raid.
Temitayo Olari, a resident of Erekpo street who spoke to Crime Alert on Tuesday during a visit to the scene, said hoodlums from the notorious Akala, in their hundreds invaded their homes with guns and other dangerous weapons in what seems like a reprisal attack on the NDLEA’s raid.
Narrating the incident Temitayo said. “ It was like a movie and some of us were standing outside our houses recounting the shocking raid on Akala while some older people gathered at that place (he pointed at a stall), when we saw a large crowd of young men running into our streets from that railway line with clubs, machetes and broken bottles, and they were heading towards our direction.
We heard rounds of gun shots from the surging crowd and everyone in our street took to their heels. The moment they arrived where we were, they started smashing vehicle windscreens parked along the street. They did not spare shop owners and traders along our street; they attacked them and looted their shops. These hoodlums did not stop there, they went into one man’s house known as Baba Ismaila and dragged him out and started beating him. They accused him of bringing the NDLEA against them.
Soon, their activities caught the attention of some mobile policemen from Mopol 20, who on standby in our street since the previous clash. When these mobile policemen confronted the hoodlums, they retaliated by shooting at them also. While the gun battle continued, a passerby was hit by a bullet meant for one of the police.
Seun Balogun, a student of Lagos State Polytechnic who spoke to Crime Alert said he watched from the window of his apartment overlooking the notorious Akala on Saturday as hoodlums descended on some mobile policemen from Mopol 42 who were stationed at Alhaji Lasisi street to quell any form of trouble; “I overheard them accusing the policemen of bringing NDLEA to raid their homes and they asked the policemen to leave their area, that they don’t need them any more.”
Seun who took Crime Alert through the scene violence around Akala, appreciated efforts of the police and the NDLEA in trying to rid the area of the ugly menace. According to him; “I’m very glad this is happening, I’ve been waiting for this all my life I hope government will continue with this exercise in other to put an to this menace.
In the past, it has been business as usual between drug dealers and the police authority in Mushin. I think they work cooperatively because the police often come around to collect money from the dealers. If you doubt what I am saying, check the proximity between the Akala and the Area D police headquarters, then you will know what I am saying. All we want now is for government to continue with this raid and not relent. With more of this, drug trafficking and criminalities will become history in Akala and it’s environs.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Police Command spokesman, Samule Jinadu while confirming the report said over 30 persons have been arrested adding that normalcy has been restores to the restive areas.
According to him, “ more anti-riot policemen have been drafted to the area and the entire place is now calm. We urged residents of the area to go about their business peacefully.